Armed drones could be used by police in the US state of North Dakota after local lawmakers legalised their use. While they will be limited to “less than lethal” weapons, tear gas, tasers, rubber bullets and pepper spray could all be used in theory by the remote controlled flying machines. In a classic case of unintended consequences, the original sponsor, Republican state representative Rick Becker said he was unhappy with the way legislation turned out.
His original intention was to prevent law enforcement officials from using the unmanned aerial vehicles from conducting surveillance on private property without a warrant. “In my opinion there should be a nice, red line: Drones should not be weaponised,” he said. The original draft of the House Bill 1328 said: “A state agency may not authorize the use of, including granting a permit to use, an unmanned aircraft armed with any lethal or non-lethal weapons, including firearms, pepper spray, bean bag guns, mace, and sound-based weapons.” FULL REPORT