back to article America's drone owner database is baaaack! Just in time for Xmas

Fellow Americans: if you receive a drone as a Christmas gift this year, you will probably have to register it with the US federal government. President Trump today signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act for 2018 that will reinstate rules created by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in 2015 that required …

  1. John Savard Silver badge

    Metric

    Over 0.55 pounds, rather than over 1/2 a pound? Since a kilogram is about 2.2 pounds, could it be that the limit is 250 grams, perchance?

    1. hellwig Silver badge

      Re: Metric

      boo, take yer fancy metric system with your centiliters and your millimeters BACK to hell with you!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not disputing that a national drone database is a good ideia

    But is it better/more important than a national gun database? Oooh no siree!, guns are free speech and stuff!

    1. Big John Silver badge

      Re: Not disputing that a national drone database is a good ideia

      Tell me, in a firefight which would you prefer to have, a drone or a gun? A gun of course, because guns project physical force and might keep you alive. IOW, guns are not like any other objects in our lives, so comparing them to those other objects (as you have) is being less than honest.

      1. PeterGriffin

        Re: Not disputing that a national drone database is a good ideia

        Do not pass go. Do not collect $100. Go to the previous post and locate the point you missed.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not disputing that a national drone database is a good ideia

        Depends if I was Isis.

      3. Lysenko Silver badge

        Re: Not disputing that a national drone database is a good ideia

        Tell me, in a firefight which would you prefer to have, a drone or a gun?

        I would prefer to be carrying an HK MP-5 with full auto capability. Also a few claymores and grenades in case I get bogged down behind cover - oh, and those would include smoke/gas grenades (obviously) and the full kevlar set with ceramic inserts goes without saying. However, since I'm about to walk to the shops, not storm Aleppo, I don't actually need any weaponry - we don't have the disadvantage of the second amendment so we're about 160 times less likely to get involved in a "firefight" compared to you.

        1. imanidiot Silver badge

          Re: Not disputing that a national drone database is a good ideia

          You take your MP-5. I'd rather take an AR-15 based rifle and a good cover position some 200 meters away.

      4. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: Not disputing that a national drone database is a good ideia

        Tell me, in a firefight which would you prefer to have, a drone or a gun? A gun of course, because guns project physical force and might keep you alive. IOW, guns are not like any other objects in our lives, so comparing them to those other objects (as you have) is being less than honest.

        Strawman. The post you are replying to mentioned a database, not a ban.

    2. Dal90

      Re: Not disputing that a national drone database is a good ideia

      Firearms can be tracked.

      It's just in the foresight of the preeminent civil rights organization that the NRA worked in the 1970s to prevent a single computerized database that would be irresistible candy to bureaucrats bent on fishing expeditions. Meanwhile the ACLU has to fight against warrantless searches of databases by administrations since Bush.

      Ever notice how within a few days of the shooting the ATF has traced the gun from the manufacturer to the ultimate legal purchaser? It just takes actual footwork (or phone calls to real live, knowledgeable people) and has a real cost associated with it to follow the trail of actual, physical paperwork that is maintained from the factory to current owner.

      Gun dealers have to maintain the records of who the sell to (and when they go out of business either transfer their records to another dealer or to the ATF). Private sellers -- taking advantage of the law that allows the sale of long guns between residents of the same state -- likewise are wise to maintain such records if nothing else to demonstrate they took the minimal effort to confirm the other person was a resident of the same state; less they themselves commit a felony which will result in the seller losing their rights to ever own another gun.

    3. corestore

      Re: Not disputing that a national drone database is a good ideia

      Nah. We don't even register guns here in NZ.

      Canada gave it a go but scrapped it because they decided it wasn't worth the effort.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not disputing that a national drone database is a good ideia

        @ corestore

        "Nah. We don't even register guns here in NZ."

        True, but we DO register gun owners.

  3. corestore

    If you want a laugh...

    Have a read of this. It's long and in lawyerese but your jaw will drop on numerous occasions when you see just how breathtakingly incompetent the FAA have been in pretending they can regulate drone operations previously:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20160308050730/https://www.kramerlevin.com/files/upload/FAA-v-Pirker.pdf

    (The result of this brief? Executive summary: The FAA got their arses completely handed to them in court and their case was dismissed with prejudice; they had insisted they could ban commercial drone operations based on illegal improperly made regulations - which would still have been illegal even if properly made because they cited authority that didn't exist! They're deluded and demented; how did they ever think they could get away with this?!)

    1. Big John Silver badge

      Re: If you want a laugh...

      They wanted to just do it anyway, because the 2012 FAA law didn't actually give them the right to do what they did in 2015, viz, the drone registry. But it was the Age of Obama, when anything seemed possible...

      A somewhat anal hobbyist lawyer (who happened to be completely correct) rightly got it struck down. And now Congress in their lazy way have finally brought out a version that DOES address the registration issue directly. And not a moment too soon!

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: If you want a laugh...

        They wanted to just do it anyway, because the 2012 FAA law didn't actually give them the right to do what they did in 2015, viz, the drone registry. But it was the Age of Obama, when anything seemed possible...

        A somewhat anal hobbyist lawyer (who happened to be completely correct) rightly got it struck down. And now Congress in their lazy way have finally brought out a version that DOES address the registration issue directly. And not a moment too soon!

        Yes, they now brought out a version that Big John finds acceptable.... It's literally exactly the same bill, except that it's signed by Trump not Obama.

        Seriously, John, you've had your fun. Now will you and Bob please stop trolling - it's not really nice to take the piss out of the right wing so accurately.

        1. Big John Silver badge

          Re: If you want a laugh...

          > "It's literally exactly the same bill, except that it's signed by Trump not Obama."

          You don't absorb information very well, do you? The whole point of this exercise is that the new bill is NOT like the old one.

          Who's the troll again?

          1. Alister Silver badge

            Re: If you want a laugh...

            @Big John

            The whole point of this exercise is that the new bill is NOT like the old one.

            John, you seem to be having a comprehension fail here. What part of the following suggests that the new rules are different?

            President Trump today signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act for 2018 that will reinstate rules created by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in 2015

            1. Big John Silver badge

              Re: If you want a laugh...

              > "John, you seem to be having a comprehension fail here. What part of the following suggests that the new rules are different?"

              Nothing in THAT quote, to be sure. Unfortunately you and others here have failed to actually read the article and relevant side articles, because if you did you would be aware that changes HAD to be made so that the law would not be challenged again.

              Really, are you guys actually this stupid? Sure hope you're not programming anything important...

          2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

            Re: If you want a laugh...

            You don't absorb information very well, do you? The whole point of this exercise is that the new bill is NOT like the old one.

            Who's the troll again?

            You are.

            Lying in the hope that people believe you without checking is a popular thing amongst you guys, isn;t it?

            Trump and Fox have it down to a fine art.

            But it won't wash here. We're not right wing sheep with no minds of our own.

            You only have to google to find many sites saying the same thing, or heck, why not go straight to the horses mouth? https://www.faa.gov/uas/getting_started/

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Piffle.

    The days of unregistered fools doing idiot things with quadcopters won't change. Those idiotic enough to fly where they shouldn't will also be the folks who don't trouble to register their toys. Good luck enforcing registration, too, since the toys can be had for cash from big box retailers, lots of smaller stores, and can also be purchased by mail.

    Also, the FAA's registration scheme was ridiculously broad, as it lumped all flying models in with the camera-carrying quadrotors without even noticing that other types of SUAS existed. I registered my fixed-wing models to be on the safe side, but this scheme is being managed in a mentally defective manner.

    Anon because Trunp.

    1. Big John Silver badge

      Re: Piffle.

      Why anon, AC? All this stuff was happening under Obama, remember? If there is a good guy here it's Trump, so calm your apprehensions, he won't hurt you. At least not over this! ;-/

      1. Haku
        1. Big John Silver badge

          Re: Piffle.

          I do not deign to observe your linked videos, because your trolling skills are lacking and what there is of them is highly derivative, thus I can't be arsed.

          Rather than laughing harder (apparently), you should instead try harder. You might be amazed at the results!

          1. Haku

            Re: Piffle.

            When the downvotes on your posts continue to pour in because of what you say here, surely at some point you must take a look at what you're actually writing in comparison to what other people are saying and observing regarding to the events and situations you're commenting on?

            Maybe try harder to see things from a different perspective?

            You might be amazed at the results!

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Piffle.

              "When the downvotes on your posts continue to pour in because of what you say here, surely at some point you must take a look at what you're actually writing in comparison to what other people are saying and observing regarding to the events and situations you're commenting on?"

              So a group of possibly misinformed people insist I'm wrong about something so I'm supposed to cave due to numbers? Absolutely not! I stand for my beliefs based on the evidence and logic I developed them on. If YOU are so easily influenced by mass-opinion you need a critical thinking course.

              "Maybe try harder to see things from a different perspective?" YES, WHY DON'T YOU? Smugness does not equate to correct.

              1. Big John Silver badge

                Re: Piffle.

                To be fair, not many posters actually try to claim large downvote totals discredit a poster. Most have more sense than that.

  5. macjules Silver badge
    Coat

    Yes, but ..

    required owners of any drones over 0.55lb to register their gizmos with the watchdog – and pay a $5 registration fee – or face criminal charges.

    But will Melanja cough up the $5 fee for her overweight drone?

    1. DNTP Silver badge

      Re: Yes, but ..

      Who will pay the drone registration on Ashit Pie, Verizon or Comcast?

  6. Paul J Turner

    No Worries

    When a drone is flying it is more or less weightless so "Registration is required for small Unmanned Aircraft weighing more than 0.55 pounds..." https://www.faa.gov/licenses_certificates/aircraft_certification/aircraft_registry/UA/ doesn't apply.

    Some people really need to learn the difference between mass and weight.

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: No Worries

      There's a tiny little difference between 'weightless' and 'supporting its own weight'.

    2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      Re: No Worries

      > When a drone is flying it is more or less weightless

      If a drone is flying a few mm above a large plate of a weighing machine then the machine will indicate the drones weight, more or less.

      It is only flying because it accelerates air downwards to create a sufficient force to counter its own weight.

      If you had a closed box full of canaries would it weigh less if the birds were flying about inside the box ?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No Worries

        > If you had a closed box full of canaries would it weigh

        > less if the birds were flying about inside the box ?

        ummmmm

  7. JustWondering
    Meh

    That's funny

    Everybody seems to be on board with registering these drones but if the topic was guns, 'Muricans would be losing their minds

    How many people do drones kill every day?

    1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      Re: That's funny

      > How many people do drones kill every day?

      https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jan/24/isis-drone-dropping-precision-bombs-alarms-us-mili/

  8. SonofRojBlake

    "the days of model aircraft being flown anonymously by hobbyists – sometimes drunk, sometimes dangerously inept, and possibly peeping toms – is rapidly coming to a close"

    The days of model aircraft being flown anonymously by hobbyists will continue for as long as the parts to build such things are available.

    The days of off-the-shelf, ready-built, self-flying quadcopters being directed around the sky by johnny-come-lately random members of the public with no interest in model flying per se - THAT is rapidly coming to a close.

    FIFY

  9. imanidiot Silver badge
    Coat

    Yeah. Numbered...

    Until this goes to court and gets struck down again. The court clearly stated the FAA has no authority to administer, maintain or enforce this database. Signing into law that this database should return doesn't make it lawful and it will very quickly get struck down again from what I understand of the mess.

    --> The one with the Flysky transmitter in the pocket. Next to the homebuilt quadcopter... No, the other one.

  10. hellwig Silver badge

    How will they enforce this?

    Will Toys R Us, Walmart, and everyone selling these drones (seems like most drones are too heavy) require registration at time of purchase? How did 800,000 people even know they had to register their drone in the first place? Is there a very popular drone message board out there for drone enthusiasts?

    If I bought my nephew a drone, would I have to fill out the registration? Or does he have to do that after he gets it in the mail? Are police going to be walking around demanding that anyone flying a drone present their registration papers? If the police had those kinds of resources, drones wouldn't be a problem to begin with.

    Every state requires you register your car, but if you park it in your garage at night, chances are they won't catch your expires plates unless they pull you over for some other reason. Plenty of people drive around with expired registration or even licenses. How do we plan to police drones?

  11. Phukov Andigh Bronze badge

    the big fallacy:

    that "registration" equals "safety". At the very best, in the aftermath, you can "assign blame" but registration prevents nothing.

  12. JJKing
    Facepalm

    Re: That's funny

    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jan/24/isis-drone-dropping-precision-bombs-alarms-us-mili/

    ISTR the exact same justification for the massive military spending due to the threat by Soviet "super weapons" during the Cold War and the IMC (Industrial Military Complex as opposed to Instrument Meteorological Conditions) laughed all the way to the bank.

    I wonder what the penalty is for CCD (Carrying a Concealed Drone) without a permit?

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