Dad, son fight FAA over gun-firing, flame-throwing drones

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HARTFORD — The Federal Aviation Administration and a Connecticut father and son are headed for a court showdown over whether the agency can force them to disclose information about drones shown in YouTube videos firing a gun and deploying a flame thrower in their backyard.

Nineteen-year-old Austin Haughwout  of Clinton and his father, Bret Haughwout, are refusing to comply with FAA subpoenas.

A hearing on the dispute is set for July 6 before federal Judge Jeffrey Meyer in New Haven.

The Haughwouts’ lawyer says the subpoenas violate his clients’ constitutional rights and he questions the agency’s authority to regulate recreational drones.

The FAA says the subpoenas are part of a legitimate investigation into potential violations of its regulations banning people from operating aircraft in a reckless manner.

Two years ago, while flying a drone above Hammonasset Beach, a sunbathing woman came after Haughwout, claiming he was she didn’t want to be recorded by the camera on the drone. She was later placed on probation for the assault.

The younger Haughwout was arrested last week on charges in connection with child pornography. These charges were a result of a nearly year-long investigation after police seized Haughwout’s phone and other electronics after he allegedly assaulted cops as he was turning himself in for a traffic related arrest last July.