1Amending Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) of the Pennsylvania
2Consolidated Statutes, in wiretapping and electronic
3surveillance, further providing for definitions; and
4providing for drones.
5The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
6hereby enacts as follows:
7Section 1. Section 5702 of Title 18 of the Pennsylvania
8Consolidated Statutes is amended by adding a definition to read:
9§ 5702. Definitions.
10As used in this chapter, the following words and phrases
11shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
12context clearly indicates otherwise:
13* * *
14"Drone." A powered unmanned aerial vehicle or system that
15can be piloted remotely or fly by itself without the possibility
16of direct human intervention from within the vehicle.
17* * *
18Section 2. Title 18 is amended by adding a section to read:
1§ 5762. Drones.
2(a) General rule.--Except as provided under subsection (b),
3no State or local government, department, agency or
4instrumentality having jurisdiction over criminal law
5enforcement or regulatory violations shall employ the use of a
7(b) Exceptions.--Subsection (a) shall not apply to the
9(1) A use permitted by a court of competent jurisdiction
10pursuant to a properly issued warrant.
11(2) A use in connection with an Amber Alert which is
12activated pursuant to the act of November 24, 2004 (P.L.1270,
13No.153), referred to as the Pennsylvania Amber Alert System
15(3) Any use in connection with an emergency declared by
16a government official under 35 Pa.C.S. (relating to health
18(4) For the purpose of a search or rescue operation.
19(5) If it is reasonable to believe that use of a drone
20is necessary to alleviate an imminent threat of death or
21grave injury to a person.
22(6) For training exercises related to one of the
23exceptions listed under paragraphs (1), (2), (3), (4) and
25(c) Pennsylvania National Guard.--The prohibition under this
26section shall not apply to the Pennsylvania National Guard while
27utilizing a drone in any of the following situations:
28(1) During training required to maintain readiness for
29Pennsylvania National Guard's Federal missions.
30(2) If facilitating training for other United States
1Department of Defense units.
2(3) If the drone is utilized to support the Commonwealth
3for purposes other than law enforcement, including damage
4assessment, flood stages and wildfire assessment.
5(d) Grading.--A person who violates this section commits a
6misdemeanor of the third degree.
7(e) Reporting.--The following shall apply:
8(1) On or before April 1 following the effective date of
9this section and annually on or before April 1 thereafter,
10the Pennsylvania State Police shall make a report on the
11operation of drones under this section to the Judiciary
12Committee of the Senate and the Judiciary Committee of the
13House of Representatives. The reports shall contain the
14following information for the previous calendar year:
15(i) Listed separately, the number of times a drone
16has been used pursuant to each exception under subsection
18(ii) The number of criminal investigations in which
19a drone was used, including the number of investigations
20which resulted in no arrest or prosecution and the number
21of investigations which resulted in arrests made and a
22description of the type of charges filed.
23(iii) The annual cost to each State or local
24government, department, agency or instrumentality to
25operate its drones.
26(2) On or before March 1 following the effective date of
27this section and each March 1 annually thereafter, each State
28or local government department, agency or instrumentality
29making use of a drone shall provide to the Pennsylvania State
30Police, on forms prescribed by the Pennsylvania State Police,
1the information under paragraph (1) with respect to the use
2of a drone by that department, agency or instrumentality.
3(3) A report made under this subsection shall considered
4a public record under the act of February 14, 2008 (P.L.6,
5No.3), known as the Right-to-Know Law.
6Section 3. This act shall take effect in 60 days.