Drone legislation takes off in Kansas Senate

Drones (KSN File Photo)
Drones (KSN File Photo)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas Senate committee has advanced a measure that aims to regulate unmanned vehicles, or drones, in the state.

State Sen. Caryn Tyson, R-Parker, told the Senate Natural Resources Committee on Friday that Senate Bill 409 was designed to protect the privacy of individuals and business from drones equipped with cameras and recording devices.

“The potential for abuse is there and is real,” Tyson said.

Several members of the committee said they thought the bill includes too many limits on the use of drones by military and law enforcement. State Sen. Tom Hawk, a Democrat from Manhattan, asked if the military would be prohibited from flying drones over private property.

Tyson said the military would have to use the drones over public lands.

State Sen. Greg Smith, R-Overland Park, also questioned the scope of the bill and sought to send it to the Judicial Council for review.

“This deals with things far outside the scope” of the committee, Smith said.

But the committee rejected Smith’s motion before advancing the bill on a voice vote, sending it to the full Senate.

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