Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

Sign up for a weekly email of the latest drone news & information

New bill introduction for drone trespassing in Louisiana

Discussion in 'Rules and Regulations' started by CenLA, Mar 17, 2016.

  1. CenLA

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2015
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    13
    Senate Bill 124, Dan Claitor, R- Baton Rouge, creates the crime of trespassing with a drone if it is flown less than 350 feet above someone’s property without his or her permission.

    Creates the crime of criminal trespass by unmanned aircraft.


    AN ACT


    2 To enact R.S. 14:63.1, relative to criminal trespass; to create the crime of criminal trespass

    3 by unmanned aircraft; to provide that the operation of an unmanned aircraft within

    4 the air space over immovable property constitutes criminal trespass under certain

    5 circumstances; to provide definitions; to provide penalties; and to provide for related

    6 matters.

    7 Be it enacted by the Legislature of Louisiana:

    8 Section 1. R.S. 14:63.1 is hereby enacted to read as follows:

    9 §63.1. Criminal trespass by unmanned aircraft

    10 A. No person shall operate an unmanned aircraft system less than three

    11 hundred fifty feet above ground level within the air space over immovable

    12 property owned by another without the express permission of the owner of the

    13 immovable property.

    14 B. "Unmanned aircraft system" (UAS) means an aircraft that is

    15 operated without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on

    16 the aircraft, including the communication links and the components that control

    17 the unmanned aircraft.

    Page 1 of 3

    Coding: Words which are struck through are deletions from existing law;

    words in boldface type and underscored are additions.


    SB NO. 124

    SLS 16RS-36 ORIGINAL

    1 C. This Section shall not be construed to impair or limit any otherwise

    2 lawful activities of law enforcement personnel or employees of governmental

    3 agencies or other public or private entities that are permitted by law to enter

    4 immovable property of another by operating an unmanned aircraft within the

    5 air space over the immovable property.

    6 D. The following penalties shall be imposed for a violation of this

    7 Section:

    8 (1) For the first offense, the fine shall be not less than one hundred

    9 dollars and not more than five hundred dollars, or imprisonment for not more

    10 than thirty days, or both.

    11 (2) For the second offense, the fine shall be not less than three hundred

    12 dollars and not more than seven hundred fifty dollars, or imprisonment for not

    13 more than ninety days, or both.

    14 (3) For the third offense and all subsequent offenses, the fine shall be not

    15 less than five hundred dollars and not more than one thousand dollars, or

    16 imprisonment for not less than sixty days and not more than six months, or

    17 both, and forfeiture to the law enforcement authority of any unmanned aircraft

    18 seized in connection with the violation.

    19 (4) A person may be convicted of a second offense and any subsequent

    20 offenses regardless of whether any prior conviction involved the same

    21 immovable property and regardless of the time sequence of the occurrence of

    22 the offenses.

    23 E. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, neither

    24 the owner of the immovable property nor any person lawfully on the property

    25 shall be answerable in damages to the owner of any UAS that is captured or

    26 disabled while being operated in violation of this Section. The property owner

    27 or any person lawfully on the property may retain possession of any UAS that

    28 is captured or disabled while being operated in violation of this Section without

    29 liability to the owner of the UAS.

    Page 2 of 3

    Coding: Words which are struck through are deletions from existing law;

    words in boldface type and underscored are additions.


    SB NO. 124

    SLS 16RS-36 ORIGINAL

    1 Section 2. This Act shall become effective upon signature by the governor or, if not

    2 signed by the governor, upon expiration of the time for bills to become law without signature

    3 by the governor, as provided by Article III, Section 18 of the Constitution of Louisiana. If

    4 vetoed by the governor and subsequently approved by the legislature, this Act shall become

    5 effective on the day following such approval.

    The original instrument and the following digest, which constitutes no part

    of the legislative instrument, were prepared by Alden A. Clement, Jr.

    DIGEST

    SB 124 Original 2016 Regular Session Claitor

    Proposed law provides that a person cannot operate an unmanned aircraft less than 350 feet

    above ground level within the air space over immovable property owned by another without

    the express permission of the owner of the immovable property.

    Proposed law defines an "unmanned aircraft system" as an aircraft that is operated without

    the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the aircraft, including the

    communication links and the components that control the unmanned aircraft.

    Proposed law cannot be construed to impair or limit any otherwise lawful activities of law

    enforcement personnel or employees of governmental agencies or other public or private

    entities that are permitted by present law to enter immovable property of another by

    operating an unmanned aircraft within the air space over the immovable property.

    Proposed law provides the following penalties for the crime of criminal trespass by

    unmanned aircraft:

    (1) For the first offense, a fine between $100 and $500, imprisonment for up to 30 days,

    or both.

    (2) For the second offense, a fine between $300 and $750, imprisonment for up to 90

    days, or both.

    (3) For the third offense and all subsequent offenses, a fine between $500 and $1,000,

    imprisonment for between 60 days and six months, or both, and forfeiture to the law

    enforcement authority of any unmanned aircraft seized in connection with the

    violation.

    Proposed law provides that a person may be convicted of a second offense and any

    subsequent offenses regardless of whether any prior conviction involved the same

    immovable property and regardless of the time sequence of the occurrence of the offenses.

    Proposed law provides that the owner of the immovable property or any person lawfully on

    the property cannot be held answerable in damages to the owner of any UAS that is captured

    or disabled while being operated in violation of proposed law. Proposed law further

    provides that the property owner or any person lawfully on the property may retain

    possession of any UAS that is captured or disabled while being operated in violation of

    proposed law without liability to the owner of the UAS.

    Effective upon signature of the governor or lapse of time for gubernatorial action.

    (Adds R.S. 14:63.1)
     
  2. bradbrok

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2016
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    27
    Well this is all sorts of ridiculous and redundantly unnecessary. Do people not realize there are already photography privacy laws in place? A similar law like this was vetoed in California not too long ago, so hopefully it gets overturned.
     
  3. JKDSensei

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2015
    Messages:
    1,511
    Likes Received:
    658
    Location:
    USA
    Another political hack looking to gain popularity by jumping on the media frenzy.

    If laws like this were allowed to stand, the FAA would lose some of it's jurisdiction.

    I suspect at some point the Federal government will step in and nullify the vast majority of local ordinances related to airspace since the FAA actually is in charge of all airspace over the US.
    I don't think the FAA went through and is still going through all these changes over drone technology and the possible future just to allow local governments to set their own local rules for airspace.
    Unless they just make a blanket exemption for commercial operations only and leave hobby use to the local wolves, which would would really blow.

    If localities were all allowed to regulate their own airspace, the FAA might be considered redundant.

    (opinon)
    It would seem this law could also be construed a bit prejudiced since it applies only to drones...meaning I could potentially hook a bunch of helium balloons to a lawn chair, grab a camera and go over the same private property.....lawfully?
    (/opinion)

    Meanwhile and until then, quite a few people may face some unjust fines and punishments at the local and state level.


    PS, the guy (substitute choice adjectives for "guy") who sponsored this monstrosity
    wants you to go to jail for flying your Phantom...If you live in LA, please vote accordingly.
    [​IMG]
    Dan Claitor (Claitor the Traitor?)
    claitord@legis.la.gov
    Louisiana State Senate - Dan Claitor
     
    #3 JKDSensei, Mar 18, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2016
    Phantomix likes this.
  4. CenLA

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2015
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    13
    It is unnecessary for sure as there is no reason given for this intended filing. The FAA has already made it clear they are responsible for the airspace from the ground up.

    These guys each get five bills to file and this is one of what he chooses when the state really needs them to solve actual problems instead of make up stuff to fill their briefcase.

    To be fair, there are times when and where it may be inappropriate to fly like to drive game during a hunt and I would support that legislation if the senator could prove it was truly needed. But to try to make blanket nullification of UAS/UAV usage except by law enforcement and on private property is needlessly stifling an industry in its infancy.

    In Louisiana three of the biggest commercial users of drones are the three biggest industries -- oil and gas, agriculture, and film production, all of whom will oppose this as it is necessary to transit private property to reach their destinations. On a smaller scale, other commercial photography such as real estate, mapping, news reporting and even festivals are just starting to get their feet wet when this obstacle to progress shows up to slow the learning process. This bill does not even allow for private industry to film over a neighborhood knowing advance permission from every resident below is not possible.

    Over the last couple weeks, independent drone operators were on every tv station in Louisiana. They were surveying the extent of the flooding over areas boats couldn't get to looking for covered roads, vehicle in ditches, and even assisting in rescue support operations. Imagine if someone had told the drone operator, "Thanks, but Dan Claitor said you can't help here because you are not LE or government or public or private entity permitted by law to be here."

    I'm not sure what the senator really hopes to achieve. If it was simply the vehicle used, is he trying to outlaw all aircraft that have cameras? If this is about taking pictures of the neighbors daughter sunbathing how is it any different from filming from an upstairs window next door over that privacy fence or from the apartment building patio? Is he hoping that from 350' away the shot will be so far away that the image is too blurry for a closeup? Is being 350' away far enough away to obscure a modern high-pixel camera of any kind?

    No, I think this one needs to be looked at again and sent back to the drawing board for clarification of intent before it is considered as a bill.
     
    #4 CenLA, Mar 20, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2016
    JKDSensei likes this.
  5. JKDSensei

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2015
    Messages:
    1,511
    Likes Received:
    658
    Location:
    USA
    If thinking minds prevail, this will go away with all the other ridiculous bills introduced by power hungry politicians looking for publicity by grabbing a headline and hoping to ride a wave of popularity. Like Diane Feinstein's infamous attempt at an "assault weapons ban", this clown's popularity will probably suffer because ultimately the voting public can see that these bills are all about advancing the individual, not promoting the welfare of society at large.
     
  6. trumpetturner

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2016
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    5
    I just emailed my Louisiana Senator who happens to be the President Pro temp of the Senate and has some sense. If you personally haven't contacted your State Senator if you live in Louisiana then I encourage you to do that. It does have an impact. Tell him how the bill will impact you.

    By the Way---The State Legislature website shows that this bill has gone through the Judiciary committee and is up for a full Senate vote on Monday, April 11. Call your Senator while he is at home this weekend!!

    PS. Senator Claitor has that typical arrogant South Louisiana politician look.

    CenLa, thanks for posting. I just started watching the forum, and only learned of this bill in a large landowner association meeting this week.

    Danny
     
  7. CenLA

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2015
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    13
    I wrote him and all the senators on the committee. Apparently it did no good.
     
  8. MedinaTaylor

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2016
    Messages:
    261
    Likes Received:
    115
    Too bad it will never hold up.

    The Aviation Investment and Reform Act (AIR-21) signed into law states that FAA "has sole authority to control airspace over the United States"
     
  9. CenLA

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2015
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    13
    I believe all the legislators know this and in all states where this happening the FAA might actually come out one day and tell that to the lawmaking bodies. But in the interim there will be those who are beholden to donors and friends and will pass through what they can and let a judge sort it out later.
     
  10. mrcrane2u

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2016
    Messages:
    655
    Likes Received:
    183
    Location:
    sarasota
    Don't fly there
     
  11. trumpetturner

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2016
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    5
    The bill passed the Senate by a 29 to 6 vote. That's just amazing!!! Senator Long did vote against it.

    However, now it has to do through the House. The bill has been sent to the Administration of Criminal Justice Committee and does not yet appear to be on their agenda. I've been doing a lot of research today and am preparing a letter to go to all of the members on that committee. Thankfully my representative is on the committee, and I know him personally. If you want to send me a personal message with your email, I'll send you a copy of the letter when I get it finished. Going to try to get it finished tomorrow. You never know when a bill will pop up on the agenda.

    Danny
     
  12. grammarknotsi

    Joined:
    May 19, 2016
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    1
    Just started flying here in BR, and forgot that this bill was going to be a thing..What is the latest..?
     
  13. grammarknotsi

    Joined:
    May 19, 2016
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    1
    Could you break that down for me, or point me in the right direction...I'd hate to have some ignorant small town hero confront me, and neither one of use actually know the rules..TIA
     
  14. trumpetturner

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2016
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    5
    Ok, here is the scoop on these bills.

    HB 19 prohibits the use of UAS to conduct surveillance, gather information or take photography of schools (no distinction whether school is in session or not), school premises and correctional facilities. Exceptions granted to a pilot flying in compliance with FAA authorization or regulations. Amendments makes flying over correctional facilities a criminal act with higher penalties. This bill has passed the House and through a Senate committee and is scheduled for consideration on the full Senate floor Monday. This is a no brainer concerning correctional facilities. However, big schools can be fun places to fly and usually have some wide open spaces. Its pretty obvious that this is all about children's safety. Which we are all in favor of . It will most likely pass.

    HB 635 This bill merely added the use of a UAS to the methods for conducting voyeuristic activities. It passed the House and has passed out of a Senate committee apparently with much discussion. So it is also scheduled for consideration on the full Senate floor on Monday.

    SB 141 was originally the most honerous of all the UAS bills proposed and was passed by the full Senate in its original form which would have allowed a person to "disable or capture" (interpreted shoot down) a UAS and not suffer any consequences including paying damages to the owner of the drone. However, with a strong email writing campaign by several of us here on the board and several of my friends in the forestry business who are also drone users and the lobby of the Louisiana Forestry Association some amendments were attached while the bill was in the House Administration of Criminal Justice committee. Two of those amendments being that all of the language concerning the "capture and disabling" of a UAS and the lack of consequences has been removed from the bill. In addition, the bill includes language that it does not apply to a person operating a UAS in compliance with FAA authorization or regulations, and an amendment was added that it also does not apply to a person "engaged in commercial agricultural operations".

    SB 141 amends the criminal trespass law in Louisiana to include the "...operating of a UAS in the air space over immovable property with the intent to conduct surveillance..." So, with the amendments, a person can NOT shoot down a drone over their property without suffering the consequences which include federal laws. So, the real meat of the matter is if someone wants to file trespass charges, they will have to prove "intent to conduct surveillance". So if your video or photos from the flight do not include their property or their property does not appear to be your target of observation, you probably won't have any problems.

    The other bills that were introduced concerning drones have pretty well died in committee.

    Hope this helps you out grammarknotsi.

    Danny
     
  15. grammarknotsi

    Joined:
    May 19, 2016
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    1
    I appreciate the insight...I bring the one home from work for "practice", every now and then and my wife thinks a neighbor is going to shoot it down...For the most part, I just do a few hundred feet above my own property, but I can pretty much see the entire neighborhoods goings on from there...