Amended in Assembly June 29, 2015

Amended in Senate June 2, 2015

Amended in Senate April 22, 2015

Amended in Senate April 7, 2015

Amended in Senate March 11, 2015

Senate BillNo. 170


Introduced by Senator Gaines

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(Coauthor: Senator Anderson)

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(Coauthors: Senators Anderson and Bates)

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(Coauthor: Assembly Member Gatto)

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February 5, 2015


An act to add Section 4577 to the Penal Code, relating to unmanned aircraft systems.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

SB 170, as amended, Gaines. Unmanned aircraft systems: correctional facilities.

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.

Existing state law generally prohibits a person from bringing, possessing, distributing, or selling certain devices and substances, including, among other things, alcoholic beverages, controlled substances, and deadly weapons, in state prison or a jail. Existing law also prohibits unauthorized communication with inmates in state prison or a jail. Existing law provides criminal penalties for violations of these provisions.

This bill would make a person who knowingly and intentionally operates an unmanned aircraft systembegin delete below the navigable airspace, as those terms are defined, overlayingend deletebegin insert on or above the grounds ofend insert a state prison or a jail guilty of a misdemeanor. The bill would make these misdemeanor provisions inapplicable to a person employed by the prison or jail acting within the scope of his or her employment, or a person who receives prior permission from the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation or the county sheriff. By creating new crimes, the bill 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:

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SECTION 1.  

Section 4577 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

2

4577.  

(a) Except as provided in subdivisions (b) and (c), a
3person who knowingly and intentionally operates an unmanned
4aircraft systembegin delete below the navigable airspace, as defined in Section
542102 of Title 49 of the United States Code, overlayingend delete
begin insert on or
6above the grounds ofend insert
a state prison or a jail is guilty of a
7misdemeanor.

8(b) This section does not apply to a person employed by the
9prison who operates the unmanned aircraft system within the scope
10of his or her employment, or a person who receives prior
11permission from the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
12to operate the unmanned aircraft system over the prison.

13(c) This section does not apply to a person employed by the jail
14who operates the unmanned aircraft system within the scope of
15his or her employment, or a person who receives prior permission
P3    1from the county sheriff to operate the unmanned aircraft system
2over the jail.

3(d) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:

4(1) “Unmanned aircraft” means an aircraft that is operated
5without the possibility of direct human intervention from within
6or on the aircraft.

7(2) “Unmanned aircraft system” means an unmanned aircraft
8and associated elements, including, but not limited to,
9communication links and the components that control the
10unmanned aircraft that are required for the pilot in command to
11operate safely and efficiently in the national airspace system.

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SEC. 2.  

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
13Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
14the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
15district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
16infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
17for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of
18the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within
19the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California
20Constitution.



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