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.
After Paul’s filibuster in the Senate, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder finally assured Americans that he didn’t believe the president was authorized to order the execution of Americans on American soil without due process.
“The president also assured me that he was closing down Guantanamo. We see the value of presidential assurances,” Tenth Amendment Center executive director Michael Boldin said. “We all know that feds aren’t going to release their grip on power. It’s up to the states to step in, interpose and provide some kind of shield for the people they serve.”
The Kansas bill goes a step beyond many of the proposed anti-drone measures, flat-out banning weaponized remotely piloted aircraft. And while the bill only limits information gathering by state and local authorities, the rapidly expanding number of states considering limits on drone use could have a major impact on federal policy. At this stage in the ‘drone game,’ the feds are working hard behind the scenes to get states to operate the drones for them. The Department of Homeland Security issues large grants to local governments for drone purchases. The goal? Fund a network of drones around the country, with the states bearing to operational burden. With a drone network crisscrossing the country, DHS can step in with requests for ‘information sharing.’
“Bills like these put a dent in this kind of long-term strategy. Without state and local communities operating the drones today, it’s going to be nearly impossible for DHS plans to – take off,” Boldin said.
HB2394 was referred to the Committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice.
1. Contact Committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice. If you live in Kansas, contact committee members and ask them to support HB2394. You can find committee contact information HERE. Also contact your own representative and ask him/her to support this legislation prohibiting drone use. You can find legislator contact information HERE.
2. Encourage your local community to take action as well. Present the Privacy Protection Act to your city county, your town council, or your county commissioners. Various local governments around the country are already passing similar resolutions and ordinances. Local legislative action present a great way to strengthen a statewide campaign against warrantless drone surveillance.
model legislation here:
3. Share this information widely. Please pass this along to your friends and family. Also share it with any and all grassroots groups you’re in contact with around the state. Please encourage them to email this information to their members and supporters.
LEGISLATION AND TRACKING
If you’re outside of Kansas, please contact your own legislators regarding anti-drone legislation. If none has been introduced in your state, you can email them The Privacy Protection Act model legislation.
Track the status of drone nullification in states around the country HERE