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State Lawmakers Approve Temporary Ban on Drones - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

State Lawmakers Approve Temporary Ban on Drones

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If you're concerned about drones in the skies over your neighborhood, you can breath easier. Virginia lawmakers approved a two-year ban on drone use Thursday. It is now on its way to the governor.

Virginia is one of the first states in the country to put statewide limitations on the unmanned aerial technology. The bill prevents the use of drones by law enforcement until the beginning of 2015, except in certain search and rescue operations. Lawmakers will use the next two years to create a regulatory framework to ensure privacy.

Delegate Ben Cline sponsored the bill in the House of Delegates, and hopes Governor McDonnell will support the measure when it reaches his desk.

"We are pleased that it's on the way to the governor with strong bipartisan support," Cline said. "We hope that the governor will also share our support for a breathing period to get some rules in place."

In a radio interview last May, McDonnell came out in support of drone use by law enforcement. In response to the legislation passed by the General Assembly, his office said in a statement, "The governor will review these bills when they reach his desk and consult with the appropriate parties on both sides of this issue before making a decision on what action he will take."

Less than three weeks ago, the city of Charlottesville became the first locality in the country to adopt a resolution banning drone use. Delegate Cline believes this also will be the first statewide bill limiting drones.

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