Amended in Senate July 7, 2015

Amended in Senate June 24, 2015

Amended in Assembly April 22, 2015

Amended in Assembly April 8, 2015

California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 56


Introduced by Assembly Member Quirk

(Principal coauthor: Assembly Member Campos)

December 2, 2014


An act to add Section 6254.31 to the Government Code, and to add Title 14 (commencing with Section 14350) to Part 4 of the Penal Code, relating to unmanned aircraft systems.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 56, as amended, Quirk. Unmanned aircraft systems.

Existing federal law, the Federal Aviation Administration Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, provides for the integration of civil unmanned aircraft systems, commonly known as drones, into the national airspace system by September 30, 2015. Existing federal law requires the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration to develop and implement operational and certification requirements for the operation of public unmanned aircraft systems in the national airspace system by December 31, 2015.

This bill would generally prohibit law enforcement agencies from using unmanned aircraft systems,begin delete or contracting for the use of unmanned aircraft systems, as defined,end deletebegin insert obtaining an unmanned aircraft system from another public agency by contract, loan, or other arrangement, or using information obtained from an unmanned aircraft system used by another public agency,end insert except as provided by the bill’s provisions. The bill would authorize a law enforcement agency to use an unmanned aircraft system if the law enforcement agency complies with specified requirements, including, among others, thatbegin delete prior toend deletebegin insert beforeend insert the use of an unmanned aircraft system, the law enforcement agency develops and makes available to the public a policy on the use of an unmanned aircraft system, as provided, and that the law enforcement agency complies with protections against unreasonable searches guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the California Constitution, federal law applicable to the use of an unmanned aircraft system by an agency, state and local law applicable to any agency’s use of surveillance technology that can be attached to an unmanned aircraft system, and the unmanned aircraft system policy developed by the law enforcement agency pursuant to the bill’s provisions. The bill would prohibit a law enforcement agency from using an unmanned aircraft system to surveil private property unless, among other justifications, the law enforcement agency obtains a search warrant.

The bill would require images, footage, or data obtained through the use of an unmanned aircraft system under these provisions to be permanently destroyed within one year, except as specified. The bill would generally prohibit images, footage, or data of private property obtained through the use of an unmanned aircraft system under these provisions from being disseminated outside the collecting law enforcement agency, except as specified. Unless authorized by federal law, the bill would prohibit a person or entity, including a public agency subject to these provisions, or a person or entity under contract to a public agency, for the purpose of that contract, from equipping or arming an unmanned aircraft system with a weapon or other device that may be carried by, or launched or directed from, an unmanned aircraft system and that is intended to cause incapacitation, bodily injury or death, or damage to, or the destruction of, real or personal property. By creating a new crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would also provide that specified surveillance restrictions on electronic devices apply to the use or operation of an unmanned aircraft system by abegin delete publicend deletebegin insert law enforcementend insert agency.

The bill would make its provisions applicable to allbegin delete publicend deletebegin insert law enforcement agenciesend insert and private entities when contracting withbegin delete a publicend deletebegin insert or acting as the agent of a law enforcementend insert agency for the use of an unmanned aircraft system.

Existing law, the California Public Records Act, requires state and local agencies to make public records available for inspection, subject to certain exceptions.

This bill would make certain images, footage, or data obtained through the use of an unmanned aircraft system under its provisions, or any related record, including, but not limited to, usage logs or logs that identify any person or entity that subsequently obtains or requests records of that system, subject to disclosure. The bill would except from the disclosure requirements discussed above images, footage, data, and records obtained through the use of an unmanned aircraft system if disclosure would endanger the safety of a person involved in an investigation, or would endanger the successful completion of the investigation.

Existing constitutional provisions require that a statute that limits the right of access to the meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies be adopted with findings demonstrating the interest protected by the limitation and the need for protecting that interest.

This bill would make legislative findings to that effect.

Because this bill would require local entities to comply with additional rules and requirements regarding the use of information obtained from unmanned aircraft systems, it would impose a state-mandated local program.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: yes.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P3    1

SECTION 1.  

Section 6254.31 is added to the Government
2Code
, to read:

3

6254.31.  

(a) Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter,
4images, footage, or data obtained through the use of an unmanned
5aircraftbegin delete systemend deletebegin insert system, including useend insert pursuant to Title 14
6(commencing with Section 14350) of Part 4 of the Penal Code, or
7any related record, including, but not limited to, usage logs or logs
P4    1that identify any person or entity that subsequently obtains or
2requests records of that system, are public records subject to
3disclosure.

4(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), nothing in this chapter or
5any other law requires the disclosure of images, footage, or data
6obtained through the use of an unmanned aircraft system, or any
7related record, including, but not limited to, usage logs or logs that
8identify any person or entity that subsequently obtains or requests
9records of that system, to the extent that disclosure of the images,
10footage, data, or records would endanger the safety of a person
11involved in an investigation, or would endanger the successful
12completion of the investigation.

13

SEC. 2.  

Title 14 (commencing with Section 14350) is added
14to Part 4 of the Penal Code, to read:

15 

16Title 14.  UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS

17

 

18

14350.  

(a) A law enforcement agency shall not use an
19unmanned aircraftbegin delete system, or contract for the use of an unmanned
20aircraft system,end delete
begin insert system, obtain an unmanned aircraft system from
21another public agency by contract, loan, or other arrangement,
22or use information obtained from an unmanned aircraft system
23used by another public agency,end insert
except as provided in this title.
24This title shall apply to allbegin delete publicend deletebegin insert law enforcement agenciesend insert and
25private entities when contracting withbegin insert or acting as the agent ofend insert a
26law enforcement agency for the use of an unmanned aircraft
27system.

28(b) A law enforcement agency may use an unmanned aircraft
29begin delete systemend deletebegin insert system, or use information obtained from an unmanned
30aircraft system used by another public agency,end insert
if the law
31enforcement agency complies with all of the following:

32(1) Protections against unreasonable searches guaranteed by the
33United States Constitution and the California Constitution.

34(2) Federal law applicable to the use of an unmanned aircraft
35system by an agency, including, but not limited to, regulations of
36the Federal Aviation Administration.

37(3) State and local law applicable to any agency’s use of
38surveillance technology that can be attached to an unmanned
39aircraft system, including, but not limited to, Chapter 1.5
40(commencing with Section 630) of Title 15 of Part 1.

P5    1(4) If the use of an unmanned aircraft system by a local law
2enforcement agency may involve the collection ofbegin delete images from
3an adjacentend delete
begin insert images, footage, or data from anotherend insert county, city, or
4city and county, the law enforcement agency shall obtain a warrant
5based on probablebegin delete cause.end deletebegin insert cause, unless an exigent circumstance
6exists.end insert

7(5) (A) The law enforcement agency develops and makes
8available to the public a policy on the use of an unmanned aircraft
9system and trains the law enforcement agency’s officers and
10employees on the policy,begin delete prior toend deletebegin insert beforeend insert the use of the unmanned
11aircraft system.

12(B) The law enforcement agency uses the unmanned aircraft
13system consistent with the policy developed pursuant to this
14paragraph.

15(C) begin deletePrior to end deletebegin insertBefore end insertfinalizing the policy required by this
16paragraph, the law enforcement agency shallbegin delete provide an opportunity
17for public commentend delete
begin insert present the proposed policyend insert at a regularly
18scheduledbegin insert and noticedend insert public meeting of its governingbegin delete body.end deletebegin insert body
19with an opportunity for public comment.end insert

20(D) The policy required by this paragraph shall specify, at a
21minimum,begin delete the circumstances under which an unmanned aircraft
22system may be used and the time limits applicable to each
23circumstance.end delete
begin insert all of the following:end insert

begin insert

24(i) The circumstances under which an unmanned aircraft system
25may and may not be used.

end insert
begin insert

26(ii) The time limits applicable to each circumstance.

end insert
begin insert

27(iii) The rules and processes required before such use.

end insert
begin insert

28(iv) The individuals who may access or use an unmanned
29aircraft system or its collected information and the circumstances
30under which they may do so.

end insert
begin insert

31(v) The safeguards to protect unauthorized use or access.

end insert
begin insert

32(vi) Training required for any individual authorized to use or
33access the sharing or information.

end insert
begin insert

34(vii) Sharing of images, data, or footage with other law
35enforcement agencies and public agencies.

end insert
begin insert

36(viii) The manner in which information obtained from another
37public agency will be used.

end insert
begin insert

38(ix) Mechanisms to ensure the policy is followed.

end insert

39(c) A law enforcement agency shall not use an unmanned aircraft
40begin delete systemend deletebegin insert system, or information obtained from an unmanned aircraft
P6    1system used by another public agency,end insert
to surveil private property
2unless the law enforcement agency complies with subdivision (b)
3and has obtained either of the following:

4(1) A search warrant based on probable cause.

5(2) The express permission of the person or entity with the legal
6authority to authorize a search of the specific private property to
7be subjected to surveillance.

8(d) Notwithstanding subdivision (c), a law enforcement agency
9may use an unmanned aircraft system to surveil private property
10if an exigent circumstance exists, including, but not limited to,
11either of the following circumstances:

12(1) In emergency situations if there is an imminent threat to life
13or of great bodily harm, including, but not limited to, fires, hostage
14crises, barricaded suspects, “hot pursuit” situations if reasonably
15necessary to prevent harm to law enforcement officers or others,
16and search and rescue operations on land or water.

17(2) To determine the appropriate response to an imminent or
18existing environmental emergency or disaster, including, but not
19limited to, oils spills or chemical spills.

begin delete
20

14351.  

(a) Except as permitted by this title, images, footage,
21or data obtained by a law enforcement agency, or any entity
22contracting with a law enforcement agency, of private property
23pursuant to this title shall not be disseminated to another law
24enforcement agency unless the law enforcement agency has the
25permission of the person or entity with the legal authority to
26authorize a search of the specific private property or a search
27warrant for the images, footage, or data based on probable cause
28pursuant to this code, or the law enforcement agency would not
29have been required to obtain a warrant to collect the images,
30footage, or data itself, as specified in Section 14350.

31(b) Except as permitted by this title, images, footage, or data
32obtained by a law enforcement agency through the use of an
33unmanned aircraft system shall not be used by the law enforcement
34agency for any purpose other than that for which it was collected.

35(c) (1) Images, footage, or data obtained through the use of an
36unmanned aircraft system shall be permanently destroyed within
37one year, except that a law enforcement agency may retain the
38images, footage, or data in both of the following circumstances:

39(A) For training purposes. Images, footage, or data retained for
40training purposes shall be used only for the education and
P7    1instruction of a law enforcement agency’s employees in matters
2related to the mission of the law enforcement agency and for no
3other purpose.

4(B) For academic research or teaching purposes. Images,
5footage, or data retained for academic research or teaching purposes
6shall be used only for the advancement of research and teaching
7conducted by an academic or research institution and matters
8related to the mission of the institution and for no other purpose.

9(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), a law enforcement agency
10may retain beyond one year images, footage, or data obtained
11through the use of an unmanned aircraft system in both of the
12following circumstances:

13(A) If a search warrant authorized the collection of the images,
14footage, or data.

15(B) If the images, footage, or data are evidence in any claim
16filed or any pending litigation, internal disciplinary proceeding,
17enforcement proceeding, or criminal investigation.

end delete
begin insert
18

begin insert14351.end insert  

(a) Images, footage, or data obtained through the use
19of an unmanned aircraft system shall be permanently destroyed
20within one year, except that a law enforcement agency may retain
21the images, footage, or data in both of the following circumstances:

22(1) For training purposes. Images, footage, or data retained
23for training purposes shall be used only for the education and
24instruction of a law enforcement agency’s employees in matters
25related to the mission of the law enforcement agency and for no
26other purpose.

27(2) For academic research or teaching purposes. Images,
28footage, or data retained for academic research or teaching
29purposes shall be used only for the advancement of research and
30teaching conducted by an academic or research institution and
31matters related to the mission of the institution and for no other
32purpose.

33(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), a law enforcement agency
34may retain beyond one year images, footage, or data obtained
35through the use of an unmanned aircraft system in both of the
36following circumstances:

37(1) If a search warrant authorized the collection of the images,
38footage, or data.

P8    1(2) If the images, footage, or data are evidence in any claim
2filed or any pending litigation, internal disciplinary proceeding,
3enforcement proceeding, or criminal investigation.

end insert
4

14352.  

Unless authorized by federal law, a person or entity,
5including a law enforcement agency subject to Section 14350 or
6a person or entity under contract to a law enforcement agency, for
7the purpose of that contract, shall not equip or arm an unmanned
8aircraft system with a weapon or other device that may be carried
9by, or launched or directed from, an unmanned aircraft system and
10that is intended to cause incapacitation, bodily injury or death, or
11damage to, or the destruction of, real or personal property.

12

14353.  

All unmanned aircraft systems shall be operated so as
13to minimize the collection of images, footage, or data of persons,
14places, or things not specified with particularity in the warrant
15authorizing the use of an unmanned aircraft system, or, if no
16warrant was obtained, for purposes unrelated to the justification
17for the operation.

18

14354.  

(a) This title is not intended to conflict with or
19supersede federal law, including rules and regulations of the
20Federal Aviation Administration.

21(b) A local legislative body may adopt more restrictive policies
22begin insert than those specified in state lawend insert on the acquisition, use, or retention
23of unmanned aircraft systems.

24

14355.  

For the purposes of this title, the following definitions
25shall apply:

begin delete

26(a) “Criminal intelligence” means information compiled,
27analyzed, or disseminated in an effort to anticipate, prevent,
28monitor, or investigate criminal activity.

end delete
begin delete

29(b)

end delete

30begin insert(a)end insert “Law enforcement agency” means the Attorney General,
31each district attorney, and each agency of the state or political
32subdivision of the state authorized by statute to investigate or
33prosecute law violators.

begin delete

34(c)

end delete

35begin insert(b)end insert  “Unmanned aircraft system” means an unmanned aircraft
36and associated elements, including communication links and the
37components that control the unmanned aircraft, that are required
38for the pilot in command to operate safely and efficiently in the
39national airspace system.

P9    1

14356.  

Except as provided in this title, the surveillance
2restrictions on electronic devices described in Chapter 1.5
3(commencing with Section 630) of Title 15 of Part 1 shall apply
4to the use or operation of an unmanned aircraft system by abegin delete publicend delete
5begin insert law enforcementend insert agency.

6

SEC. 3.  

The Legislature finds and declares that Section 1 of
7this act, which adds Section 6254.31 of the Government Code,
8imposes a limitation on the public’s right of access to the meetings
9of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies
10within the meaning of Section 3 of Article I of the California
11Constitution. Pursuant to that constitutional provision, the
12Legislature makes the following findings to demonstrate the interest
13protected by this limitation and the need for protecting that interest:

14In order to ensure the safety of persons involved in investigations
15and to preserve the integrity of those investigations, it is necessary
16that this act take effect.

17

SEC. 4.  

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
18Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
19the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
20district under this act would result either from a legislative mandate
21that is within the scope of paragraph (7) of subdivision (b) of
22Section 3 of Article I of the California Constitution, or because
23this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or
24infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within
25the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes
26the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article
27XIII   B of the California Constitution.



O

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