Florida Senate Passes Anti-Drone Bill, 39-0

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (April 10, 2013) – A bill restricting the use of drones in the Sunshine State unanimously passed the Florida Senate Wednesday morning.

SB92 would prohibit any law enforcement agency from using unmanned drones to gather evidence or other information without a warrant.

“A law enforcement agency may not use a drone to gather evidence or other information.”

The bill opens the door for any person whose privacy is violated by a drone to take civil action and would also make any evidence gathered in violation of the act inadmissible in court.

The act makes its only exception allowing for the use of drones “to counter a high risk of a terrorist attack by a specific individual or organization if the United States Secretary of Homeland Security determines that credible intelligence indicates that there is such a risk.”

The Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act passed 39-0 with one Senator not voting.  (See the roll call HERE)

Sen. Joe Negron sponsored the bill.

“I believe it achieves a delicate balance between security and freedom,” he said before the full Senate vote.

SB92 sailed through five committee hearings with unanimous approval in each.

“I believe that privacy should be protected and I look forward to signing Sen. Negron’s drone bill. This law will ensure that the rights of Florida families are protected from the unwarranted use of drones and other unmanned aircraft,” Florida Governor Rick Scott said.

The House companion bill HB119 must now be passed before “the drone bill” can become law.

Details

South Carolina a Step Closer to Nullifying Obamacare

A bill that would nullify the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in South Carolina through noncompliance passed out of a House committee Tuesday.

The Republican controlled House Judiciary Committee approved H3101 by a 14-9 vote along partisan lines.

The bill originally included penalties on federal agents who enforced the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,  but sources close to the Tenth Amendment Center  indicate the bill was dead with penalties included, and they were amended out.

(3) It is the stated policy of the South Carolina general assembly that provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 grossly exceeds the powers delegated to the federal government in the Constitution.

(4) The provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 which exceed the limited powers granted to Congress pursuant to the Constitution, cannot and should not be considered the supreme law of the land.

(5,) The General Assembly of South Carolina has the absolute and sovereign authority to interpose and refuse to enforce the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 that exceed the authority of the Congress.

The bill also prohibits state cooperation with implementation  of the unconstitutional federal act within the state.

(A) No agency of the State, officer or employee of this State, acting on behalf of the state, may engage in an activity that aids any agency in the enforcement of those provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 and any subsequent federal act that amends the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 that exceed the authority of the United States Constitution.

(B) The General Assembly…is empowered to take all necessary actions to ensure that the provisions of subsection (A) of this code section are adhered to by all agencies, departments and political subdivisions of the State.

Details

Missouri House Committee votes to Nullify All Federal Gun Control Efforts

In Missouri yesterday, the State House General Laws committee voted 9-3 in favor of HB436, the 2nd Amendment Preservation Act.   If passed into law, the bill would nullify virtually every federal gun control measure on the books.  It reads, in part:

All federal acts, laws, orders, rules, and regulations, whether past, present, or future, which infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 23 of the Missouri Constitution shall be invalid in this state, shall not be recognized by this state, shall be specifically rejected by this state, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in this state.

(2) Such federal acts, laws, orders, rules, and regulations include, but are not limited to:
(a) The provisions of the federal Gun Control Act of 1934;
(b) The provisions of the federal Gun Control Act of 1968;
(c) Any tax, levy, fee, or stamp imposed on firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition not common to all other goods and services which could have a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens;
(d) Any registering or tracking of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition which could have a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens;
(e) Any registering or tracking of the owners of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition which could have a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens;
(f) Any act forbidding the possession, ownership, or use or transfer of any type of firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition by law-abiding citizens; and
(g) Any act ordering the confiscation of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition from law-abiding citizens.

There is no stronger protection for the right to keep and bear arms anywhere in the country – if passed into law.  Currently that title goes to Kansas, where an almost-as-strong bill is sitting on Governor Brownback’s desk awaiting signature or veto.

Details

Action Alert: Tennessee Drone Bill Moves to Full Senate Thursday

droneSB0796, sponsored by Sen. Mae Beavers to provide strict regulation for the use of drones in Tennessee will go to the full senate for a vote on Thursday, April 11. Its companion bill HB0591 sponsored by Rep. James Van Huss has made it to the House Calendar and Rules Committee and will be heard on Wednesday, April 10 and is expected to be scheduled for a vote in the House shortly.

The “Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act” will address the specter of unconstitutional drone surveillance. It will require any use of drone technology in the state of Tennessee to do one of the following:

  • Provide credible risk of terrorist attack from the Secretary of Homeland Security,
  • Provide a search warrant signed by a judge authorizing the use of a drone, or
  • Provide evidence of reasonable suspicion that there is an immediate threat such that “swift action is needed to prevent imminent danger to life.”

There is also provision for aggrieved parties to file suit against done operators for civil damages and the bill also disallows the use in court of any evidence collected in violation of the bill.

Details

The Keystone(d) State?

Last week Pennsylvania State Senator Daylin Leach introduced Senate Bill No. 528, known as the “Regulate Marijuana Act,” which decriminalizes the sale and use of marijuana for persons 21 years of age and older. Citing the efficient use of law enforcement resources, the potential tax bonanza and individual freedom, SB 528 ends criminal penalties and prosecution of cannabis users and small backyard growers, saving taxpayers tens of millions of dollars per year, according to Leach.

“Lives are being destroyed by prohibition,” observed Leach, making the case that the health and safety of Pennsylvania would be better served if marijuana were regulated in a manner similar to alcohol.

Leach’s decriminalization bill is actively backed by the non-partisan Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Pennsylvania Veterans for Marijuana Legalization and cleverly-named Pennsylvania Hempland Security.

The bill is not without its flaws. Most detrimentally SB 528 gives the state Liquor Control Board a near monopoly on the wholesale and retail distribution of marijuana, in the manner of Pennsylvania’s much maligned government retail sales of wine and spirits. Still, the bill attempts to reclaim state sovereignty against unconstitutional federal regulation, which is a welcome assertion of state rights secured by the Tenth Amendment.

Details