Feb 5, 2013
… Charlottesville, Va has passed legislation to outlaw the use of drones, making it the first US city to do so.
In a 3-2 vote, city councilors passed the anti-drone resolution Monday, echoing the State level effort to halt the use of drones for the next two years. There will, in effect now be a ban on the craft entering Charlottesville city limits, prohibiting any city agency from using the technology.
The council will urge the Virginia General Assembly and Congress to keep drones out of local air space.
The resolution adopted by the council reads:
“WHEREAS, the rapid implementation of drone technology throughout the United States poses a serious threat to the privacy and constitutional rights of the American people, including the residents of Charlottesville; and
“WHEREAS, the federal government and the Commonwealth of Virginia have thus far failed to provide reasonable legal restrictions on the use of drones within the United States; and
“WHEREAS, police departments throughout the country have begun implementing drone technology absent any guidance or guidelines from law makers;
“NOW, THEREFORE, LET IT BE RESOLVED, that the City Council of Charlottesville, Virginia, endorses the proposal for a two year moratorium on drones in the state of Virginia; and calls on the United States Congress and the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia to adopt legislation prohibiting information obtained from the domestic use of drones from being introduced into a Federal or State court, and precluding the domestic use of drones equipped with anti-personnel devices, meaning any projectile, chemical, electrical, directed-energy (visible or invisible), or other device designed to harm, incapacitate, or otherwise negatively impact a human being; and pledges to abstain from similar uses with city-owned, leased, or borrowed drones.”
Anti-drone activist David Swanson, who led protests in the days and hours before the council vote, notes on his website that “citizens speaking in favor of the anti-drone resolution dominated the public speaking period at the beginning of the meeting, shortly after 7 p.m. Many were quite eloquent, and the video will be available soon on the city’s site.” …