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“The ‘better safe than sorry mentality [of the federal law requiring drone registration] is all well and good — we shouldn’t have to wait for a consumer drone-related injury or death to put a comprehensive policy in place,” opines. “Especially since the FAA notes the number of drone sightings by pilots has steadily increased over time. But why is it that after 25,697 gun-related injuries and 12,713 gun-related deaths in just 2015 alone that it’s still only mandatory to register a gun in six states and the District of Columbia?” Any consideration of the Second Amendment perhaps? Nope. Not on Tech Insider’s radar. And so . . .

The question is this: if registering consumer drones is necessary to “build a culture of accountability and responsibility,” why does that same logic not apply to gun registration? Especially when guns are more dangerous than flying consumer drones?

Again, I’m thinking that the right to keep and bear arms is a natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right. As such, it’s subject neither to arguments about social utility or the democratic process (void where prohibited by law). But then I bet you already knew that.

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  1. Silly wabbit – most gun violence is caused by criminals who wouldn’t register weapons anyway. So besides being a serious infringement on a constitutional right, it is criminally stupid because it simply does nothing to affect gun violence.

    • Add to that criminals cannot be required to register illegal weapons because that is a violation of their 5th amendment rights against self incrimination.

      See Hayne v. US 1968.

  2. Just another couple of idiot tech bloggers! Nothing to see here and the redirected hits from TTAG is likely the biggest bump in their pathetic stats all year long. Don’t feed the trolls…..

  3. Item of note regarding FAA’s new UAS “drone registration” – and how it is very different from what most people think of when hearing about “gun registration”:

    The new system doesn’t register the *drone*; it registers the *operator*. A drone owner does *not* supply the drone’s make, model or serial number when registering. If you own multiple drones – or buy another drone after registering – the same registration number is to be applied to all drones. If you sell/trade your drone, the registration system is unaware of that transaction.

    It is confusing that this effort has been publicized as “drone registration”, but is more accurately “drone operator registration.”

    Want to learn more? See this:

      • Currently, threat of prosecution (which is outrageously unlikely for the vast majority of drone owners) is the only reason to register.

      • Although I certainly don’t support drone registration, let me just point out that my ham radio license makes my name and address public record as well. This isn’t anything groundbreaking.

        • I know that license! That’s the one I was supposed to get when I bought those high-powered walkie-talkies 20 years ago, right? Damn, I musta forgot.

        • You’d be surprised how many hams (generally of the ‘get off my lawn’ persuasion) have nothing better to do than track down people operating without a license and diming them out to the FCC.

  4. this is why you don’t use information from a gun control website.

    Washington state has handgun registration and Michigan also has some form of registration. the map is incorrect shall we act surprised?

    • Michigan has handgun registration.
      I find it curious that they’d rather assume people who oppose gun registration are okay with drone registration.
      Also curious that instead of complaining to the FAA about pointless registrations, they’d rather buckle down and demand more registration for other devices.

  5. How about we just repatriate illegals, execute criminals and stop paying the aforementioned to come here and/or procreate.

    Problem solved….whats for lunch?

  6. “…the right of the people to keep and bear drones, shall not be infringed.” I must’ve missed that Amendment in the Constitution.

    • What is the ‘greater good’ that would make registration worth the time, money, and effort? What is the benefit to society that registration of drones would provide?

      • With general aviation struggling because of oppressive FAA over-site and the resulting barrier to entry cost keeping the next generation away they must justify their continued existence and expansion by generating fee based revenue somehow. Drones are an obvious choice. The taxes . . . err . . . licensing and renewal fees will keep their doors open for quite some time.

  7. As I told a friend when he posted about this on facebook, I said “register NOTHING!” And I meant it. As far as I’m concerned the only thing that matters, be it guns or drones, is that you use them responsibly. And if you get your drone shot out of the sky because you poked it around in someone else’s backyard without permission, well that’s just too bad.


  8. And exactly what is unconstitutional about registration? It doesn’t infringe on anyone’s ability to “keep and bear arms”.

    • Registration is always at the top of a slippery slope that ends with confiscation. Besides, there is a law that prohibits the federal government from collecting a registry of gun owners.

    • If you have a right that the state is expressly forbidden to infringe on in it’s constitution, then what right or what utility is there for the state to monitor your exercise of that right? Does the state have a right to monitor your speech? Your religion? Should you have to register your religion with the state? The only reason for registration is future infringement.

    • Tom, if you spend some time trying to figure out what registration could possibly accomplish, you will answer your own question. Its only use is confiscation. Otherwise, you can register every part on every gun, every bullet and every grain of powder, every case and every primer, and when someone points it at you and pulls the trigger, you’ll discover how much good registration has done. If its only use is confiscation, then it violates 2A since its only goal is infringement. And meanwhile, the costs would be astronomical, even without considering the costs of policing, prosecuting, and imprisoning those of us who refuse to comply.

      • That’s a bit absurd, registration doesn’t equal search and seizure.

        Registration is registration, and confiscation is confiscation. There’s a distinct difference between the two and it should be recognized.

        • Registration does not equal confiscation, true, but registration eventuates im confiscation. Only one road leads from registration, and that road leads to confiscation.

          Think of it this way: stalking is not equal to assault, rape or murder; but it certainly is the expressway to them. When there’s no legitimate purpose for something, and a deluge of historical and current precedent for it serving as a springboard to something very bad, then why would you want to toy with it in the first place?

          No good can come of either gun registration or stalking. Only evil can. So why participate in the delusion that either is beneficial or even harmless?

        • No, only enforcement of a registration amounts to unreasonable search and seizure. What’s the point if you’re not going to search, seize the property of and incarcerate those who don’t comply?

        • Registration means “we are going to confiscate next week!”. Otherwise, why are we registering? What would it do? IOW, any distinction you perceive between registration and confiscation is a mirage. OTOH, it really is different from search and seizure, the whole idea is to eliminate the search, they plan to know where every one is, then just assault/kill gun owners, without disturbing neighboring sheep. For some reason, gun owners who have ever actually thought about it oppose registration rather vehemently.

        • Lemme tell ya a story from a not-so-distant past…

          There is a country on the eastern edge of Europe, called Ukraine. As a good european country, it had gun registration.

          Stuff hit the fan, and certain areas of the easternmost regions of that country were occupied by the Russian paramilitaries. One thing occupiers did, was going through the ukrainian registration records to identify firearms owners. Following up, naturally, with a confiscation.

          The bottom line here is: you may be fully loyal to the government you register your tools with. But can you guarantee that nobody else can get access to those records to use them against you?

      • Simple Definition of infringe

        : to do something that does not obey or follow (a rule, law, etc.) ( chiefly US )
        : to wrongly limit or restrict (something, such as another person’s rights)

        Now how does registration infringe on the Second Amendment?

        • “Now how does registration infringe on the Second Amendment?”

          I must put forth the time, energy and funds to register. Most likely prior to purchase. The act of registering in itself restricts the exercise of the right. Clear cut infringement.

          If I lack the time, energy or funds for the act of registering I am not allowed to exercise the right. I have been categorized as a lower class not worthy of the right. Also clear cut infringement.

          There’s two ways and I didn’t even have to mention which right was being infringed. Registration by its very definition restricts exercise. Clear cut infringement at the most simple or complex level.


          verb (used without object), infringed, infringing.
          to encroach or trespass (usually followed by on or upon):
          Don’t infringe on his privacy.

          Just as the right to anonymous speech is inherent to the 1st Amendment, because the speech that needs protection is inherently unpopular speech, so the right to privacy is inherent to the 2nd Amendment. The government doesn’t need to go snooping around on my property looking for items I have a constitutional right to keep and bear.

        • By strict scrutiny, any law restricting or regulating the right to keep and bear arms must show a clear benefit to society that overwhelmingly outweighs the disadvantages of restriction. Registration has never shown any benefits to society in the form of either preventing crime or assisting in the apprehension of criminals after a crime has been committed. However, the disadvantages of registration – even apart from the extra obligations put upon those forced to register – include the creation of new bureaucracy, costs to taxpayers, etc.

          The above is separate from the point raised by others already – the only reason to know who owns the guns is to simplify the eventual confiscation of those guns. Does anyone care if you one one or a dozen TV sets, computers, or books? In fact, unless you’re using public streets (which cost money to build and repair, hence registration and fees) you can buy a car and drive it around your own property without an auto registration or a driver’s license – and there’s no constitutional right to own or operate a vehicle.

        • It violates BOTH of your definitions! I walk into a store and pay my money to buy a gun. If some law requires me to fill out one line on a form for the government, that is an infringement. And that is illegal, clearly, in light of 2A. If the government lurks around and searches out my purchase without requiring any action from me, that satisfies 2A, unfortunately violating 4A in the process. And the fact remains, there is no suggested purpose, and no one wishes to guess the cost.

      • I’m interested in knowing how putting some information in a database (which you’re most likely already on) infringes on your right to own a gun.

        • If permission has nothing to do with it then what is the point of the registration in the first place? You’re argument seems to be that registration isn’t an infringement because it’s pointless and won’t accomplish anything.

      • Hey now, lets not stoop to the Grabbers’ level and resort to utilizing baseless facts as arguments. I’m just surprised that Pat Patriot hasn’t been swatted for possessing an illegal assault musket since it gives Tom and unfair advantage due to intimidating the other teams.

    • Tenth Amendment:

      “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people”

      20th century interpretation of Article I, Section 8, Clause 3; The much abused “Commerce Clause” Has pretty much wiped out the Tenth, which in simpler language says, “Leave me alone!”

      What a quaint notion: leaving people alone.

    • Tom,

      Registration infringes on the people’s right to privacy. Unfortunately, this was not explicitly listed in the bill of rights (A document restricting Government actions), likely as the founders did not foresee the advancement of technology and computers today and apparently did not fathom the degree to which the people would tolerate such nonsense from freedom hating controllers and their minions defending such.

      Registration is control Tom, and they like it for several reasons. Firstly, they get some tax money and they like our money as they believe the moment we earn it – they are entitled to it. Our money is their money. That’s right Tom – you are not entitled to the sweat on your brow. It’s theirs. How this is different from slavery – i’m still trying to figure out. Secondly, They like the penalties. You don’t register your drone? That will be $27,500 dollars. Did you fly your drone over a secret government installation conducting activities that you shouldn’t know about? That will be $250,000 dollars, 3 years in prison, and we are confiscating your footage so it doesn’t appear on Wikileaks. Lastly, it shows who is in charge. They are. You are not. Rest assured, they will undoubtedly claim this is for your responsibility and safety. Which has nothing to do with it. Lets take a look at what they have to say about it yea?

      From the FAA Faqs page:

      Q50. A pilot cannot read a number on a drone so how will registering protect traditional aircraft?
      Answer: A registration requirement encourages a culture of accountability and responsibility. Much like registering a motor vehicle, registering a drone ties a specific person to a specific aircraft. Greater accountability will help protect innovation, which is in danger of being undermined by reckless behavior. This requirement mirrors the requirement for manned operations and commercial UAS operations.

      Got that? We need to be responsible and accountable for our drones and somehow paying their fee and giving them our names, addresses, and credit card information is going to accomplish this. Since when has the registration of a motor vehicle stopped a crime? But they do get paid every single year for that registration (regardless of if the vehicle changes hands). They do like registration money. Notice how they claimed that drones threaten “innovation.” Why don’t we register binoculars and telescopes too? Have to protect patents right? Completely nonsensical. Can anyone name a single case ever where a drone was used in this manner?

      Q51. Someone intent on harm will not register a drone, so doesn’t this requirement just penalize responsible people who are excited about UAS?
      Answer: Although no system or requirement is 100 percent effective against people intent on doing harm, registration heightens public awareness about what safe UAS operations look like. In addition, registration establishes a shared understanding that operating this type of aircraft for business or pleasure comes with certain responsibilities and expectations and that the public will be watching for and reporting bad actors, just as they do today for other safety and security-related concerns. Registration also enables us to educate UAS owners on safe operations.

      Yep. It’s for our safety. This is what safe operations look like people. Also, if you aren’t following the rules, the public will report you and you’ll have to pay up. Notice how it says it isn’t 100% effective. Obviously if someone is looking to do harm, they aren’t going to put their number on their drone so it can be traced back to them. If they lose their drone in the event of some criminal activities – not a big deal. It can be sacrificed with no traceability back to them. Meanwhile, the people with drones not looking to mount firearms on their drones, record their neighbor in the pool, or fly over airports or government installations for giggles, get to pay up. If they accidentally fly their drone over a “no drone zone” (seriously this is real) or record epic video footage of a beautiful state park, they get to pay up big time. And to me it is very strange. We supposedly have the right to record audio/video/images of our surroundings on our person in public – but the moment we put that on a drone that we control – poof – that legitimacy is gone.

      Q55. If a drone crashes in my yard what do I do?
      Answer. Call local law enforcement.

      Uh no. I’m going to go to my neighbor and say, “Hey dude, is this your drone? It fell in my backyard. By the way, my wife and I loved the chili that you cooked the other day. We are going to need that recipe. I will trade you this drone for that recipe.”

      So lets recap:
      1) Drones need to be registered for our “safety” (of course) and registering them is somehow going to make us more safe.
      2) Fly drone in a no drone zone and pay some serious money. Granted – everyone realizes that the punishment doesn’t fit the crime, but who cares right?
      3) Registration of drones is going to provide to the people what “safe operations” looks like. So we can apply it to other activities I imagine.
      4) Registration of drones is somehow going to make people more responsible and accountable for their drones (except when they are intent on harming people or performing criminal activities).
      5) You will register your drone and feign obeisance to the state, or you will pay the penalty.


  10. Firstly, no offense to firearms manufacturers but most guns are late-19th-century tech. The optics, 18th-century in terms of what they do. Granted manufacturing techniques are far more advanced now but the basic mechanisms of most personal firearms would not be a shock to Colt, Smith, Wesson, Maxim, Gatling or Garand. Newton could understand the optics.

    Aimpoints and laser designators and LED lights are another matter of course but those aside…

    TechInsider should stick to their guns, er, knitting.

    I do not own a drone, but I think registration should only be required if operating a drone over property the operator doesn’t own.

    And let’s leave aside deaths, do we even have statistics on how many drones have been used for crimes, e.g. “floating Toms” or casing houses prior to burglary?

  11. Considering how many NFA firearms are in the states that don’t “require gun registration of any kind” sorta makes the whole premise invalid. They don’t have any idea what they are talking about. Again. Still.

  12. I hear calls for registration of drones being an “obvious step”, so I guess I am just a dullard. Please explain “why”. What would it accomplish, other than employing ever more government bureaucrats chasing their tails around more government buildings, producing absolutely nothing?

  13. I don’t understand…. because one thing has extra laws applied to it we should apply more laws to this other thing?

    Drones do not equal guns do not equal cars do not equal cigarettes etc…..

    The answer should almost NEVER be ‘lets get the government involved, we need some laws.’

    • “The answer should NEVER be ‘lets get the government involved, we need some laws.’”

      FTFY. You had an extra word in there.

  14. A well regulated consumer drone force, being necessary to the production of cool YouTube videos, the right of the people to keep and bear Drones shall not be infringed.

  15. The only way I can see drone operator registration being really useful is if drones are also required to broadcast a specific ID so they can be identified and traced back to their operator if used illegally, or to aid a post-crash investigation.

    That would have the side benefit of providing an active beacon for collision-avoidance schemes.

    But … If I’m intending to operate a drone illegally do I still have to register? Isn’t that forcing self-incrimination and thus illegal under the 5th Amendment?

  16. There have been plenty of Drone deaths. I remember one, where the pilot cut his own head in half. he was flying a regular style remote helicopter doing tricks. With carbon fiber 4 ft blades, spinning incredibly fast.

    EDIT: Ok, maybe that was the only one I can find….

    I still think it’s stupid to require this. This is just Big Brother.

  17. Zero injuries my ass.

    Google it, my coworker that almost lost a finger tip won’t be included in the results, but there area a lot.

    Just another case of people making s@$t up to try to prove a point.

    • How would registration have helped him? “Look! Look! A shiny ball! Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!”.

  18. Registering drones, has little to do with drone use and more to do with the FAA thinking the sky is it’s personal fiefdom. That and politicians want a list because they are afraid someone with drone will do something bad to them, with it. You got your no stay list, your no fly list, your no guns list, your no drone list…

    It’s a shame the Tech Insider fools feel compelled to put us lawful gun owners under the Gov’t Registration bus in order to defend their lawful drone owners. Simple self centered liberal types I’m guessing.

    • That’s unfortunate. Did you lose the amphibious craft model plane, too? The underwriter from sinking ships can be dramatic. I know. I saw Leonardo DiCaprio explain it to Kate Winslet in Titanic.

    • Same here. I don’t currently have any drones – but if/when I do, I will have lost them over a large body of water. And… I will have lost them prior to today’s date.

  19. One important point the Tech Blogger missed. You don’t have to “register drones” unless you’ll be flying outside in “public airways.” (Similar to driving a car on a public road.) If you are only flying inside, in private air space, no registration requested by FAA.

    Second point they missed, The Bill of Rights.

  20. Hey, smug Tech Insider fools — if you don’t like drone registration (and who would?), form the National Drone Association, get five million members, motivate pro-drone voters, win a bunch of lawsuits and lobby your asses off.

    Until you do so, STFU. You sound like babies.

  21. My favorite line when talking to my friends is, “Just imagine all the lives you’d save if we can ban guns.”

    My favorite retort is, “Just imagine all the lives we’d save if we banned abortion” and just watch them hum and haw and stumble through that retort.

  22. If you like your drone you can keep your drone. Honestly idiots ruined it for the rest of us(but not me). Look for lasers to be outlawed/registered because dumb-fooks blind pilots. And for our guest troll Tom-registration leads to confiscation-Heil!

  23. All drones should be registered because every neighborhood has a least one pedophile,considering the fact that most of these drone lovers can’t get any,they want to look at children and other people to get their kicks,if a drone flew over my house,I would take measures to bring it down,(notice I didn’t say I’d shoot it down).Then I could turn it over to the law so they can go after the pimply faced perv that is piloting the thing.We have to register our cars but it doesn’t seem to do much good,as we have seen so many times before and we have seen it again today,people use cars as weapons to murder and maim other people.And by the way,cars and drones are not protected by a constitutional amendment.Oh,I almost forgot,our government and other governments use drones to murder people every day so that stupid little chart at the top of this article is dead wrong.

  24. I think moms should demand action against drones and they should outlaw drones inside Kroger.Notice how people get “up in arms” when you start picking on the things that they like? Are they going to start calling them ” unhinged drone nuts” and are they going to start talking about the size of their schlongs?

  25. Yeah, get back to me when I can fly my AR into your back yard and take video/photos of your underage daughter in her bedroom.

    I will add, I think that drones shouldn’t be registered either, but just used the above to point out one of the many ways that they are not at all the same. We as firearms owners should be reaching out to all of these groups suffering massive government overreach rather than making it “Us vs. Them”

  26. Only six states require gun registration of any kind? Is it legal to own an unregistered assault rifle in the other 44? No. Guns of many kinds need to be registered with the federal government anywhere in the nation, and often with the state government as well.

  27. The thing that gets me about this is that it’s another malum prohibitum law that will undoubtedly be used to hang the “convicted felon” tag around somebody’s neck. It’s not too big of a stretch of the imagination to say that the goal of the unelected Federal bureaucracy is to create a system where everyone who actually wants to own a gun is prohibited of doing so because they’re felons. Three felonies a day.

  28. i don’t own drones, but i do have a question. do ya’ll think maybe they are only registering the owners because they already know that they can trace the drones back through the manufacturers / retailers ?

  29. Funny, nobody has pointed out that all the statistics on gun related injuries and deaths they provided come from the states with the strictest gun laws. Hmmm… some sort of correlation there I think…

  30. I wondered if this would get covered here.

    Whether you like drones or not, it’s easy to see that this is just a stupid cash grab for the FAA. It’s also illegal- the FAA doesn’t have the authority to make laws, among other things.

    As gun owners, this is a great opportunity to gain support. We can point at it and say “See? This is the nonsense they’re trying to do to us all the time, because .01% of users are dumb.”

  31. Wit until there are 300 million drones owned and flown in America, like the 300 million guns. Want to take a guess at how many mid-air collisions with people-transporting airplanes there will be, and how many deaths?

    Hey, drone-heads – apples and oranges.


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