Amended in Assembly April 11, 2016

Amended in Assembly March 8, 2016

California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 1820


Introduced by Assembly Member Quirk

February 8, 2016


An act 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 1820, 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 and public unmanned aircraft systems, commonly known as drones, into the national airspace system.

This bill would generally prohibit a law enforcement agency from using an unmanned aircraft system, 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, except as provided by the bill’s provisions. The bill would make its provisions applicable to all law enforcement agencies and private entities when contracting with or acting as the agent of a law enforcement agency for the use of an unmanned aircraft system. The bill would authorize a law enforcement agency to use an unmanned aircraftbegin delete systemend deletebegin insert system, obtain an unmanned aircraft system from another public agency by contract, loan, or other arrangement, or permit another law enforcement agency to use an unmanned aircraft system within the agency’s jurisdictionend insert if the law enforcement agency complies with specified requirements, including, among others, that before 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 all applicable federal, state, and local law 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. 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 a law enforcement agency.

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:

P2    1

SECTION 1.  

Title 14 (commencing with Section 14350) is
2added to Part 4 of the Penal Code, to read:

 

P3    1Title 14.  UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS

2

 

3

14350.  

(a) A law enforcement agency shall not use an
4unmanned aircraft system, obtain an unmanned aircraft system
5from another public agency by contract, loan, or other arrangement,
6or use information obtained from an unmanned aircraft system
7used by another public agency, except as provided in this title.
8This title shall apply to all law enforcement agencies and private
9entities when contracting with or acting as the agent of a law
10enforcement agency for the use of an unmanned aircraft system.

11(b) A law enforcement agency may use an unmanned aircraft
12system,begin insert obtain an unmanned aircraft system from another agency
13by contract, loan, or other arrangement,end insert
orbegin insert permit another law
14enforcement agency toend insert
usebegin delete information obtained fromend delete an unmanned
15aircraft systembegin delete used by another public agency,end deletebegin insert within the agency’s
16jurisdictionend insert
if the law enforcement agency complies with the
17requirements of this title and all applicable federal, state, and local
18law.

19(c) If the use of an unmanned aircraft system by a local law
20enforcement agency may involve the collection of images, footage,
21or data from another county, city, or city and county, the law
22enforcement agency shall obtain a warrant based on probable cause,
23unlessbegin delete anend deletebegin insert either of the following applies:end insert

24begin insert(1)end insertbegin insertend insertbegin insertAnend insert exigent circumstance exists.

begin insert

25
(2) The law enforcement agency has entered into a written,
26public agreement with the appropriate law enforcement agency
27in the other county, city, or city and county, and that other law
28enforcement agency complies with paragraph (5) of subdivision
29(d).

end insert

30(d) (1) If a law enforcement agency elects to use an unmanned
31aircraft system, the law enforcement agency shall first develop
32and make available to the public a policy on its use of the
33unmanned aircraft system, and train the law enforcement agency’s
34officers and employees on the policy, before the use of the
35unmanned aircraft system.

36(2) A law enforcement agency shall use the unmanned aircraft
37system consistent with the policy developed pursuant to this
38subdivision.

39(3) Before finalizing the policy required by this subdivision,
40the law enforcement agency shall present the proposed policy at
P4    1a regularly scheduled and noticed public meeting of its governing
2body with an opportunity for public comment.

3(4) The policy required by this subdivision shall specify, at a
4minimum, all of the following:

5(A) The circumstances under which an unmanned aircraft system
6may or may not be used.

7(B) The rules and processes required before the use of an
8unmanned aircraft system.

9(C) The individuals who may access or use an unmanned aircraft
10system or the information collected by an unmanned aircraft system
11and the circumstances under which those individuals may do so.

12(D) The safeguards to protect against unauthorized use or access.

13(E) The training required for any individual authorized to use
14or access information collected by an unmanned aircraft system.

15(F) The guidelines for sharing images, footage, or data with
16other law enforcement agencies and public agencies.

17(G) The manner in which information obtained from another
18public agency’s use of an unmanned aircraft system will be used.

19(H) Mechanisms to ensure that the policy required by this
20subdivision is adhered to.

begin insert

21
(5) If a law enforcement agency elects to permit another law
22enforcement agency to use an unmanned aircraft system within
23the agency’s jurisdiction by means of an agreement entered into
24pursuant to subdivision (c), the agency shall post a copy of the
25agreement on its Internet Web site.

end insert

26(e) A law enforcement agency shall not use an unmanned aircraft
27system,begin delete orend deletebegin insert obtain an unmanned aircraft system from another public
28agency by contract, loan, or other arrangement, or useend insert
information
29obtained from an unmanned aircraft system used by another public
30begin delete agency,end deletebegin insert agencyend insert to surveil private property unless the law
31enforcement agency has obtained either of the following:

32(1) A search warrant based on probable cause.

33(2) The express permission of the person or entity with the legal
34authority to authorize a search of the specific private property to
35be subjected to surveillance.

36(f) Notwithstanding subdivision (e), a law enforcement agency
37may use an unmanned aircraft system to surveil private property
38if an exigent circumstance exists, including, but not limited to,
39either of the following circumstances:

P5    1(1) In emergency situations if there is an imminent threat to life
2or of great bodily harm, including, but not limited to, fires, hostage
3crises, barricaded suspects, “hot pursuit” situations if reasonably
4necessary to prevent harm to law enforcement officers or others,
5and search and rescue operations on land or water.

6(2) To determine the appropriate response to an imminent or
7existing environmental emergency or disaster, including, but not
8limited to, oil spills or chemical spills.

9

14351.  

(a) Images, footage, or data obtained through the use
10of an unmanned aircraft system shall be permanently destroyed
11within one year, except that a law enforcement agency may retain
12the images, footage, or data in both of the following circumstances:

13(1) For training purposes. Images, footage, or data retained for
14training purposes shall be used only for the education and
15instruction of a law enforcement agency’s employees in matters
16related to the mission of the law enforcement agency and for no
17other purpose.

18(2) For academic research or teaching purposes. Images, footage,
19or data retained for academic research or teaching purposes shall
20be used only for the advancement of research and teaching
21conducted by an academic or research institution and matters
22related to the mission of the institution and for no other purpose.

23(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), a law enforcement agency
24may retain beyond one year images, footage, or data obtained
25through the use of an unmanned aircraft system in both of the
26following circumstances:

27(1) If a search warrant authorized the collection of the images,
28footage, or data.

29(2) If the images, footage, or data are evidence in any claim
30filed or any pending litigation, internal disciplinary proceeding,
31enforcement proceeding, or criminal investigation.

32

14352.  

Unless authorized by federal law, a person or entity,
33including a law enforcement agency subject to Section 14350 or
34a person or entity under contract to a law enforcement agency, for
35the purpose of that contract, shall not equip or arm an unmanned
36aircraft system with a weapon or other device that may be carried
37by, or launched or directed from, an unmanned aircraft system and
38that is intended to cause incapacitation, bodily injury or death, or
39damage to, or the destruction of, real or personal property.

P6    1

14353.  

A law enforcement agency that uses an unmanned
2aircraft systembegin insert or obtains an unmanned aircraft system from
3another public agency by contract, loan, or other arrangementend insert

4 shallbegin insert make a good faith effort toend insert operate the system so as to
5minimize the collection of images, footage, or data of persons,
6places, or things not specified with particularity in the warrant
7authorizing the use of an unmanned aircraft system, or, if no
8warrant was obtained, for purposes unrelated to the justification
9for the operation.

10

14354.  

(a) This title is not intended to conflict with or
11supersede federal law, including rules and regulations of the
12Federal Aviation Administration.

13(b) A local legislative body may adopt more restrictive policies
14on the acquisition, use, or retention of unmanned aircraft systems
15by a law enforcement agency.

16

14355.  

Except as provided in this title, the surveillance
17restrictions on electronic devices described in Chapter 1.5
18(commencing with Section 630) of Title 15 of Part 1 shall apply
19to the use or operation of an unmanned aircraft system by a law
20enforcement agency.

21

14356.  

For the purposes of this title, the following definitions
22shall apply:

23(a) “Criminal intelligence” means information compiled,
24analyzed, or disseminated in an effort to anticipate, prevent,
25monitor, or investigate criminal activity.

26(b) “Law enforcement agency” means the Attorney General,
27each district attorney, and each agency of the state or political
28subdivision of the state authorized by statute to investigate or
29prosecute law violators and that employs peace officers.

30(c) “Surveil” means the purposeful observation of a person or
31private property with the intent of gathering criminal intelligence.

32(d)  “Unmanned aircraft system” means an unmanned aircraft
33and associated elements, including communication links and the
34components that control the unmanned aircraft, that are required
35for the pilot in command to operate safely and efficiently in the
36national airspace system.

37

SEC. 2.  

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
38Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
39the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
40district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
P7    1infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
2for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of
3the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within
4the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California
5Constitution.



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