One American state is proposing a hard line on drone-associated crime
DIRECT action against drones (see article) is one way to deal with those that are up to no good. In part of the United States, however, politicians propose to go after drone operators too, by making the use of a drone to commit a felony an aggravating action. A bill now being steered through Washington’s state legislature by Pam Roach, a state senator, would create an offence of “nefarious drone enterprise”.
So far, Mrs Roach’s proposal has passed votes in both houses of the legislature, winning the support of Democrat representatives and senators as well as that of her fellow Republicans. If she can succeed in attaching it to a forthcoming vote on the state’s budget, it could become law within weeks.
If that happens, anyone convicted of using an unmanned aerial vehicle to plan or carry out a felony would automatically have a year in prison tacked onto his sentence. Nefarious drone enterprise would thus join such activities as carrying a firearm (up to five years extra), trying to outrun a police car (one year) or being armed with a crossbow or hunting knife (at least six months).
Mrs Roach fears drones may be used to smuggle drugs into prisons, to help burglars scout empty houses or to enable poachers to track the state’s protected herds of Roosevelt elk. Not everyone, though, is convinced of the need for the law.
Read more: Drones and the law: Jail birds
The Latest on: Drone crime
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