It’s now completely legal for cops in North Dakota to strap “less than lethal” weapons to a drone.
“Less than lethal” apparently means that cops can strap anything from rubber bullets, pepper spray, tasers and tear gas to the flying robots, according to a report by The Daily Beast.
The state is the first in the nation to allow police to equip drones with these kinds of weapons.
The original bill behind the new law originally intended to make all weapons illegal to attach to drones, but the bill was later amended by a pro-police lobbyist so that non-lethal weapons would be allowed for use by law enforcement, according to the report.
The new law that enables police to deck out drones with weapons also requires police to get a warrant before using a drone for most private surveillance.
As drones become more popular among consumers and more widely used commercially, there is some concern that the machines could also become an appealing tool for criminals.
Earlier this month, Homeland Security warned US police that drones could be used as a means of launching a terrorist attack or used for criminal activity.
While we have yet to see a weaponised drone cause harm yet in the US, several recent incidents involving drones have stirred some controversy.
In June, a video of a consumer drone strapped with a shotgun went viral. While the video was shot in a wooded area and no one was harmed, it triggered concern about just how easy it is to make the machines lethal.
And twice this year the White House has gone into lockdown because of drones flying too close to secure grounds.
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