Connecticut legislative committee drops bill on weaponized drones
HARTFORD >> Connecticut was poised to become the first state in the nation to allow the use of weaponized drones by law enforcement, but the legislature’s Public Safety and Security Committee decided to let the legislation die.
The bill was amended to allow police to equip drones with lethal and “less lethal” weapons, but it wasn’t enough to get the committee to debate it and vote on it. North Dakota passed a law in 2015 to allow non-lethal weaponized drones.
“At the end of the day there just wasn’t enough support for the weaponization of drones by police,” said Rep. Joe Verrengia, D-West Hartford, co-chairman of the Public Safety and Security Committee.
Verrengia said the legislation would have been a “game changer” for law enforcement. He said he still believes there’s time to come up with legislation that everyone could live with and expects it could be resurrected.
The bill had passed the Judiciary Committee 34-7 at the end of March. It would have increased the criminal penalty for civilians who weaponize drones. The bill also said law enforcement would only be able to use a drone if they obtained a warrant from a judge. Law enforcement opposed the later provision.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut applauded the defeat of the legislation.
Read more at ctnewsjunkie.com.