Veteran seeks to limit police drones in Tennessee

3:30 PM, Mar 20, 2013   |    comments
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By KRISTIN M. HALL
Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tennessee lawmakers delayed a vote on a measure that seeks to restrict police agencies in the state from using unmanned drone aircraft.

The House civil affairs subcommittee on Wednesday pushed a vote on the proposal to next week.

The bill, called the "Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act," is sponsored by Rep. James "Micah" Van Huss, R-Jonesborough, who is in the Marine Corps Reserves and has experience piloting drones.

It would prohibit law enforcement agencies from using drones to gather evidence except in certain cases, such as to counter a terrorist attack, if a judge signs a search warrant authorizing the drone or if police believe there is imminent danger to life.
 
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By Kristin M. Hall, Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tennessee lawmakers are preparing to take up a measure that seeks to restrict police agencies in the state from using unmanned drone aircraft, and the sponsor is someone with experience piloting drones.

It's a hot topic both in Congress and on the state levels as the technology has rapidly outpaced regulations on the use of remotely piloted aircraft domestically. Currently, Tennessee law enforcement agencies are using drones only rarely.

Rep. James "Micah" Van Huss, R-Jonesborough, sponsored the bill that's scheduled to be considered in a House civil justice subcommittee Wednesday. Van Huss says he operated a surveillance drones while serving in Marine Corps, but he doesn't want that technology to target Americans.

The bill doesn't prohibit drones if police believe there's imminent danger to life, or if a search warrant is obtained.

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