HB83, filed by Representative Gooden, will nullify drones being implemented in Texas. This bill has been co-sponsored by Representative Stephenson.

HB83, would make it a Class C misdemeanor to capture images with a drone without a warrant or probable cause of a felony, or imminent danger. “Illegal use of unmanned vehicle or aircraft to capture image. (a) 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… A civil penalty of $1,000, subject to adjustment of the dollar amount under for each image of the plaintiff or of the real property owned or legally occupied by the plaintiff that is captured, possessed, disclosed, displayed, distributed, or otherwise used;”

This bill is different the the FAA regulation that calls it fair play for drone surviellance within 100 miles of the border. HB83 limits using a drone surveillance, “of real property or a person on real property that
is within 25 miles of the United States border for the sole purpose of enforcing border laws.”

HB83 continues that, “a person commits an offense if the person possesses, discloses, displays, distributes, or otherwise uses an image” will be subject to a class c misdemeanor. “Each image a person possesses, discloses, displays,distributes, or otherwise uses in violation of this section is a separate offense. An offense under this section for the disclosure, display, distribution, or other use of an image is a Class B misdemeanor.”

Incidental images must be destroyed. Images “may not be used as evidence in any criminal or juvenile proceeding, civil action, or administrative proceeding; is not subject to disclosure, inspection, or

The WOAI News reported on Representative Gooden’s bill. “Texas would have the toughest anti-drone legislation in the country under a bill filed by State Rep. Lance Gooden.” Representative Gooden doesn’t want drones to be replacing cops. Instead, he wants to form legislation that would protect the jobs of police officers and the privacy of the residents of Texas. “Gooden says his measure is being introduced now, rather than five years from now when drones will become more ubiquitous, because now is the time to come up with laws, before there is a ‘drone lobby’ which will be out in force to protect the drone industry…Gooden’s bill would also prohibit federal law enforcement or federal officials from flying drones over Texas to spy on random citizens. Only individuals who are suspected with reasonable cause could be the target of drone surveillance, and only with a warrant issued by a judge of an open and public court.”

Representative Gooden concludes, “there are many legitimate uses for the new drone technology, from ranchers keeping an eye on cattle to Realtors getting interesting photographs of a home for a sales pitch. But he says now is the time for Texas to reassert their freedoms under the Fourth Amendment to be free from ‘unreasonable searches and seizures,’ even if that is done by a vehicle in the sky.”

Representative Gooden’s gives many examples which he explains in his bill and from the WOAI article, of why this legislation needs to be enacted now. He can be seen on a video from Texas Politics and can be viewed here.

This bill has not made it yet to committee.

Legislative Tracking

If you are not a Texas resident but would like to see anti-drone legislation filed in your state, please see the Tenth Amendment Center’s Model Legislation, the Privacy Protection Act. Get the bill here

CLICK HERE to track the status of similar legislation in stations around the country.

Action Items

If you want to see Texas have the strongest drones legislation in the Union, please contact your state representative here.

If you are a Texas resident, join us on our Facebook page here.

Kelli Sladick

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