Arizona Representative Jeff Dial along with Represenatives Carl Seel, David W. Stevens, Bob Thorpe, Sonny Borrelli, Phil Lovas, Warren Petersen, Judy Burges, Brenda Barton have introduced a bill that would prohibit the unlawful use of drones to gather, store or collect evidence of any type, including audio or video recordings, or both, or other information that is not specifically outlined in a search warrant.
HB2574 would amend Arizona statutes by adding a section on drone use. The text of the bill states:
“It is unlawful for a law enforcement agency or a state, county or municipal agency to use a drone to gather, store or collect evidence of any type, including audio or video recordings, or both, or other information that is not specifically outlined in a search warrant. A law enforcement agency may not use drones for surveillance of citizens unless the citizen is specifically named on a valid search warrant.”
B. It is unlawful for a person to use drones to monitor other persons inside their homes or places of worship or within the closed confines of their property or other locations where a person would have an expectation of privacy. C. Evidence that is obtained or collected in violation of this section is not admissible in any civil or criminal proceeding and may not be used against a citizen, corporation or organization in any formal proceeding within this state for the purpose of enforcing state or local law. D. This section does not prohibit either:
1. The use of a drone by a law enforcement agency if the law enforcement agency first obtains a search warrant that authorizes the use of a drone and the use of the drone is used only to obtain evidence on the person named in the warrant. 2. The use of a drone by a law enforcement agency that is actively engaged in the enforcement of chapter 34 of this title or section 13‑2319 on public lands as defined in section 37‑901 or on private land with the written permission from the landowner. 3. A citizen from owning or operating a drone for lawful purposes.
Finally, the bill includes criminal penalties if violated as stated:
E. An aggrieved party may initiate a civil action against a law enforcement agency to obtain all appropriate relief in order to prevent, restrain or remedy a violation of this section. F. A person who violates this section is guilty of a class 6 felony. G. For the purposes of this section: 1. “Drone” means a powered or an unpowered aerial vehicle or a balloon float or other device that: (a) Does not carry a human operator. (b) Uses aerodynamic forces or gases to provide lift. (c) Can fly autonomously or be piloted remotely. (d) Can be expendable or recoverable. (e) Can carry a lethal or nonlethal payload.
2. “Law enforcement agency” means a lawfully established state or local public agency that is responsible for the prevention and detection of crime, the enforcement of local government codes and the enforcement of penal, traffic, regulatory, game or controlled substance laws and includes an agent of the law enforcement agency.
HB2574 has not been assigned to a Committee yet but should be soon.
LEGISLATION AND TRACKING
If you would like to see model legislation to introduce in your state to nullify unlawful drone use, please see The Tenth Amendment Center’s Model Legislation: Privacy Protection Act
Track the status of Privacy Protection Acts in states around the country HERE
If you live in Arizona, contact your state legislator. Let him or her know of your concern for the unlawful use of spy drones and that you expect support of this legislation. Click here for contact information.
If you live outside of Arizona, still contact your state legislator. Inform him or her that you hope similar legislation will be introduced in your state.
Also, you may want to contact the sponsors of this bill and thank them: Representatives Jeff Dial, Carl Seel, David W. Stevens, Bob Thorpe, Sonny Borrelli, Phil Lovas, Warren Petersen, Judy Burges, Brenda Barton