By Kody Fairfield

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, reports Fox5.

The proposed bill would ban the use of weaponized drones, sans law enforcement. 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, explained Fox5.

“Obviously this is for very limited circumstances,” said Republican state Sen. John Kissel, 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.”

The NAACP has its eye on the situation as well, stating that they have “huge concerns” about the use of armed drones.

“We have huge concerns that they would use this new technology to abuse our communities,” said Scot X. Esdaile, president of state chapter of the NAACP.

Esdaile told Fox5 that he has received calls from around the country from NAACP officials and others concerned about the Connecticut legislation.

“We would be setting a dangerous precedent,” said David McGuire, executive director of the state ACLU. “It is really concerning and outrageous that that’s being considered in our state legislature. Lethal force raises this to a level of real heightened concern.”

According to Fox5, only one state, North Dakota, currently allows for weaponized drone use, however the drones are only allowed to be armed with less-than-lethal means, such as tasers,  rubber bullets and tear gas. Five states – Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Vermont and Wisconsin – prohibit anyone from using a weaponized drone, while Maine and Virginia ban police from using armed drones, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Several other states have restricted drone use in general.

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