First State Legalizes Taser Drones for Cops, Thanks to Lobbyist
North Dakota police will be free to fire ‘less than lethal’ weapons from the air thanks to the influence of Big Drone.
"It is now legal for law enforcement in North Dakota to fly drones
armed with everything from Tasers to tear gas thanks to a last-minute
push by a pro-police lobbyist.
With all the concern over the militarization of police
in the past year, no one noticed that the state became the first in the
union to allow police to equip drones with 'less than lethal' weapons.
House Bill 1328 wasn’t drafted that way, but then a lobbyist
representing law enforcement—tight with a booming drone industry—got his
hands on it.
The bill’s stated intent was to require police to obtain a search
warrant from a judge in order to use a drone to search for criminal
evidence. In fact, the original draft of Representative Rick Becker’s
bill would have banned all weapons on police drones.
Then Bruce Burkett of the North Dakota Peace Officer’s Association
was allowed by the state house committee to amend HB 1328 and limit the
prohibition only to lethal weapons. 'Less than lethal' weapons like
rubber bullets, pepper spray, tear gas, sound cannons, and Tasers are
therefore permitted on police drones."