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Are there specific laws or regulations in the USA on operating an armed drone, or do armed drones fall under ordinary weapons laws? More specifically, is it legal to fly a drone with a weapon under the following conditions:

  • The weapon is one that the drone pilot can carry legally in the jurisdiction in which the drone is flown (e.g. pilot is not barred from having the weapon under Federal, State, or local law; they possess a license to carry the weapon if required under local law; etc.).
  • The weapon is not installed on the drone for the purpose of committing a criminal offense (e.g. performing a murder or assault), but for peaceful or at least lawful reasons.

Restated, is a drone considered an extension of a person's body for purposes of determining if a weapon is lawful, or is there a specific regulatory regime for determining if an installed weapon is legal for drone carry?

To be clear, I'm not asking for specific legal advice, but inquiring whether the USA has provisions specifically regulating weapons on drones or whether drone weapons fall under ordinary (non-drone) weapons law.

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I’m not a legal expert, but according to the following link to an FAA page, it is illegal to attach any dangerous weapon to a drone: https://www.faa.gov/news/updates/?newsId=94424

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