According to DroneShield, the Australia-based company that makes the anti-drone technology, members of the Swiss police were armed with its the "DroneGun" and ready to take down any unidentified or dangerous drones, which they feared might facilitate terrorism or espionage. Despite the gadget's name and appearance, the DroneGun is not a firearm; it is a radio frequency jammer that can disable a drone's controls and force it to land.
"A high profile event with a number of VIPs attending is traditionally a potential target for such attacks, and with security traditionally designed to deal with threats from the ground, dealing with threats from above is a new area," says Oleg Vornik, a representative for DroneShield.
Vornik says the Swiss police did not say if officers had to use the DroneGun.
A drone gun might sound strange, but drones have become a serious threat to privacy and safety, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA has issued strict rules for when and where drones can be flown. According to the U.S. Military's Central Command, soldiers are seeing attacks waged by ISIS involving explosive-laden drones, NBC news reports. U.S. coalition forces report what they call "flying I.E.D.'s" almost daily.
During President Trump's inauguration, NBC reports, the U.S. Secret Service was ready for a drone attack, but it declined to say what kind of equipment or technology the agency uses.
Drones have previously landed near the White House, according to The Hill.
DroneShield says it is selling its technology to a number of police and law enforcement agencies around the world. The next major event where the DroneGun will be used is the Boston Marathon in April, where the Boston Police Department will be armed with the counter-drone technology.
Other customers include the Prime Minister of Turkey, the government security agency of "a major Asian country," NATO troops and other agencies and security organization around the world.