Two bills are being considered by the Wyoming Senate Judiciary Committee that target the use of drones. One bill targets the use of drones in and around prisons, while another targets the use of drones around private property.
According to testimony by Dan Shannon, Director of the Wyoming Department of Corrections, before the Wyoming Senate Committee last week, “Drones pose a unique security threat to jails and prisons.” Shannon continued, “Drones are capable of flying right up to or even landing inside correctional facilities.”
Prohibiting drones over penal institutions
SF0032, titled “Prohibiting drones over penal institutions,” relates to the use of drones to photograph, surveil, broadcast, or otherwise record a penal institution or correctional facility through the use of an unmanned aircraft system (UAS); convey or attempt to convey contraband to a person confined in a penal institution or correctional facility through the use of a UAS; or delivery or attempt to delivery a deadly weapon into a penal institution or correctional facility through the use of a UAS.
The bill also mentions that a person in charge of a penal institution may take or authorize the use of “reasonable actions” to prevent or stop the use of UAS operating in violation of this proposed law. The term “reasonable actions” was not further defined in the bill.
There are provisions for using authorized drones in and around the vicinity of a penal institution or correctional facility by U.S. government personnel or contractors, Wyoming state agencies on state business, law enforcement, emergency medical services, hazardous materials response teams, disaster management or other emergency management agencies.
Tresspass by small unmanned aircraft
SF0034, titled “Tresspass by small unmanned aircraft,” creates the crime of trespass by UAS, provides a penalty, definition, and effective date.
The bill describes trespass by small unmanned aircraft as “the person causes a small unmanned aircraft to enter into the immediate reaches of the airspace over the private property of a landowner and the entry substantially interferes with the landowner’s or his authorized occupant’s use and enjoyment of the land.” The bill does not provide further information on the definitions of “immediate reaches of the airspace” or “use and enjoyment.”