Michigan Legislators Propose Bills to Ban UAVs Near Prisons

Bills that would make it illegal to fly a drone around a state prison have been proposed by Michigan legislators.

S.B.487 would prohibit the operations of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) within 1,000 feet of a correctional facility in Michigan. An individual violating the proposed law would be guilty of a felony punishable by up to four years in prison, a fine of up to $2,000 or both.

S.B.488 is a companion bill that sets the punishment into the state’s sentencing guidelines.

State Sen. John Proos, R-Mich., a co-sponsor of the bills, says, “It has been said that drones are the high-tech version of smuggling a file into a prison in a birthday cake. Drones are being used to undermine safety and smuggle in contraband at prisons nationwide, as well as in Canada and Europe. This initiative is about recognizing the real threat posed by drones at prisons and cracking down on those who try to use drones to give inmates drugs and even weapons.”

State Sen. Darwin Booher, R-Mich., is the primary sponsor of the bills, which have been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration.

“My main concern is the safety of our prison guards and the general public in and around the more than 40 corrections facilities in our state,” Proos adds.


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