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Iowa lawmakers look to control drones

Iowa capitol
Iowa capitol

DES MOINES – A bill under discussion in an Iowa House subcommittee would precent law enforcement, other agencies and individuals from using remote-controlled drones.

House File 427 relates to the use of drones. Under the bill, a law enforcement agency cannot use a drone to gather evidence or other information. The bill provides that a drone may be used by a law enforcement agency under the following circumstances: the United States secretary of home land security has determined that credible intelligence exists indicating a terrorist attack is at a high risk of occurring; a search warrant is obtained authorizing the use of a drone; or reasonable suspicion exists that rapid action is required to save a person, prevent serious damage to property, prevent the imminent escape of a suspect, or prevent the destruction of evidence.

An aggrieved party may initiate a civil action against a law enforcement agency in a court of competent jurisdiction in order to obtain appropriate relief to prevent or remedy a violation of the bill. The bill also specifies that evidence obtained or collected in violation of the bill shall not be admissible as evidence in a criminal prosecution in any court in this state.

The bill is being discussed in a subcommittee at this time.

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