DES MOINES (AP) — The use of drones would be strictly regulated under a bill approved Wednesday by the Iowa House.
The bill received overwhelming support, clearing the House on an 87-12 vote, though several lawmakers expressed concern that it lacks clarity and might be overreaching.
Even some of those with concerns supported the bill, which goes to the Senate.
The bill would require state and law enforcement officials to seek permission before buying or using drones. However, details haven't been worked out about what agency would grant such requests.
The measure would also prohibit the use of drones equipped with weapons, limit recording capabilities and provide penalties if the law isn't followed.
Rep. Jarad Klein, R-Keota, who sponsored the bill, said he wants to keep ahead of an evolving issue and maintain the privacy of Iowa residents as drones become more common.
He and other lawmakers stressed, though, that the legislation would be changed before it could become law.
“I have never shied away from explaining that this is the first stab at this issue,” Klein said.
Rep. Cindy Winckler, D-Davenport, said the positive uses of drones, such as assessing weather damage or surveying school property for an intruder, far outweigh the negatives. She said the legislation is unnecessary.
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