Another state legislature has the chance to come to its senses regarding the unwarranted use of surveillance drones on Americans. Tennessee Senator Mae Beavers (district 17) has joined Rep James Van Huss in the House (district 6 – H.B. 0591) with companion language that amends the Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 39, Chapter 13, Part 6. Known as the “Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act”. (S.B. 0796), section (c) states “Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, no law enforcement agency shall use a drone to gather evidence or other information.” Both bills were introduced February 4, 2013 and as of today, the House Bill passed second consideration, was referred to the Civil Justice Committee and in turn assigned to the Civil Justice Subcommittee.

Section (d) of the “Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act” provides that use of a drone shall not be prohibited:

(1) To counter a high risk of a terrorist attack by a specific individual or organization if the United States secretary of homeland d security determines that credible intelligence indicates that there is such a risk;

(2) If the law enforcement agency first obtains a search warrant signed by a judge authorizing the use of a drone; or

(3) If the law enforcement agency possesses reasonable suspicion that, under particular circumstances, swift action is needed to prevent imminent danger to life.

Both the progressive American Civil Liberties Union and the libertarian Rutherford Institute cheer legislative efforts to place strict limits on unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs. And, prodded by privacy groups, state lawmakers nationwide—Republicans and Democrats alike—have launched an all-out offensive against the unmanned aerial vehicles.

An appeal to Tennesseans – This legislation is an example of how your state can nullify federal government overreach and what we the people can do about it. If you value your privacy and the Constitution that supports it, here’s how to fight for both.


Call your state legislators and tell them to support the bills above now in committee.  Find their contact information here:


If you’re outside of these two states, please contact your own legislators regarding anti-NDAA 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

Doug Berge
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