Kansas House Considering Bill To Ban Drones

TOPEKA, Kan. (March 8, 2013) – On Thursday, Rep. Travis Couture-Lovelady (R-Palco)  introduced a bill to prohibit the use of drones by law enforcement in the skies over Kansas.

HB2394 prohibits the use of a drone by state or local law enforcement “to obtain evidence or other information.” It also bans any drone from operating in the state “while carrying a lethal payload.” There is no exception in the bill for drones operated by the federal government.

“In light of Rand Paul’s filibuster yesterday, I don’t think Kansas could have picked a better time to introduce an anti-drone bill,” Kansas Rep. Brett Hildabrand said.

The legislation does provide an exception for drone use to “counter a high risk of a terrorist attack, provided, the United States department of homeland security has determined that credible intelligence indicates that there is such a risk of a terrorist attack, and a search warrant has been obtained for such use of a drone.”

Under the proposed law, any evidence gathered by a drone would be inadmissible in court, and any person violated by a drone would enjoy civil remedies.


2nd Amendment Preservation Act Passes Utah House, 49-17

SALT LAKE CITY (March 8, 2013) – In Salt Lake City this morning, the Utah State House of Representatives voted to nullify all federal gun laws, rule, regulations and orders on firearms, firearm accessories and ammunition.

House Bill 114 (HB114), introduced by Representative Brian Greene state, in part:

An officer or employee of the federal government may not enforce or attempt to enforce any federal statute, order, rule, or regulation relating to the intrastate ownership, possession, sale, or transfer of a personal firearm, a firearm accessory, ammunition, or ammunition component.

The Utah House passed the bill by a vote of 49-17 (see how reps voted here)

HB114 also takes the strong constitutional position that laws which are contrary to the 2nd Amendment are no law at all:

finds that a federal statute, regulation, rule, or order that has the purpose, intent, or effect of confiscating or banning any firearm, firearm accessory, limiting the capacity of a firearm magazine, imposing any limitation on ammunition or an ammunition component, or requiring the registration of any firearm or ammunition infringes on the right of citizens of Utah to keep and bear arms as protected by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 6 of the Utah Constitution.

Alexander Hamilton proclaimed the same when he wrote the following in Federalist #78:


Bill Limiting Drones Passes North Dakota House, 60-31

Late last month, the North Dakota House passed a bill the would limit the use of drones in the skies over the Peace Garden State by a wide margin.

HB1373 severely restricts the use of drones by North Dakota law enforcement and also calls for a study to assess the use of drone based surveillance.

Except as provided in section 3 of this Act, a law enforcement agency may not use an unmanned aircraft for surveillance of a person within the state or for the surveillance of personal or business property located within the borders of the state to gather evidence or other information pertaining to criminal conduct, or conduct in violation of a statute or regulation except to the extent authorized in a warrant issued by a court which satisfies the requirements of the Constitution of North Dakota.

The bill would also ban the use of evidence gathered in violation of the law in court, and provides for civil remedies for anybody spied on in violation of the act.

HB1373 passed the House 60-31 on Feb. 22 and was moved on to the Senate for consideration.


New Issue Paper on the Interstate Threat of the anti-TABOR Lawsuit

As regular readers of this site know, a group of plaintiffs representing government interests has sued the State of Colorado, claiming that the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) in the state constitution violates the U.S. Constitution. Even though the claim is an exceptionally weak one, last year a federal district court allowed it to proceed.

That ruling is now on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

Although the plaintiffs’ immediate attack is on Colorado’s TABOR, the underlying theory of their lawsuit is far broader. Their theory is that in order for a state to comply with the U.S. Constitution’s requirement that a state have a “republican form of government,” its legislature must have unrestricted power to tax, spend, and borrow.