California Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed the bill A.B.1327, a measure that would restrict how unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can be used by police and other public agencies.
The bill – which was authored by Assemblyman Jeff Gorell, R-Camarillo – garnered a 25-8 vote when it passed in the state Senate in August. It mandates that law enforcement must have a warrant in order to operate UAVs, unless it is for an emergency situation (e.g., fires).
Gorell recently said that the bill “protects civil liberties and privacy rights, while also providing a path for public agencies to take advantage of the numerous beneficial applications of drones, such as firefighting, emergency management and environmental monitoring.”
Several months ago, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) was gifted two Draganflyer UAVs from the Seattle Police Department. However, the vehicles are now sitting idle with the Office of the Inspector General, where they will remain until more policies concerning their usage take shape.
Gov. Brown’s message to the members of the California State Assembly is the following:
“I am returning Assembly Bill 1327 without my signature.
This bill prohibits law enforcement from using a drone without obtaining a search warrant, except in limited circumstances.
There are undoubtedly circumstances where a warrant is appropriate. The bill’s exceptions, however, appear to be too narrow and could impose requirements beyond what is required by either the 4th Amendment or the privacy provisions in the California Constitution.”