Monday, June 20, 2022

HR 7965 Introduced – Drone Misuse

Last week Rep Gallagher (R,WI) introduced HR 7965, the Drone Act of 2022. The bill would revise 18 USC to expand the coverage of the criminal code of misuse of unmanned aircraft. This is a companion (identical language) bill to S 3542 that was introduced in February.

Moving Forward

Neither Gallagher, nor any of his three cosponsors, are members of the House Judiciary Committee to which this bill was assigned for consideration. This means that there is probably not enough influence to see this bill considered in Committee. I noted in my post on S 3542 that the Senate bill would probably be opposed by the UAS industry and the same would hold true here. I would not, however, expect that opposition to be sufficient to stop this bill from receiving adequate support for passage.

I do note, however, that Grassley’s bill has received no action in the Senate Judiciary Committee to which that bill was assigned for consideration. Given that Grassley is the ranking member and there are two Democrats cosponsoring his bill, it is unusual that the bill has not been heard in Committee. This is probably due to the general reluctance of law makers to make changes to 18 USC. Changes to the criminal code have more reach than most legislation, especially since there is wide prosecutorial discretion in how the language is interpreted in its application.

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