Tennessee House Adds to Drone Ban Bill

Apr 12, 2013

Credit NOAA

The Tennessee House has passed a bill banning most warrantless surveillance by unmanned drones, but added a last-minute exemption for events featuring large crowds.

The chamber voted 91-0 Thursday in favor of the bill sponsored by Republican Rep. James "Micah" Van Huss, who is a former Marine with experience piloting drones.

Fellow Republican Rep. Vince Dean added the late change to the bill to ensure that police would be able to use drones for events like Chattanooga’s Riverbend Festival, University of Tennessee football games or NASCAR races in Bristol. Dean says the drones would help law enforcement "protect life and property" at such events.

The Senate would have to agree to the change before it could head to the governor's desk.