This legislative package is a state-level response to the forthcoming expansion of drone-use by law enforcement agencies within the United States.  There are two versions of the legislation that are both ready for introduction in your state.

The first requires that a warrant be issued before any law enforcement agency uses a drone within the state.  The legislation is restrictive enough that drone use would be severely curtailed.

The second is a full ban on the use of drones by law enforcement, criminalizing their use.

Activists, we encourage you to send this to your state senators and representatives – and ask them to introduce this legislation in your state.

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PRIVACY PROTECTION ACT V1: WARRANT REQUIREMENT FOR BOTH STATE AND FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES PRIOR TO THE USE OF DRONES

SECTION 1. [STATE] General Laws, Chapter ____ of Title _____ is hereby amended by adding thereto this section:

– Warrant Required for the Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) by Law Enforcement–

(a) The general assembly finds and declares the following:

(1) The right to privacy is fundamental in a free and civilized society;

(2) Persons within the State of [STATE] have a reasonable and justifiable expectation of privacy that they will not be monitored with UAVs by law enforcement agents of the United States or law enforcement agents of the State of [STATE] without a warrant based on probable cause first issuing;

(3) The potential benefit to law enforcement and criminal justice from the use of UAVs without a warrant first issuing is far outweighed by the degradation to the fundamental right to privacy secured by the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of [STATE] that will result from law enforcement use of UAVs without first obtaining a warrant;

(4) The use of UAVs by law enforcement without first obtaining a warrant is repugnant to a free society.

(b) Any law enforcement agent of the United States that shall utilize a UAV for any purpose whatsoever within the airspace of the State of [STATE] without first obtaining a warrant shall be guilty of a Class A Misdemeanor.

(c) Any law enforcement agent of the State of [STATE] that shall utilize a UAV for any purpose whatsoever within the airspace of the State of [STATE] without first obtaining a warrant shall be guilty of a Class A Misdemeanor.

(d) Any person that shall knowingly, or under facts where the person should know, assist any person or entity to violate section (b) or (c) of this chapter shall be guilty of a Class A Misdemeanor.

(e) Any information gathered by a UAV without a warrant, and any information gathered as a result of the use of a UAV without a warrant, is declared inadmissible in any civil or criminal court of law in the State of [STATE].

(f) As used in this section, “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles” and “UAVs” are any aircraft without a human pilot on board.

(g) As used in this section, “law enforcement agent of the United States” is any officer, employee or agent of the United States, or any officer employee or agent of a branch, department or agency of the United States, or any person or entity acting under contract with the United States or any branch, department or agency thereof, for the purpose of law enforcement or criminal justice.

(h) As used in this section, “law enforcement agent of the State of [STATE]” is any officer, employee or agent of the State of [STATE], or any officer employee or agent of a branch, department or agency of the State of [STATE], or any person or entity acting under contract with the State of [STATE] or any branch, department or agency thereof, for the purpose of law enforcement or criminal justice.

(i) As used in this section, a “warrant” shall be issued by a duly authorized State magistrate or judge, or a Federal magistrate or judge, using the procedures established by applicable law. Any such warrant shall be based on probable cause established by oath or affirmation, shall be obtained prior to the use of a UAV, and shall expire twenty-four (24) hours after issuance.

(j) This section shall be construed broadly to effect the legislative intent of requiring a warrant prior to the use of UAVs within the State of [STATE] by law enforcement, and requiring a warrant in order for any information obtained by a UAV, or as a result of the use of a UAV, to be admissible in a court of law.

(k) Severability: If any provision, portion or subdivision of this Act is or becomes illegal, such illegality shall not affect the remainder of this Act.

SECTION 2: This act takes effect immediately upon approval by the Governor.

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PRIVACY PROTECTION ACT V2: BAN ON THE USE OF DRONES BY FEDERAL AND STATE AGENCIES

SECTION 1. [STATE] General Laws, Chapter ____ of Title _____ is hereby amended by adding thereto this section:

– Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) by Law Enforcement Banned –

(a) The general assembly finds and declares the following:

(1) The right to privacy is fundamental in a free and civilized society.

(2) Persons within the State of [STATE] have a reasonable and justifiable expectation of privacy that they will not be monitored with UAVs by law enforcement agents of the United States or law enforcement agents of the State of [STATE].

(3) The potential benefit to law enforcement and criminal justice from the use of UAVs is far outweighed by the degradation to the fundamental right to privacy secured by the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of [STATE] that will result from law enforcement’s use of UAVs.

(4) The use of UAVs by law enforcement is repugnant to a free society.

(b) Any law enforcement agent of the Federal Government that shall utilize a UAV for any purpose whatsoever within the airspace of the State of shall be guilty of a Class A Misdemeanor.

(c) Any law enforcement agent of the State of [STATE] that shall utilize a UAV for any purpose whatsoever within the airspace of the State of [STATE] shall be guilty of a Class A Misdemeanor.

(d) Any person that shall knowingly, or under facts where the person should know, assist any person or entity to violate section (b) or (c) of this chapter shall be guilty of a Class A Misdemeanor.

(e) Any information gathered by a UAV, and any information gathered as a result of the use of a UAV, whether by said law enforcement agents, or otherwise, is declared inadmissible in any civil or criminal court of law in the State of [STATE].

(f) As used in this section, “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles” and “UAVs” are any aircraft without a human pilot on board.

(g) As used in this section, “law enforcement agent of the United States” is any officer, employee or agent of the United States, or any officer employee or agent of a branch, department or agency of the United States, or any person or entity acting under contract with the United States or any branch, department or agency thereof, for the purpose of law enforcement or criminal justice.

(h) As used in this section, “law enforcement agent of the State of [STATE]” is any officer, employee or agent of the State of [STATE], or any officer employee or agent of a branch, department or agency of the State of [STATE], or any person or entity acting under contract with the State of [STATE] or any branch, department or agency thereof, for the purpose of law enforcement or criminal justice.

(i) This section shall be construed broadly to effect the legislative intent of banning the use of UAVs by law enforcement, and any information obtained as a result of the use of UAVs by law enforcement, within the State of [STATE].

(j) Severability: If any provision, portion or subdivision of this Act is or becomes illegal, such illegality shall not affect the remainder of this Act.

SECTION 2: This act takes effect immediately upon approval by the Governor.

**Legislation drafted by Blake Filippi

Blake Filippi [send him email] is a Legal Analyst for the Tenth Amendment Center. He is also the director of the Rhode Island Liberty Coalition, a constitutional attorney and the initial author of resolutions opposing NDAA detention provisions being introduced around the country. Visit RI Liberty online at www.riliberty.com.

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