Drone bill scheduled for vote; opponents weigh in

Drone bill scheduled for vote, opponents weigh in

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A Louisiana Lawmaker says drones could be used for stalking, and he wants to make it illegal.

Senator Dan Claitor has been pushing drone regulations during this legislative session, and one of his bills is scheduled for a vote next week.

S-B 472 would add flying to possible forms of stalking, criminal mischief, and unauthorized entry, meaning drone operators could be arrested for these crimes.

Claitor says he wants to protect people's fourth amendment right.

"I want to take care of your privacy right, I want you to be able to relaxe in your backyard and not be harassed anyone, whether it's a cranky neighbor or somebody down the street."
Paul Charbonnet belives drones are the technology of the future.

Charbonnet is the co-owner of Atmosphere Aerial, a Baton Rouge company that builds and flies drones.

He and his partner Josh Rogers build these unmanned aircrafts for a number of different clients, including film companies and environmental agencies.

"Think about these huge radio towers that people have to inspect for cell towers," Rogers said. "Somebody has to climb this 15-hundred foot tower and put their life at risk whereas you could send up a drone to check it out."
Charbonnet and Rogers strongly oppose the efforts of Senator Claitor.

They say Claitor's concerns aren't necessary, because drones aren't even a great tool for stalking or entering someone's home.

Said Charbonnet, "The cameras don't zoom, they're loud. They're expensive. So for anyone to do that, a pair of binoculars is gonna be a better way to do that. And you should be more scared of that than you should be of a drone."

The bill would not apply to unmanned aircafts operated by government agencies, like police or fire departments.

SB 472 still has to pass the senate, house, and get signed by the governor before becoming a law.

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