Senate shoots down attempt to turn drones into target practice

After losing his bid this session to put limits on drones’ fly zones, state Sen. Dan Claitor took a run Tuesday at another legislator’s bill.

Claitor, R-Baton Rouge, tried earlier in session to prevent drones from conducting surveillance on private property. His effort collapsed in a House committee.

On Tuesday, Claitor offered an amendment to House Bill 325 that would make the use of force or violence against drones justifiable when the purpose is to prevent a forcible offense or trespass against a person’s legal property. Basically, he wanted to let people take aim and fire when a drone traipses into their back yard and tries to snap a picture of their teen-age daughter in a swimsuit.

He called it the “Down the Drone” amendment. It didn’t fly in the state Senate Tuesday afternoon.

“You’re not serious, are you? You want people to sit outside and just shoot these things out of the air?” asked state Sen. Ed Murray, D-New Orleans.

Claitor suggested that people also could throw rocks at drones, which are unmanned aircraft controlled by remote controls. Drones can take pictures or video.

The Senate shot him down, with 7 voting for it and 27 voting against it.

Claitor was back minutes later with another amendment on a different bill. This time, he was successful.

Under House Bill 1037, peeping toms wouldn’t be able to use drones as tools of their trade.