Texas Senate Passes Bill to Nullify Warrantless Drone Spying, 29-1

A bill has passed through the Texas State Senate that aims to protect the privacy of their residents from the police state by instituting strict limitations on the use of unmanned drones in surveillance by law enforcement.

Dubbed the ‘Texas Privacy Act’, H.B. 912 is an attempt to rein in potential abuses related to the rapidly-developing drone technology that has made its hands into the hands of government at the state and federal levels. The bill was originally authored by Rep. Gooden (R-District 4) and has amassed over 100 co-sponsors since it was introduced Feb. 1, showing vast and bipartisan support for stopping the government’s Orwellian takeover of our skies.

The House passed the bill by a vote of 128-11 on May 10th. (roll call here)  And last Friday the Senate passed a slightly amended version of the bill by a vote of 29-1. (roll call here).  HB912 will now go back to the State House to either concur on the amendments or form a conference committee to approve a final version acceptable to both the House and Senate.  Then it’s off to Governor Perry’s desk for a signature.

BILL INFORMATION

The bill states that “a person commits an offense if the person uses or authorizes the use of an unmanned vehicle or aircraft to capture an image without the express consent of the person who owns or lawfully occupies the real property captured in the image.” The offender would be charged with a Class C misdemeanor if they were caught violating this part of the law.

Data gathered by law enforcement illegally ‘may not be used as evidence in any criminal or juvenile proceeding, civil action, or administrative proceeding’ according to the bill and ‘is not subject to discovery, subpoena, or other means of legal compulsion for its release.’ This incentivizes police to not misuse the drone technology unless they wish to risk jeopardizing their entire investigation.

Details

Firearms Freedom Act Introduced in Texas

Introduced in the Texas State House last week was House Bill 145 (HB145), the Firearms Freedom Act. The bill, introduced by Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, states that:

The Legislature of the State of Texas declares that a firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition manufactured in Texas, as described by Chapter 2003, Business & Commerce Code, as added by this Act, that remains within the borders of Texas:

(1) has not traveled in interstate commerce; and
(2) is not subject to federal law or federal regulation, including registration, under the authority of the United States Congress to regulate interstate commerce.

Since 2009, 8 states have passed similar legislation as law – Montana, Tennessee, Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota, Idaho, Alaska and Arizona. And, here at the Tenth Amendment Center we expect to see at least a dozen other states consider Firearms Freedom Acts in 2011.

Details

10th Amendment Resolutions Introduced in Texas

The Texas legislature, back in action for the first time since the 2009 legislative session, is getting things rolling in regards to 10th Amendment legislation for the 2011 session. Two resolutions affirming sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment were prefiled on the first possible day, 11-08-10.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 1 (SCR1) was introduced by Senator Glenn Hegar, and House Concurrent Resolution 16 (HCR16) was introduced by Representative Brandon Creighton, whose HCR50 brought the issue and the discussion to the national limelight in 2009.

Both include similar language to assert a proper constitutional role for the state, such as:

The Tenth Amendment defines the total scope of federal power as being that specifically granted by the Constitution of the United States and no more

and

RESOLVED, That this serve as notice and demand to the federal government to cease and desist, effective immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally delegated powers

SCR1 takes a stronger position and alludes to a proper next step for the State, including:

RESOLVED, That the power over the freedom of the right to keep and bear arms was reserved to the states, and therefore, all acts of Congress to abridge that right are not law and are void; and, be it further

RESOLVED, That all compulsory federal legislation that directs states to comply under threat of civil or criminal penalties or sanctions or that requires states to pass legislation or lose federal funding be prohibited or repealed;

Details

Texas and the EPA

Texas vs. EPA update: At this moment, the State of Texas is clashing with the EPA over the EPA’s arbitrary and unconstitutional changes to the Clean Air Act.  (The EPA seems to have forgotten that Congress, not a department of the executive branch, writes our laws.)  The whole story is here: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/aug/25/texas-fights-global-warming-power-grab/?page=1 Texas Attorney General…

Details

New Grassroots Organization: WE TEXANS!

cross-posted from the Texas Tenth Amendment Center I thought the following invitation was worth sharing. Looks like a promising new grassroots group that likely will have a strong 10th amendment focus! —————————————————————————————— The battle for private property ownership and state sovereignty continues in Texas! I hope you will join me for the official launch party…

Details