After watching the many oppositions to Nullification bills across the country, I was pleasantly surprised that the state of Tennessee was not one of these. In the case of drones used locally, usually anti-drone bills are opposed by lobbyists asking “what about all the jobs it will make” and some local law enforcement wanting bribe from the feds to get a drone. The exact opposite happened here in Nashville!

This week’s hearing started off with Representative Van Huss talking about the bill to nullify drones in Tennessee. He talked about an amendment in HB591. This amendment would allow a search warrant to be issued after 48 hours after an event that was captured by a drone’s surveillance.

Representative Mike Carter asked, “Why not just get a warrant prior? Why get a warrant after 48 hours? I want it to be used like the regular established procedures for warrants. I want a judge to say, this person’s privacy needs to be invaded.”

Representative Jon Lundberg added, “The way this is drafted would have the antithesis.”

Representative Carter stated, The amendment liberalizes where I want to go. If a warrant is not required for a helicopter (in this scenario) than why for a drone?

Representative Womick was under the impression that drones were only used by the military and vehemently opposed to the military operating in Tennessee. However, Representative Carter corrected him, “Drones are used by counties. Hamilton County bought one for $300,000 and no one knows how to fly it! This isn’t just for predator drones, this is for every drone.”

At which point, Representative Van Huss wanted to strike down his amendment. But that wasn’t good enough. Representative Stewart said, there is general support for this bill, but it needs some fine tuning. We should send it to the hill!

With that, the committee voted for the bill to be sent to the hill so it allowed time to rewrite weak parts of the bill. The only voice disenting in this hearing was that the bill was too weak! No member would vote for the bill as written. It needs to be stronger! But this bill didn’t need penalties to make it stronger. It needed strict adherence to the constitution. What a proud day to be a Tennessean!

Please thank the committee and sponsor for this bill! It shows how great the only special interest on the floor today was liberty. We still have a ways to go, but Tennessee is leading by example! Let’s see this one out!

Rep. James Van Huss, Sponsor (615) 741-1717

Rep. Jim Coley, Chair

Rep. Mike Carter

Rep. Vance Dennis

Rep. Andrew Farmer

Rep. Sherry Jones

Rep. Jon Lundberg

Rep. Mike Stewart

Rep. Rick Womick

Kelli Sladick

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