FAA forecasts an estimated 10,000 civilian drones will be in use in the U.S. within five years [for spying purposes and corporate use].
The sheriff’s department [no mention of which state or county] hasn’t armed its drone, although the ShadowHawk can be equipped with a 40 mm grenade launcher and a 12-guage shotgun. The prospect of armed drones patrolling U.S. skies has alarmed some lawmakers and their constituents.
President Barack Obama was asked Thursday about concerns that the administration believes it’s legal to strike American citizens abroad with drones and whether that’s allowed against citizens in the U.S.
Earlier this week, an FAA official told a meeting of potential test site bidders that aviation regulations prohibit dropping anything from aircraft, which could be interpreted to bar arming civilian drones, according to an industry official present at the meeting who requested anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.
The law also requires that the FAA allow drones wide access to U.S. airspace by 2015, but the agency is behind schedule… .