Amended in Assembly September 1, 2015

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

(Coauthors: Senators Anderson and Bates)

(Coauthor: Assembly Member Gatto)

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 system on or above the grounds of 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.begin insert The bill would also make these misdemeanor provisions inapplicable to any entity that is authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration to use an unmanned aircraft system and operates it in accordance with the terms and conditions of the authorization.end insert 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:

P2    1

SECTION 1.  

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

2

4577.  

(a) Except as provided inbegin delete subdivisions (b) and (c),end delete
3begin insert subdivisions (b), (c), and (d),end insert a person who knowingly and
4intentionally operates an unmanned aircraft system on or above
5the grounds of a state prison or a jail is guilty of a misdemeanor.

6(b) This section does not apply to a person employed by the
7prison who operates the unmanned aircraft system within the scope
8of his or her employment, or a person who receives prior
9permission from the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
10to operate the unmanned aircraft system over the prison.

P3    1(c) This section does not apply to a person employed by the jail
2who operates the unmanned aircraft system within the scope of
3his or her employment, or a person who receives prior permission
4from the county sheriff to operate the unmanned aircraft system
5over the jail.

begin insert

6(d) This section does not apply to any entity for which the
7Federal Aviation Administration has authorized the use of the
8unmanned aircraft system and the unmanned aircraft system is
9operated in accordance with the terms and conditions of the
10authorization.

end insert
begin delete

11(d)

end delete

12begin insert(e)end insert For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:

13(1) “Unmanned aircraft” means an aircraft that is operated
14without the possibility of direct human intervention from within
15or on the aircraft.

16(2) “Unmanned aircraft system” means an unmanned aircraft
17and associated elements, including, but not limited to,
18communication links and the components that control the
19unmanned aircraft that are required for the pilot in command to
20operate safely and efficiently in the national airspace system.

21

SEC. 2.  

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
22Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
23the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
24district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
25infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
26for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of
27the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within
28the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California
29Constitution.



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