Gov. Jerry Brown Vetoes Law Against Drones, Cites Mass Incarceration Problem
Patrick T. Fallon/Reuters
California Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed Saturday three pieces of legislation that would have criminalized civilians’ flying aerial drones over certain public and private spaces, the Los Angeles Times reported. Despite alarm over close-call collisions with firefighting aircraft, Brown said unmanned drones flying over wildfires, schools, prisons and jails is a nuisance not worth the strain that new penalties would pose on the criminal justice system.
There are already drone laws in place, and the vetoed legislation would have just added more, the Democratic leader said. Moreover, he added, the state’s voluminous criminal code contributes to a culture of mass incarceration.
“Each of these bills creates a new crime — usually by finding a novel way to characterize and criminalize conduct that is already proscribed,” Brown wrote in a veto statement released Saturday. “This multiplication and particularization of criminal behavior creates increasing complexity without commensurate benefit.”
Planes without a pilot in the seat are the future of aviation, top Navy officials have said, but aircraft carriers are in a holding pattern as they wait for the Navy’s embattled next-generation carrier drone to get off the ground.
The House and Senate Armed Services committees agreed to invest $350 million next year into pre-acquisition projects for the Unmanned Carrier-Launched Aerial Strike and Surveillance program. In the meantime, some in the carrier Navy would like to get some more practice before UCLASS comes online around 2025.
But that’s complicated, said one unmanned aviation expert, because the Navy doesn’t want to keep flying a drone designed by one company while it’s asking all of them to compete for the follow-on.