Bill would ban gun-toting drones in TN

While Tennessee’s Legislature is not known for putting new restrictions on guns, a recently-filed bill would prohibit attaching a firearm to a drone, reports The Tennessean.

“It is an offense for any person, other than a state, federal, or local law enforcement agency, to knowingly attach or affix a weapon to an unmanned aircraft or to use an unmanned aircraft that the person knows has a weapon attached or affixed to it,” the bill states.

Filed by Rep. Daniel Byrd, R-Waynesboro, the measure (HB1456) comes several months after video of a gun-toting drone went viral. The video, created by an 18-year-old Connecticut man, shows a handgun firing off shots while attached to a drone that’s hovering several feet off the ground.

Byrd’s bill would make it a class E felony to attach any kind of weapon to a drone. In this context, weapon includes Tennessee’s legal definition for “firearm” and “explosive weapon.” Tennessee law defines explosive weapons as items like bombs, grenades, mines and Molotov cocktails.

Those prohibitions don’t apply to law enforcement…In August, North Dakota became the first state in the country to legalize weaponized drones for law enforcement. The weapons must be “nonlethal,” but that still allows attaching weapons such as Tasers to drones, reports USA TODAY.