Tennessee House adds exceptions to bill to banning drones

Tennessee House adds exceptions to bill to banning drones

April 11th, 2013 by Associated Press in Local - Breaking News

Drone tile

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

NASHVILLE - The House has passed a bill to ban most warrantless surveillance by unmanned drones in Tennessee, but added a last-minute exemption for events featuring large crowds.

The chamber voted 91-0 on Thursday in favor of the bill sponsored by Republican Rep. James "Micah" Van Huss of Jonesborough, himself a former Marine with experience piloting drones.

Fellow Republican Rep. Vince Dean of East Ridge added the late change to the bill ensure that police would be able to use drones for events like the Riverbend Festival in Chattanooga, University of Tennessee football games or NASCAR races in Bristol.

Dean said the drones would help law enforcement "protect life and property" at such events.

The Senate would have to agree to the change before it could head for the governor's consideration.