Bill would limit law enforcements’ UAV reach

Ohio’s drone industry has barely taken off, yet some state lawmakers want to limit law enforcement officers’ use of the unmanned aerial vehicles.

Rep. Rex Damschroder, R-Fremont, said House Bill 207 is not an “anti-drone bill,” but is an attempt to preserve personal freedom and privacy ahead of the industry, he said.

“These are going to get more in your backyard than you’ve ever seen with aircraft,” Damschroder, who is a pilot, told lawmakers on the House Transportation, Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee during the bill’s first hearing Tuesday.

The legislation would prohibit use of drones by law enforcement without a search warrant. Officers could also employ drones to prevent imminent harm, serious damage, escape of a suspect or destruction of evidence. Exceptions also could be made for national terrorist attacks.

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