Drones and Guns

Handgun Firing Drone

A person in Connecticut is causing quite the uproar over a drone video he posted on a semi automatic handgun that was being fired by a drone. There are some questions as to whether this is legal or not. This answer to this question is it depends.

Looking at the video it looks like the drone is on private property and is far away from buildings or from people. The FAA does not have regulations that would stop a drone from being able to shoot a gun as long as it is not near a person.

Gun Laws and Regulations

The closest regulation for the time being is FAR 91.13 that does not allow reckless operation of aircrafts (this is under the Rafael Priker case) and 91.15 that does not allow the dropping of objects from a flying aircraft. Both of these regulations are only there to protect danger to property of lives. With the case of the drone it appears no one was in danger and there was no damage being done.

To determine if this matter is legal the state law will have to determine if the drone was violating any laws regarding the discharged of firearms. While each state has their own regulation it mostly comes down to if the gun was fired in a reckless manner or if there was a threat to others. It will also have to be determined if the gun was fired near an area that has been zoned for housing. Florida’s laws are available for review here.

Private Drones and Weapons

Should private drones be allowed to discharged or carry weapons? Probably not.
A small drone is not likely to be used as a weapon. Anyone that has ever fired a gun before can attest to the kickback from the gun. This would more than likely knock the drone out of the sky.

Future of Drones and Guns

The video does prove a point however. The person operating the drone does not seem to have any control over the gun. That is something that many gun owners frown upon.
With that said there may be someone current developing a drone paint ball gun. It is going to be interesting to see what type of regulations the FAA and firearm laws set for drones.

Across the pond

We reached out to drone colleagues across the pond in the UK, to hear their perspective. Unsurprisingly the story was met with a mixture of incredulity and laughter – the Brits see the weaponization of consumer drones as an inevitable and uniquely American problem. “We’re over here using drones for aerial filming, whilst you guys are blowing each other out of the sky”, quipped our correspondent. Regardless of the international view, drones are here to stay – and guns are a part of our country that, like it or not, runs through the core of many a citizen. Only time will tell how this story ends.

Legal Issues Regarding Shot Down Drone


A few months ago we reported that a Kentucky man, William Merideth had been arrested for shooting down a drone that belonged to his neighbor.

Reasons for not convicting Merideth

The Kentucky Police arrested Merideth who was charged with the wanton destruction of property after the drone was shot down. However when the case was heard at the Bullitt County District Court the judge dropped charges as witnesses backed his claim that the drone was flying low over his property.

The drone belonged to his neighbor David Boggs, who claimed that the drone had been flying at a greater height over Meridith’s property and had not been affecting his privacy. After the drone was shot down its memory card was lost and Boggs could not prove his version of events.

Do Kentucky citizens have the right to shoot down drones?

Effectively this ruling means that Kentucky citizens have the right to shoot down drones flying over their properties should they regard it as an invasion of their privacy. Surprisingly perhaps Merideth himself urged that people should not shoot down drones as soon as one flies over their properties. He did state that Boggs had flown a drone over his property several times.

Kentucky planning an anti – drone law

The Kentucky legislature is planning an anti – drone law to be passed during 2016. This law would give property owners the right to shoot down any drone flying over their properties immediately. Whilst the law is intended to protect both property and privacy it would seriously restrict the ability of people to fly drones.

Is Kentucky going to be a no drone zone?

The Merideth ruling if combined with the new law could make the state of Kentucky a virtual no drone zone as people could shoot them down at will. Indeed if passed the law would entitle residents to ask the Police to shoot drones down.

Success Tips for Law Students

111026-N-HW977-024 RIVERSIDE, Calif. (Oct. 26, 2011) A radio-controlled drone, dubbed "Navy STEM Drone," flies near audience members before the Oh! Zone show at the 12th annual Science Technology Education Partnership (STEP) Conference. The event introduced nearly 2,500 4th through 8th grade students to career opportunities in science and engineering. (U.S. Navy photo by Greg Vojtko/Released)
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (Oct. 26, 2011) A radio-controlled drone, dubbed “Navy STEM Drone,” flies near audience members before the Oh! Zone show at the 12th annual Science Technology Education Partnership (STEP) Conference. The event introduced nearly 2,500 4th through 8th grade students to career opportunities in science and engineering. (U.S. Navy photo by Greg Vojtko/Released)

Create an outline for each class
Creating your own outline will prepare you better than the commercial prepared outlines from the professor or his senior student aides. This will help you master what the class will be about and how it is going to be taught. Do this as soon as you can, not once you reach the reading period.

Do the reading! Do not get behind, you will never catch up no matter how good your intentions. Once you get behind you will be lost.

Be Present
Be present in class, every class. There will be information covered in class that you will not have if you are not there, some of it will be on your exams!

Do reviews – student or professor led
Attend any review sessions that you can find. Whether it is by peers or professors. This will help you retain more information and clarify anything that you may not be clear about.

Do not procrastinate
This is law school! You cannot wait until the night before a paper is due to start it. You must plan ahead and work on it during the time between assignment and due dates.

Does the Geographical Location of Your Law School Decide Where You Will Work?

Choosing your law school is very important, not just for the ranking of the school’s academics, but for the future career options as well. Local law professionals are more likely to recruit a local law student, than one that is from across the country. This means that you need to plan ahead, way beyond your education choices.

Regional law professionals know the local schools and what type of professionals they turn out. They also are apt to be involved on campus in lectures or special events. Recruiting events are more generally local as well. Being the case, this means you almost need to work backwards in your goals of choosing a law school. Decide what geographical location you will want to work, or specific firms you want to target then choose regional schools accordingly.

The exception to this rule is if you attend one of the major Top 20 Law Schools in the country. If this is true you have much broader options of career choices after graduation. Top firms will recruit from these schools as well as regional schools. Keeping both these factors in mind while applying to law schools will increase your career options later.

Talking Bar Exam Prep with Steve Liosi

A Professional CA Bar Exam Tutor & Mentor Shares His Bar Exam Prep Advice

Steve Liosi was recently interviewed by Michelle Fabio, of About.com, a Website suite operated by the New York Times
MICHELLE FABIO (F): How important is it that law school graduates take the first bar exam offered after graduation?

STEVE LIOSI (L): Fairly important, but not an absolute prerequisite to passing. Sometimes, life gets in the way of taking the bar exam right after graduation. And if that happens to a candidate, not all is lost. Taking the next bar exam would be soon enough.

In a perfect world, though, taking the bar exam administered right after graduation would be the best plan, as at least some of the pertinent law would be fresh in your mind. The more bars that pass after graduation, the greater the chances of your legal knowledge diminishing. It is best if the bar review process, at least when it comes to the black-letter law, is a mere review of the law and not a process where the candidate is actually learning the law.

Too many students think the bar review process is a 6-8 week cram session, and that would be an OK perception if the bar exam was simply testing a person’s ability to memorize. But, the bar exam is testing a candidate’s analytical skills, problem-solving skills, and that reality segues nicely into the next question.


FABIO: How long before the bar exam should they start bar exam prep—and when should they stop?

LIOSI: My knowledge of the bar exam is confined to the California bar exam and I will answer this question from that perspective.

California is considered the nation’s most difficult bar exam to pass, and it’s not because of the law. California’s bar exam covers 17 subjects, while some bar exams cover 24 subjects. And the states that have its candidates responsible for 24 subjects have higher pass rates than California. So, it is not the law covered, nor the amount of law covered that makes California’s bar exam the most difficult.

So, if it is not the law, what, then, makes California’s bar exam the nation’s most difficult? Easy answer: the written portion of the exam. Superior writing skills are required to pass California’s bar exam. For example, in New York, a candidate has approximately 30 minutes to craft an essay response, which necessarily implies the emphasis is on issue spotting. In California, however, a candidate has an entire hour to respond to a fact pattern, which necessarily implies the emphasis is on both issue spotting and analysis. With that extra half hour, you’d better demonstrate the ability to analyze.

So, how long before the bar exam should a student start bar exam prep? My experience says anywhere from 3 to 6 months before the exam. In California, starting 8 weeks beforehand simply isn’t optimal for the majority of students.

For example, I began preparing for the California bar exam at the beginning of my last year of law school. I made sure that I not only memorized law, but I made sure that I fully understood the law. There is a significant difference between the two that gets lost on a lot in candidates. And, I made sure that I was skillful enough to pass the exam. In other words, I made sure that I knew how to recognize the legal significance of facts, and I made sure that I knew how to think and write in an analytical, problem-solving fashion.

FABIO: How do preparing for law school exams and preparing for the bar exam differ? How are they similar?

LIOSI: The main difference between the two is the amount of material one is responsible for. In an average semester, a law student is typically responsible for only 3-5 subjects, not 17.

And, from a writing perspective, the differences are great. For the most part, especially for 1Ls, law school is an issue-spotting contest, and not a contest of analysis. Of course there are differences among professors, but, for the most part, the best issue-spotters get the best grades in law school.

But California bar graders are looking for both: issue spotting and analysis.

With everything else being equal, analysis is at a premium when it comes to passing the California bar exam. And issue spotting is usually at a premium when it comes to passing a law school final. But, this is not to imply that your law school essays should be void of analysis. Superior law school responses, like superior bar exam responses, will be skillful at both issue-spotting and analysis.

Ultimately, law students need to cater to their professor’s idiosyncrasies. Some professors insist on rule statements in an essay response, some don’t. Some professors want you to begin with a roadmap lead-in paragraph, some don’t. Some professors want you to cite pertinent case names, some don’t. Some professors want you to argue from a public-policy perspective, some don’t. None of the aforementioned would be a necessary ingredient of a well-crafted bar exam essay.

FABIO: Even if they don’t do anything else to prepare for the bar exam, what is the single most important thing bar exam takers can do to be ready?

LIOSI: Understand – really understand – that the bar exam is a problem-solving speed exam and it is not simply an opportunity to demonstrate how much law you have memorized along the way. Once this realization is made, the candidate will place most of their efforts on becoming skillful enough to pass. Knowing the law in and of itself does not mean you know how to recognize the legal significance of facts, does not mean you know how to write in an analytical, problem-solving fashion. Understanding that your thought process is being tested is the single most important thing a bar exam taker can do to become ready, as it will ultimately impact – in a positive way – how they prepare for the exam.

FABIO: How do you feel the bar exam relates to success in legal practice, if at all?

LIOSI: This is simply my opinion, based on absolutely no empirical data. Of course, success is an “ambiguous” concept. If success is predicated solely on the accumulation of wealth, the bar exam has little to do with that kind of success. There are numerous attorneys who struggled with the bar exam, but end up very wealthy individuals. A friend of mine, who took the California bar exam four times before finally passing, is a multi-millionaire, all from the practice of law. So wealthy that he has been known to bet over $100,000 on a single horse race!

Ultimately, I think one’s propensity for building a successful legal practice, whether that success is measured by the accumulation of wealth or a positive societal impact, comes more from desire, people skills and a belief in one’s self, than it comes from any aspect of the bar exam.

FABIO: Finally, on a personal level, what inspired you to become a bar exam prep instructor?

LIOSI: I was born with the heart and soul of a teacher. In law school, I was always helping other students with the law school process. In fact, I helped some of them get the highest grades in their class and I helped some of them avoid academic dismissal. Plus, at the risk of sounding immodest, I knew that I was more talented than most of the people already involved in the business, especially when it came to helping people write better exams. But there were a few great ones in the business that I admired and who inspired me to make a career of helping law students and bar candidates: Bob Feinberg, the founder of PMBR; Bob Hull, a lecturer for a California-specific bar review; and, of course, Wentworth Miller, of LEEWS fame.

And in law school, I was inspired by one of my professors, Jeremy Miller, the founding Dean of Chapman Law School. He taught me, by example, that a no-nonsense, plain-English teaching style, designed to help rather than intimidate, always worked best.

Steve Liosi is the Program Director of Barperfect bar review, which was founded in 1994. For information about Barperfect’s offerings for law students and bar candidates, visit www.barperfect.com.

California Bar Predictions

Looking for bar predictions to the February 2015 California Club Exam?

Right here you go! Within this Part 1 video, Doctor. Saccuzzo helps make his essay predictions to the February 2015 California Nightclub Exam.
He recaps what subjects have been tested inside the essays for that July 2014 California Club Exam, then he anticipates what you are very likely to encounter from the essays for the February 2015 California Bar Exam.

In Part 2 he goes a step further and breaks down the predictions by sub-topic. Take pleasure in!


Bar Predictions Video