Charlottesville, Va., First City to Limit Drones

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Charlottesville, Va., became the first city in the U.S. to limit the use of drones in its airspace, U.S.News and World Report indicated on Tuesday.

The resolution was passed on Monday by a 3-2 vote and was brought before the council by a civil liberties group in the city.

Here's the latest news on the anti-drone resolution.

* As reported by the Los Angeles Times , the resolution includes a two-year moratorium on citywide use of unmanned aircraft.

* The drones can't be outfitted with anti-personnel devices, including Tasers and tear gas, by law enforcement agencies and blocks governments from using data recorded by drones for criminal prosecution.

* The resolution states that it further "calls on the United States Congress and the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia to adopt legislation prohibiting information obtained from the domestic use of drones from being introduced into a Federal or State court," and "pledges to abstain from similar uses with city-owned, leased, or borrowed drones," as reported by the U.S.News and World Report.

* Rutherford Institute President John Whitehead was quoted by Sky News as saying that "as with other weapons of war which have become routine weapons of compliance domestically, such as tasers and sound cannons, once drones are unleashed on the American people, there will be no limiting their use by government agencies."

* Council member Dede Smith affirmed that the move was proactive, according to UPI . She said that unmanned aircraft were "pretty clearly a threat to our constitutional right to privacy," and justified voting for the resolution by noting that "if we don't get out ahead of it to establish some guidelines for how drones are used, they will be used in a very invasive way and we'll be left to try and pick up the pieces."

* Councilors Kristin Szakos and Kathy Galvin didn't agree that the issue was compelling or worth considering at this time when they voiced their opposition to the proposed city ordinance, according to the Charlottesville Newsplex .

* Charlottesville has also advanced an ordinance that would create a Human Rights Commission charged with investigating allegations of discrimination in the city, according to another report from the Charlottesville Newsplex .

* The ordinance, which received a first reading by the city council, would create two city positions, one for a director and another for an analyst.

Shawn Humphrey is a former contributor to The Flint Journal and lives near Washington in Germantown, Md.

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