An 18-year-old engineering student who modified a quadcopter to carry a four-shot handgun is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Austin Haughwout posted a video of his “Flying Gun” to YouTube, a 14-second clip that has been watched close to two million times, and its popularity has brought it to the attention of the US federal government.
“The FAA will investigate the operation of an unmanned aircraft system in a Connecticut park to determine if any Federal Aviation Regulations were violated,” a statement reads. “The FAA will also work with its law enforcement partners to determine if there were any violations of criminal statutes.”
Though the FAA has refused to comment further on the matter for the time being, the teen’s father, Bret Haughwout has been very vocal regarding the backlash to his son’s creation.
“It’s pretty simple. You’ve got a mechanical engineering student that builds different things, and this is just the last thing that he built. That’s all there is to it,” Haughwout said of his son, a student at Central Connecticut State University.
On the media coverage of the “Flying Gun”, Haughwout adds, “I’d say it’s the liberal mindset. Liberals just want to regulate away everything that people do. Anytime someone goes to do something, they want to put restrictions on it,” misunderstanding the term ‘liberal’ in a way that only an American gun-nut can.
While he’s raving, Haughwout then attacks the semantics of the coverage, growling, “You know what? Stop using the wrong word. It’s not a drone. It’s a quadcopter, just like an RC boat, or an RC car, or an RC airplane, or an RC helicopter.” As long as this weaponised quadcopter is being controlled by a teenager, that makes it much safer.
“There’s a machine gun attached to it […] So what’s the big deal here?” he asks. What’s the big deal, indeed.