North Dakota’s Bill 1328 was supposed to be cut and dry. “In my opinion there should be a nice, red line: drones should not be weaponized. Period,” Rep. Rick Becker (R-Bismarck), the bill’s original sponsor, told a committee hearing back in March, per The Daily Beast.That was going to happen too, at least until an industry lobbying firm got involved. Now, law enforcement agencies in North Dakota are legally allowed to arm their UAVs with any manner of weapons, so long as they aren’t “lethal“.
The bill was, in fact, originally designed to strictly limit law enforcement’s ability to weaponize drones. It also demanded that police obtain a search warrant from a judge before employing drones in an investigation. However, a rep from the North Dakota Peace Officer’s Association then amended the bill — at the behest of the state house committee, no less — to limit only “lethal weapons.” Anything classified as “less than lethal” is now allowed. That means cops can outfit their UAVs with everything from rubber bullets, pepper spray and Tasers to tear gas and sound cannons. And, as The Guardian points out, “less than lethal” police Tasers have already killed 39 Americans this year alone.
Read the full article Here
Image Credit: Associated Press