mobile btn
Monday, February 6th, 2023

Bill seeks to criminalize dangerous drone activity

© Shutterstock

U.S. Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and Mark Kelly (D-AZ) introduced this week the Drone Act of 2022, which seeks to criminalize dangerous drone activity, including actions of drug and human traffickers embracing drone technology to facilitate operations.

The legislators noted that criminals have begun attaching weapons to drones, posing national security and public safety concerns.

“From the southern border to cities across the country, criminals are using drones to smuggle drugs, weapons and commit crimes that put Americans at risk,” Cassidy said. “We must confront this new threat.”

The lawmakers cited a circumstance in which Rezwan Ferdus pleaded guilty to charges of attempting to damage federal buildings, with authorities determining he was developing a high-speed drone capable of attacking the Pentagon with grenades.

“As drone technology advances and drone usage becomes more widespread, it’s imperative that we modernize the law to deter criminal activity,” Grassley said. “Drones offer great potential for revolutionizing how we do business in this country, and a lot of work went into making sure this bill wouldn’t stifle all the positive aspects of drone innovation. A lot of work also went into making sure this bill gives law enforcement the tools it needs to go after terrorists and drug cartels that use drones to advance their criminal enterprises.”

Grassley said he would continue to work with his legislative colleagues to ensure drone laws strike the right balance, improving efficiency for businesses, law enforcement, military operations, and recreation while curbing what should be illegal activity.

“It’s critical that we give law enforcement the tools to accomplish its mission of keeping our communities safe and our borders secure against criminal organizations,” Kelly said.