West Virginia House Would Make Some Drone Use Criminal

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – The West Virginia House has approved limits on drone use with criminal penalties for adding weapons, harassing others, interfering with airplanes or taking photographs of people through the windows of their homes.

The bill, adopted 78-18 on Thursday, would establish a misdemeanor for operators of unmanned aircraft to knowingly view or take pictures or videos of people on private property “in a manner that would invade the individual’s reasonable expectation of privacy.”

It also would be a low-level crime to intentionally harass someone or fly it with “wanton disregard” of others’ safety or property, in violation of a restraining order or interfering with police or emergency medical personnel.

Operating a drone with a gun or other deadly weapon, except for official military or police purposes, would be a felony.