Another state legislature has come to its senses regarding the federal government’s unwarranted use of surveillance drones on Americans. Tennessee Senator Mae Beavers (district 17) has joined Representative James Van Huss in the House (district 6 – H.B. 0591) with companion language that amends the Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 39, Chapter 13, Part 6.

Known as the “Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act”. (S.B. 0796), section (c) states “Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, no law enforcement agency shall use a drone to gather evidence or other information.” Both bills were introduced February 4, 2013 and the House bill was referred to the Civil Justice Subcommittee of the Civil Justice Committee.

Section (d) of the “Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act” provides that use of a drone shall not be prohibited:

(1) To counter a high risk of a terrorist attack by a specific individual or organization if the United States secretary of homeland d security determines that credible intelligence indicates that there is such a risk;

(2) If the law enforcement agency first obtains a search warrant signed by a judge authorizing the use of a drone; or

(3) If the law enforcement agency possesses reasonable suspicion that, under particular circumstances, swift action is needed to prevent imminent danger to life.

Both the progressive American Civil Liberties Union and the libertarian Rutherford Institute cheer legislative efforts to place strict limits on unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs. And, prodded by privacy groups, state lawmakers nationwide—Republicans and Democrats alike—have launched an all-out offensive against the unmanned aerial vehicles.

An appeal to Tennesseans – This legislation is an example of how your state can nullify federal government overreach and what we the people can do about it. If you value your privacy and the Constitution that supports it, here’s how to fight for both.

ACTION ITEMS

Contact the members of the Civil Justice Subcommittee of the Civil Justice Committee.

Rep. Jim Coley, Chair: Republican, District 97
207 WMB, (615) 741-8201, rep.jim.coley@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Mike Carter: Republican, District 29
205 WMB, (615) 741-3025, rep.mike.carter@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Vance Dennis: Republican, District 71
209A WMB, (615) 741-2190, rep.vance.dennis@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Andrew Farmer: Republican, District 17
109 WMB, (615) 741-4419, rep.andrew.farmer@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Sherry Jones: Democrat, District 59
26 LP, (615) 741-2035, rep.sherry.jones@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Jon Lundberg: Republican, District 1
20 LP, (615) 741-7623, rep.jon.lundberg@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Mike Stewart: Democrat, District 52
23 LP, (615) 741-2184, rep.mike.stewart@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Rick Womick: Republican, District 34
207 WMB, (615) 741-2804, rep.richard.womick@capitol.tn.gov

Contact your state legislators and ask them to support the bill.  If you do not know who your legislators are, click here.

Tennessee Tenth Amendment Center