After a round of joking and some serious discussion, the House has given final legislative approval to a bill that would outlaw the use of drones to watch people who are “lawfully” hunting or fishing.
“I would absolutely love for a drone to come by me while I’m hunting,” declared Rep. David Alexander, R-Winchester. “They say you have to boil them a lot (for eating).”
“What is the daily bag limit on drones?,” asked Rep. Vince Dean, R-East Ridge, at another point in the House floor discussion of SB1777.
“It’s unlimited. They’re a nuisance,” replied the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Judd Matheny, R-Tullahoma.
More seriously, Rep. Tony Shipley, R-Kingsport, asked what Matheny what would be the legal situation if a drone being used by a landowner was shot by Alexander while he was hunting on adjoining property.
Matheny said that “would be a case between you and he” with a court decision probably pending on intent of the parties — whether the drone owner was “seeking to disrupt legal activity” and whether the shooter intended just to destroy property.
Dean asked if a landowner could send a drone out to check hunters on his own property, perhaps without permission. Matheny said that would be legally permissible.
The bill passed the House 87-0. It had earlier won 31-0 and now goes to the governor for his signature.