Pending federal bill could allow Govt to shoot down drones
By Chris Eger
Civil liberties groups argue the move could give authorities the ability to bring down drones for almost any reason with little oversight. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)
Buried inside a massive spending bill working its way to the White House is a measure that could allow authorities to destroy private drones without a warrant.
The nearly 1,000-page FAA Reauthorization Act was approved 93-6 on Wednesday by the Senate in a rare show of bipartisan effort. The House bill, which passed that body last year by voice vote, is currently at the stage of resolving differences between the two chambers in Congress before heading to President Trump’s signature.
Part of the language of the measure allows authorities to address potential risks posed by wayward or “possibly hostile” unmanned air systems, commonly referred to as drones, and, if thought dangerous, to allow for members of the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security and Justice to seize control of the craft or “Use reasonable force, if necessary, to disable, damage, or destroy the unmanned aircraft system or unmanned aircraft.”
This has civil liberties groups metaphorically up in arms over what they characterize as a vague mandate that can be easily abused.
“These provisions give the government virtually carte blanche to surveil,