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Now Two Cities Have Banned Drones: St. Bonafacius MN Joins Charlottesville VA

Here's the story from Minnesota this week:

No drones have appeared over the Hennepin County city, St. Bonifacius Mayor Rick Weible said, but that day may come.

“There seems to be a rush to use this new tool within the U.S., but our state and county laws are fairly silent on the issue right now,” he said.

A few weeks back, he and four City Council members got to talking about drones, and all shared concerns about privacy of those who might unwittingly be caught on camera. Their fears, he said, were not unlike those expressed during recent debates in Minnesota and elsewhere about using unmanned cameras to photograph vehicles running red lights and ticketing their owners.

So they voted to ban drones from city airspace up to 400 feet; higher altitudes are managed by federal authorities. They made exceptions for emergencies and search warrants, and for individuals flying drones over their own property. Violation of the ordinance is a misdemeanor.

The city also called for a two-year statewide moratorium on drones until the public can weigh in on how the technology will be used, and whether its images and other data can be used as evidence in court.

And from Charlottesville in February. 

The state of Virginia has now passed a two-year moratorium.


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