The bill would ban the use of weaponized drones, but exempt police. Details on how law enforcement could use drones with weapons would be spelled out in new rules to be developed by the state Police Officer Standards and Training Council. Officers also would have to receive training before being allowed to use drones with weapons.
"Obviously this is for very limited circumstances," said Republican state Sen. John Kissel, of Enfield, co-chairman of the Judiciary Committee that approved the measure Wednesday and sent it to the House of Representatives. "We can certainly envision some incident on some campus or someplace where someone is a rogue shooter or someone was kidnapped and you try to blow out a tire."
North Dakota is the only state that allows police to use weaponized drones, but limits the use to "less lethal" weapons, including stun guns, rubber bullets and tear gas.
Five states - Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Vermont and Wisconsin - prohibit anyone from using a weaponized drone, while Maine and Virginia ban police from using armed drones, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Several other states have restricted drone use in general.