Drones become hot topic in Arizona - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Drones become hot topic in Arizona


From D.C. to our own state Capitol, the hot topic is drones in the sky.

Some lawmakers say there are a lot of questions that need to be answered before putting law enforcement restrictions on them.

At the same time, some lawmakers are calling on the feds to bring more drones to the state.

Drones are the controversial unmanned airplanes that are used to kill enemies remotely, gather evidence by law enforcement and monitor our border.

"Technology is fantastic. It's when it's abused that we have to stand firm and have the courage to say no," said State Rep. Kelly Townsend.

Rep. Tom Forese authored a bill that would require law enforcement to get a search warrant before using drones. The bill was gutted after many concerns came up. He amended the proposal on the house floor to create a study committee instead on Thursday.

"Part of that study committee will be to review safety and privacy issues that potentially could come with drones being tested in Arizona," said Forese.

Protestors outside the Capitol say keep the drones out of here.

"If there's drones over Arizona constantly, they can take pictures of us in our swimming pools, in our backyards, we have an expectation of privacy," said Mitch Rubin.

Forese also authored a resolution that would ask the federal government to make Arizona one of its five new drone testing ranges.

"Thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in investments will follow this. The private sector will build up several different projects around these testing sites," he said.

Townsend voted against the resolution and said it could put the Fourth Amendment's right to privacy in jeopardy.

"It doesn't matter how many IT jobs it brings in or high tech jobs, or how it'll affect our economy, if it's a detriment to our freedoms and our constitutional rights, then it should not happen," she said.

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