Connecticut lawmakers are considering whether the state should become the first in the country to allow police to use drones outfitted with deadly weapons, a proposal immediately met with concern by civil rights and liberties advocates.
The bill would ban the use of weaponized drones, but exempt police. Details on how law enforcement could use drones with weapons would be spelled out in new rules to be developed by the state Police Officer Standards and Training Council. Officers also would have to receive training before being allowed to use drones with weapons.
“Obviously this is for very limited circumstances,” said Republican state Sen. John Kissel, of Enfield, co-chairman of the Judiciary Committee that approved the measure Wednesday and sent it to the House of Representatives. “We can certainly envision some incident on some campus or someplace where someone is a rogue shooter or someone was kidnapped and you try to blow out a tire.”
North Dakota is the only state that allows police to use weaponized drones, but limits the use to “less lethal” weapons, including stun guns, rubber bullets and tear gas.