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City in Virginia Becomes First to Pass Anti-Drone Legislation

Home - by - February 6, 2013 - 08:00 America/New_York - 6 Comments

US News

Resolution bans all municipal agencies from buying or leasing drones

Charlottesville, Va., has become the first city in the United States to formally pass an anti-drone resolution.

The resolution, passed Monday, “calls on the United States Congress and the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia to adopt legislation prohibiting information obtained from the domestic use of drones from being introduced into a Federal or State court,” and “pledges to abstain from similar uses with city-owned, leased, or borrowed drones.”

The resolution passed by a 3-2 vote and was brought to the city council by activist David Swanson and the Rutherford Institute, a civil liberties group based in the city. The measure also endorses a proposed two-year moratorium on drones in Virginia.

Councilmember Dede Smith, who voted in favor of the bill, says that drones are “pretty clearly a threat to our constitutional right to privacy.”

“If we don’t get out ahead of it to establish some guidelines for how drones are used, they will be used in a very invasive way and we’ll be left to try and pick up the pieces,” she says.

The passed resolution is much less restrictive than the draft Swanson originally introduced, which would have sought to declare the city a “No Drone Zone” and would have tried to banned all drones over Charlottesville airspace “to the extent compatible with federal law.” The draft would have also banned all Charlottesville municipal agencies from buying, leasing, borrowing, or testing any drones.

Councilmember Dave Norris says the city has a “long tradition of promoting civil liberties.”

“It’s just part of our culture here,” he says.

Charlottesville is located 120 miles southwest of Washington, D.C., and has a population of about 43,000. The city is home to the University of Virginia, which has not tried to obtain a waiver to test drones from the Federal Aviation Administration.

more-  http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/02/05/city-in-virginia-becomes-first-to-pass-anti-drone-legislation-


  1. thirdtwin

    February 6th, 2013

    When Holder’s DOJ throws its weight behind GE’s or Raytheon’s challenge to the ordinance as being an unconstitutional impediment to free enterprise, we will truly be on the other side of the looking glass. I wonder if the ACLU will be there with us.

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  2. BILL

    February 6th, 2013

    there must be some kind of drone detector we can manufacture so we at least have a sporting chance of shooting them down. they are very hard to detect by the naked eye. its not fair.

    did you see the fbi had a small drone camera and listening device employed at the underground bunker for days before taking the mad man out? they let the situation drag on to keep it in the news for propaganda purposes.

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  3. VaGal

    February 6th, 2013

    This is kinda surprising to me as Charlottesville is(sadly) a liberal haven. Perhaps TJ’s spirit lives on there after all?

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  4. woody

    February 6th, 2013

    Yes, I too am surprised.
    Still, Jefferson would be appalled at what they’ve done to that place. It is a liberal toilet.

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  5. Callmelennie

    February 6th, 2013

    Anti-drone legislation; what does that mean? Al Gore can’t speak publicly in Charlottesville anymore

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  6. Captain Obvious

    February 7th, 2013

    What’s all the ado about a resolution? It’s not legislation. It carries no force. It’s just an official statement that they don’t approve of drones.

    Imagine that–Charlottesville not approving of something!

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