Drones have been in use for a while now and are extremely popular among flying enthusiasts. But recently it has been reported that law enforcement in North Dakota can now legally use drones that are armed with “less than lethal” weapons like Tasers and tear gas.
The state has become the first to permit police officials to use weapon carrying drones, even though the initial House Bill 1328 that was passed wasn’t drafted in its favor, but came under change due to a lobbyist representing law enforcement.
Drafted by Representative Rick Becker, the bill’s intention was to pass a law that would require the police to get a search warrant for them to use a drone in searching criminal evidence and would actually have banned any weapons to be used on police drones. But North Dakota Peace Officer’s Association’s Bruce Burkett was allowed to change the bill and instead drones can now carry weapons like Tasers, tear gas, rubber bullets, sound cannons and pepper spray.
While some worry about the hazards that this can lead to – Tasers have already killed about 39 people in 2015, and flying tear gas cans or rubber bullets can also seriously injure people – the purpose of these drones is to help law officials in non-criminal circumstances, like searching for missing people or taking pictures of an accident scene.