Similar bills look to restrict drone usage by police

By KBJR News 1

March 10, 2014 Updated Mar 10, 2014 at 10:49 PM CDT

St. Paul, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Minnesota lawmakers are keeping their eyes to the skies as they tackle several bills restricting the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones.

Several similar bills call for prohibiting law enforcement agencies from using drones, armed with a camera, to gather evidence on people, without a warrant or imminent threat.

One bill, authored by a House Republican, rules out drone use for patrol, but says it does keep an officer's safety in mind.

"Talking with sheriffs and police chiefs, it's a wonderful tool that can be used, if it's used probably. They're concerned if it starts before we get rules and regulations and start using them improperly, a judge or Supreme Court, could remove that tool altogether from law enforcement use," said Rep. Brian Johnson (R-District 32A)

Three bills restricting drone usage will be heard during Tuesday's House Public Safety Finance and Policy committee hearing.

Written by Kevin Jacobsen
Bio - Facebook - Twitter - E-Mail