Video: DHS-Funded Drone Spies On Private Gun Sale
The promotional video for a surveillance drone now being purchased by law enforcement bodies across the country with the aid of DHS funding shows a UAV spying on a private gun sale, falsely depicting the scenario as a criminal activity.
It is important to emphasize that private firearms sales without background checks are not illegal under current law in the United States, although gun control advocates are feverishly trying to change that with new legislation. The government claims that 40 per cent of all gun sales are conducted without background checks.
The clip is part of promo material for the Shadowhawk drone, a 50lb mini helicopter that can be fitted with an XREP taser with the ability to fire four barbed electrodes that can be shot to a distance of 100 feet, delivering “neuromuscular incapacitation” to the victim. The drone can travel at a top speed of 70MPH and can operate for 3.5 hours over land and sea. The drone, which is manufactured by Vanguard Defense Industries, can also be armed with 12-gauge shotguns and grenade launchers.
The company’s website notes that drones fitted with weapons are currently, “Not available to law enforcement,” although drone industry lobbyists are pushing for that to be changed.
The footage shows two men driving to meet clandestinely in a remote area, before they exit their vehicles and proceed to conduct a transaction for a handgun and a semi-automatic rifle, before driving off at high speed.
During the commentary over the clip, which features dramatic music, role players run the license plates of both vehicles before describing the transaction as the spy drone hovers above.
Throughout the clip, the private sale of firearms is demonized by clearly being associated with illegal and clandestine activity, despite the fact that it is completely lawful to sell firearms privately with no paperwork or background checks, including at gun shows.
After being used against Somali pirates and insurgents in Afghanistan, the Department of Homeland Security approved the drone for use on domestic soil in 2011, prompting the Sheriff’s Office of Montgomery County, Texas to purchase one for a cool $500,000 dollars, aided by a $250,000 DHS grant.
The fact that Homeland Security is approving and funding drones that are being sold on the basis that they can spy on gun owners is somewhat disturbing given that the federal agency has committed to purchasing around 2 billion rounds of ammunition over the course of the last year alone, which many see as a sign of preparations for civil unrest. The DHS also bought 7,000 fully automatic assault rifles last year, labeling them “personal defense weapons”.
As we reported last week, a DHS contractor had to apologize after producing shooting targets that depicted American gun owners, pregnant women and children as “non-traditional threats,” prompting outage.
Watch a news report about the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office purchase of the Shadowhawk drone below.