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Feds Investigating Video Showing Drone-Mounted Gun Firing Live Rounds

An 18-year-old Connecticut teen posted footage to YouTube showing a makeshift gun-shooting drone in the woods.

by VICE News
Jul 22 2015, 6:01pm

Capture d'écran via Hogwit / YouTube

A Connecticut teen could be in deep water with the feds after posting video of a hands-free weapon — a drone rigged with a semiautomatic handgun that shoots multiple live rounds in the woods.

The Federal Aviation Administration said that it was working with Connecticut police to look into the video, "Flying Gun," which was reportedly recorded by 18-year-old Austin Haughwout of Clinton, Connecticut.

"The FAA will investigate the operation of an unmanned aircraft system in a Connecticut park to determine if any Federal Aviation Regulations were violated," the administration said in a statement.

"The FAA will also work with its law enforcement partners to determine if there were any violations of criminal statutes."

While police say it doesn't appear the teen violated any state laws, the FAA bans the careless or reckless operation of a model aircraft.

Haughwout is a mechanical engineering student and told ABC News the drone was just one of many projects he has undertaken.

The teen's father, Bret Haughwout, told WFSB-TV last week a Central Connecticut State University professor helped his son create the device. The CCSU professor quickly denied it, saying he discouraged Haughwout when the student presented the idea.

Haughwout defends his son. "People have been playing with RC [remote-controlled] toys for many decades," he told AFP. "The proper name for this is an RC quadcopter. The media keeps using the inappropriate word because it helps you to generate fear."

"I don't understand why people are making such a big deal of it. It's not like it's anything new," he added. "He's a mechanical engineering student. He builds all different kind of things."

Austin Haughwout previously flew into the media spotlight last year after a video surfaced showing a woman attacking him for flying a drone-mounted camera over the beach, calling him a pervert while ripping his shirt and hitting him.

The woman, Andrea Mears, 23, of Westbrook was later charged with assault and breach of the peace.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.