Annals of the legislature: Guns and drones | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Annals of the legislature: Guns and drones

Posted By on Thu, Jan 15, 2015 at 3:26 PM

From today's legislative filings:

GUNS: Rep. Charlie Collins will try again this session to allow staff members of public colleges and universities to carry concealed handguns on campus.

In the face of overwhelming college opposition, Collins earlier acceded to giving colleges to opt out of the law. Every single public college in the state did. So now his legislation would remove that option. It would still allow private colleges to prohibit concealed handguns on campus.

DRONES: From Rep. Justin Harris comes a bill to prohibit take photos of private property from unmanned vehicles or aircraft without the property owners permission.  Harris would also make it a crime to possess or distribute such photos.

States have been adopting a variety of drone laws, but this roundup doesn't seem to include any that go as far as Harris' proposal does. It seems to run counter to the long-accepted proposition that you may take photos of private property visible from public right of way, such as a sidewalk or street. Public airspace seems analagous to me.

News media aren't going to like Harris' bill. Perhaps others. A friend tells me that use of drones is a coming thing in agriculture, increasingly a high-tech enterprise. Been in one of those computerized farming behemoths lately?

Readers are full of theories about who's behind Harris on this. Utilities maybe? Oil and gas drillers? Drones are a good way to quickly find bad practices in the country without having to cross paths with roustabouts or people clearing and spraying power line routes.

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