UPDATE: Governor Wolf signed HB 1346 on October 12, 2018 and it became Act 78.
Today, Representative Jeff Pyle‘s Unlawful Use of Unmanned Aircraft bill, HB 1346, was signed in the House, after passage in both the Pennsylvania House and Senate, and is expected to be signed by Governor Wolf in the near future.
This bill criminalizes the intentional or knowing use of unmanned aircraft (i.e. drones) to conduct “surveillance of another person in a private place” (defined as a “place where a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy”), to “operate in a manner which places another person in reasonable fear of bodily injury”, and to “deliver, provide, transmit or furnish contraband.” Of course, there is a law enforcement, government agency employee, firefighter, emergency medical responder and “electric, water, natural gas or other utility employee” exception; however, the need for such exceptions are questionable, unless law enforcement or firefighters are now running contraband to individual in PA, like ATF did in Fast and Furious. Also, permitting these individuals to surveil another person in a private place, in the absence of a warrant, would be in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Knowing Representative Pyle, I am 100% sure that these were not his idea, as he is an ardent protector of both the U.S. and Pennsylvania Constitutions.
Of significant importance to our unmanned aircraft viewers, it also provides a preemption provision; whereby, all municipalities (defined as including counties, cities, boroughs, towns, townships..etc) are precluded from enacting and regulating the “ownership or operating of unmanned aircraft.” I have to applaud Representative Pyle for this all inclusive language – the only additional provision I would have liked to have seen was an attorney fee provision for any municipality that unlawful enacts or enforces any unmanned aircraft policy, regulation, or ordinance.
Published by Joshua Prince, Esq.
With our 2nd Amendment rights being attacked at both the Federal and State level, and the ATF (Burea of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives) trying to close down FFLs (Federal Firearms Licensees) for minor infractions while making FFLs the scapegoat when the ATF's records are inaccurate, I want to take this opportunity to introduce myself. I am one of only a handful of attorneys across the US that practices in the niche area of law known as firearms law. I decided to concentrate my legal practice on firearms law not only because I am a shooter and firearms enthusiast, but also to ensure that our inalienable Right to Keep and Bear Arms is never encroached upon.
I handle cases at the Federal and State level for both FFLs and individuals. At the federal and state levels for individuals, I actively defend the 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution and Section 21 of the PA Constitution, as well as, help individuals with:
- License to Carry Firearms Denials;
- Challenges to Erroneous PICS Denials;
- Relief from Firearms Disabilities;
- Estate Planning Advice;
- Gun/NFA Trusts; and
- 42 USC 1983 Actions for Deprivation of Civil Rights
At both the state and federal levels, I represent FFLs and SOTs throughout Pennsylvania and the US regarding:
- ATF Compliance Inspections;
- Warning Letters and Hearings;
- FFL Revocations;
- Corporate Structure Advice
- Indoor/Outdoor Range Implementation; and
- Forfeiture Proceedings
In following my love for firearms and firearms law, I have taught several Continuing Legal Education (CLE) seminars on Firearms in Estates and Trusts and Firearms Law 101 for several Bar Associations, including Berks, Cumberland, and Dauphin Counties. I also planned and taught several Firearms in Estates CLE classes for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute (PBI).
While at Widener Law School, I was a member of the Widener Law Journal. I wrote an article on the Inaccuracy of the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record (NFRTR). I also had an article published on Fee Disputes in Workers Compensation cases in the Widener Law Journal, Volume 18, No. 2.
You can often find me posting on several internet forums, including Subguns, Uzitalk, AR15, and PAFOA. I also hold PA Firearms Law classes for local ranges to inform the public on the firearm laws of the Commonwealth.
Following in my father's footsteps, I am also a Board member for the Pottstown Police Athletic League (PAL).
View all posts by Joshua Prince, Esq.
One thought on “Unlawful Use of Unmanned Aircraft Bill to be Signed into Law”
Thank you for all you do