The Drone Act of 2022, a bipartisan bill pushed by four representatives, aims to criminalize the dangerous use of drones. Activities that are already illegal under current laws and regulations.
Under the provisions of the Drone Act of 2022, people would be prohibited from affixing weapons to drones, removing identifying numbers and anti-collision lights from drones, and using drones to interfere with the activities of law enforcement, the military, or emergency response personnel.
In order to protect the safety and security of American citizens from the dangers posed by the misuse of unmanned technology, the four legislators who drafted the measure said that criminal punishment is required.
A fellow Democrat named Josh Gottheimer from New Jersey, as well as Republican Representatives Mike Gallagher from Wisconsin and Peter Meijer from Michigan, collaborated with Mr. Titus in the crafting of the measure.
People who are found guilty of smuggling Contraband into a correctional facility via a drone would get a penalty of ten years in jail under this bill.
“This legislation would help prevent increased risks to public safety and national security that are associated with drones by creating comprehensive federal criminal law prohibiting their most dangerous uses,” Reps. Dina Titus, a Nevada Democrat involved in the effort, said in a statement. “Most importantly, it would expressly prohibit attaching a weapon to a drone.”
According to the draft bill, there were 766 sightings of drones in restricted airspace during the first half of 2021, and there were 875 sightings of drones in restricted airspace during 2020.
Exemptions to the Drone Act of 2022
The Drone Act of 2022 provides exemptions for actions that are specifically permitted by the government.
The implementation of restrictions on the use of armed drones by government agencies in the United States inside their own borders has been met with resistance.
In 2012, an attempt to stop the Department of Homeland Security from using public money to acquire and operate unmanned aerial vehicles won approval in the House of Representatives but was ultimately left out of an appropriations measure that was enacted into law.
According to Mr. Meijer, one of the most essential considerations for the legislation was to ensure that only authorized members of the federal government have access to Drone Technology, while criminals are prevented from doing so.
“We must ensure that bad actors cannot use drones to facilitate illegal activity and cause harm to our society, and this is especially important at our southern border, where drug and human traffickers are known to use drones to commit crimes and bolster their operations,” he reportedly said in a statement.
Mr. Gottheimer specifically cited “confronting the threat of lone wolf ISIS-inspired terrorists” as part of his motivation for working on the legislation.
Let us know what you think of the Drone Act of 2022 in the comments below. We're curious to hear your thoughts on this topic. Is this an overreach when other laws and regulations already prohibit these activities?
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