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Burgess, Gibson Introduce No Armed Drones Legislation

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Location: Washington, DC

Congressmen Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-Texas) and Christopher P. Gibson (R-New York) have introduced HR 1083, the No Armed Drones Act (NADA). The legislation would amend the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 to prohibit the Secretary of Transportation from authorizing any person to operate an unmanned drone domestically as a weapon.

"Americans are concerned about privacy, and drones present the possibility for abuse by law enforcement," said Dr. Burgess. "We need to guarantee that the proper safety measures are taken to ensure that Americans and their property are safely guarded. By amending the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, we will be prohibiting the Secretary of Transportation from being able to authorize unmanned drones to be used domestically as a weapon."

"This legislation makes clear that no individual or governmental authority can use an armed drone in national, domestic airspace against another citizen or property. I am a firm believer that we do not have to invade Americans' constitutionally guaranteed rights in order to stay safe. This bill affirms these rights, and I appreciate the opportunity to partner with Dr. Burgess on this important effort," said Congressman Chris Gibson.

On March 6, Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) stood in the Senate Chambers for 13 hours filibustering John Brennan's nomination as head of the Central Intelligence Agency until he was assured by the Obama administration that no American could be killed by a drone without first being indicted of a crime. Senator Paul did receive a two sentence response from Attorney General Eric Holder on March 7; however the response does not define "combat" when answering if President Obama would have the authority to "use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil."

The purpose of NADA is to codify existing Federal Aviation Administration code, Section 91.15, which prohibits the dropping of objects from aircraft on American soil unless precautions are taken to ensure the safety of people and property on the ground.


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