Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Raised Bill No. 5217

February Session, 2014

 

LCO No. 1128

 

*01128_______JUD*

Referred to Committee on JUDICIARY

 

Introduced by:

 

(JUD)

 

AN ACT CONCERNING USE OF UNMANNED AIRCRAFT.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 15-34 of the general statutes is amended by adding subdivision (29) as follows (Effective October 1, 2014):

(NEW) (29) "Unmanned aircraft" means an aircraft that is operated without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the aircraft.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2014) (a) A person is guilty of criminal use of an unmanned aircraft in the first degree when such person commits a crime, as defined in section 53a-24 of the general statutes, and in the commission of such crime such person used an unmanned aircraft, as defined in subdivision (29) of section 15-34 of the general statutes, as amended by this act, that is equipped with a deadly weapon, as defined in section 53a-3 of the general statutes, including, but not limited to, any explosive or incendiary device, as defined in section 53-206b of the general statutes, or any firearm, as defined in section 53a-3 of the general statutes. No person shall be convicted of criminal use of an unmanned aircraft in the first degree and the underlying offense upon the same transaction but such person may be charged and prosecuted for all or any such offenses upon the same information.

(b) Criminal use of an unmanned aircraft in the first degree is a class B felony.

Sec. 3. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2014) (a) A person is guilty of criminal use of an unmanned aircraft in the second degree when such person violates any provision of section 53a-181c, 53a-181d or 53a-189a of the general statutes and in the commission of such crime uses an unmanned aircraft, as defined in subdivision (29) of section 15-34 of the general statutes, as amended by this act. No person shall be convicted of criminal use of an unmanned aircraft in the second degree and the underlying crime under section 53a-181c, 53a-181d or 53a-189a of the general statutes upon the same transaction but such person may be charged and prosecuted for all or any such crimes upon the same information.

(b) Criminal use of an unmanned aircraft in the second degree is a class C felony.

Sec. 4. Subdivision (8) of subsection (a) of section 54-280 of the 2014 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2014):

(8) "Offense committed with a deadly weapon" or "offense" means: (A) A violation of subsection (c) of section 2-1e, subsection (e) of section 29-28, subsections (a) to (e), inclusive, or (i) of section 29-33, section 29-34, subsection (a) of section 29-35, section 29-36, 29-36k, 29-37a or 29-37e, subsection (c) of section 29-37g, section 29-37j, subsection (b), (c) or (g) of section 53-202, section 53-202b, 53-202c, 53-202j, 53-202k, 53-202l, 53-202aa or 53-206b, subsection (b) of section 53a-8, section 53a-55a, 53a-56a, 53a-60a, 53a-60c, 53a-72b, 53a-92a, 53a-94a, 53a-102a, 53a-103a, 53a-211, 53a-212, 53a-216, 53a-217, 53a-217a, 53a-217b, [or] 53a-217c or section 2 of this act, or a second or subsequent violation of section 53-202g; or (B) a violation of any section of the general statutes which constitutes a felony, as defined in section 53a-25, provided the court makes a finding that, at the time of the offense, the offender used a deadly weapon, or was armed with and threatened the use of or displayed or represented by words or conduct that the offender possessed a deadly weapon;

Sec. 5. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2014) (a) For the purposes of this section:

(1) "Unmanned aircraft" means an unmanned aircraft, as defined in subdivision (29) of section 15-34 of the general statutes, as amended by this act;

(2) "Law enforcement agency" means any state or municipal law enforcement agency; and

(3) "Law enforcement officer" means any officer, employee or other person otherwise paid by or acting as an agent of a law enforcement agency.

(b) Each law enforcement officer who operates an unmanned aircraft shall operate such unmanned aircraft in accordance with this section, regulations and policies established by the Federal Aviation Administration, and regulations adopted pursuant to section 6 of this act.

(c) (1) Except as provided in subdivision (2) of this subsection, no law enforcement officer may operate an unmanned aircraft or disclose or receive information acquired through the operation of an unmanned aircraft.

(2) (A) A law enforcement officer may operate an unmanned aircraft only for a legitimate law enforcement purpose and only pursuant to a warrant or pursuant to an emergency circumstance described in subparagraph (D) of this subdivision;

(B) A law enforcement officer shall operate an unmanned aircraft in a manner to collect information only on the individual, residence or other area that is the subject of a warrant and to prevent the collection of information on individuals, residences or other areas that are not the subject of the warrant. No law enforcement officer may use a biometric identifier system, as defined in section 17b-30 of the general statutes, pursuant to the operation of an unmanned aircraft on an individual who is not the subject of a warrant;

(C) A law enforcement officer may disclose or receive information about an individual acquired through the operation of an unmanned aircraft if such individual has given advance written consent to such disclosure or receipt of information;

(D) A law enforcement officer may operate an unmanned aircraft without first obtaining a warrant in emergency circumstances in which it is reasonable to believe there is an imminent threat to the life or safety of an individual, subject to the following limitations: (i) The law enforcement officer shall document the factual basis for the emergency circumstances, and (ii) not later than forty-eight hours after the law enforcement officer begins operation of an unmanned aircraft, a supervisory law enforcement officer shall file a sworn statement with the appropriate court setting forth the emergency circumstances for such emergency use.

(d) (1) Information that was collected through the operation of an unmanned aircraft that concerns an individual, residence or other area that was not the subject of the warrant or emergency circumstance that was the basis for the operation of the unmanned aircraft may not be used, copied or disclosed for any purpose. The law enforcement agency that collected such information shall ensure that such information is destroyed as soon as possible, but in any event, not later than forty-eight hours after such information was collected.

(2) Whenever a law enforcement officer operates an unmanned aircraft, no part of the information acquired through the operation of the unmanned aircraft may be received in evidence in any trial, hearing or other proceeding before any court, grand jury, department, officer, agency, regulatory body, legislative committee or other authority of this state or a political subdivision thereof if the disclosure of such information would be in violation of this section.

(e) Not later than January fifteenth of each year, each law enforcement agency that used unmanned aircraft in the preceding calendar year shall report to the Chief State's Attorney and make public on its Internet web site: (1) The number of times the agency used unmanned aircraft in the preceding calendar year, specifying the number of uses in criminal investigations and the number of uses for other reasons; (2) a list of all occasions when an unmanned aircraft was used with the following details for each use: (A) The date of use, (B) the incident that gave rise to such use, (C) the location of such use, (D) the reason for such use, (E) whether the unmanned aircraft was used pursuant to a warrant or an emergency circumstance, (F) the type of information acquired through the use of an unmanned aircraft that was acquired in accordance with subsection (c) of this section, and (G) the type of information acquired through the use of an unmanned aircraft that was not relevant to a warrant or emergency circumstance and the date and time when such information was destroyed in accordance with subsection (d) of this section; and (3) the law enforcement agency's total cost attributable to the use of unmanned aircraft during the preceding calendar year.

(f) The Chief State's Attorney shall, based on the reports filed by each law enforcement agency pursuant to subsection (e) of this section submit a report, not later than February first of each year, in accordance with section 11-4a of the general statutes, to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to criminal law and procedure, concerning the use of unmanned aircraft during the preceding calendar year. The report shall include a summary and analysis of the information received from law enforcement agencies pursuant to subsection (e) of this section.

Sec. 6. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2014) The Commissioner of Transportation shall adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54 of the general statutes, to regulate the operation of unmanned aircraft, as defined in subdivision (29) of section 15-34 of the general statutes, as amended by this act, in airspace within this state that is not part of the National Airspace System and not governed by regulations concerning unmanned aircraft systems adopted by the Federal Aviation Administration pursuant to the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012. The commissioner shall submit the regulations required under this section to the standing legislative regulation review committee not later than one hundred eighty days after the later of September 30, 2015, or the date such federal regulations are adopted by the Federal Aviation Administration.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

October 1, 2014

15-34

Sec. 2

October 1, 2014

New section

Sec. 3

October 1, 2014

New section

Sec. 4

October 1, 2014

54-280(a)(8)

Sec. 5

October 1, 2014

New section

Sec. 6

October 1, 2014

New section

Statement of Purpose:

To: (1) Establish the crime of "criminal use of an unmanned aircraft", and require persons convicted of using an unmanned aircraft that is equipped with a deadly weapon to be subject to registration under the deadly weapon offender registry; (2) establish standards for the use of unmanned aircraft by law enforcement agencies; and (3) provide for regulations to be adopted concerning the use of unmanned aircraft in any state airspace that is not subject to federal regulation.