Posted: Mar 7, 2013 7:07 PM by Marnee Banks - MTN News
HELENA - Montana lawmakers are busy debating the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly referred to as drones.
The issue of drones commanded national attention within the last several days, as U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) took the Senate floor for 13 hours in a filibuster to protest the use of drones.
Paul wanted reassurance from the Obama administration that drones would not be used to kill U.S. citizens.MT State Senator Matthew Rosendale (R-Glendive) is carrying a bill which would prohibit any information gathered by drones to be used in a court proceeding unless the data had been collected with a warrant.
Rosendale said, "Privacy is of paramount importance to the citizens of Montana and it is to me as well."
Rosendale says there are legitimate uses for drones but he wants to make sure they aren't violating people's civil liberties.
There is also another bill in play which would prohibit state and local governments from owning unmanned aircrafts.
MT State Senator Ed Buttrey (R-Great Falls), a long-time supporter of drones, said, "They are a technology and I hope we can embrace the technology and not have the fear factor that is brought into our minds by such thoughts as the government is going to send drones to start picking U.S. citizens off. That's just not going to happen."
Buttrey says drones take the pilot out of the equation and save taxpayers money.
Both bills relating to drones have passed the MT Senate and are awaiting hearings in the House.