Cassidy introduces bipartisan Drone Act to criminalize drone misuse

Dangerous drone activity in the United States would be criminalized under a bipartisan bill recently introduced by U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA).

Lawmakers this week proposed the Drone Act of 2022 to prevent the misuse of drones. The bill, S. 3542, was sponsored by U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and cosponsored by U.S. Sens. Cassidy and Mark Kelly (D-AZ).

“From the southern border to cities across the country, criminals are using drones to smuggle drugs, weapons and commit crimes that put Americans at risk,” Sen. Cassidy said in a Feb. 1 statement. “We must confront this new threat.”

If enacted, the Drone Act of 2022 would ensure drug traffickers and terrorists could not use drones to carry out violent attacks by expanding the list of criminal offenses and making them punishable with a $250,000 fine or a prison sentence, according to a bill summary provided by Sen. Cassidy’s staff. 

Among others, the additional criminal offenses would include attaching a firearm, explosive or other dangerous weapon to a drone; using a drone to cause serious bodily injury or death to a person, or causing damage to property; interfering with a law-enforcement activity; transporting contraband; or crossing the U.S. border with a drone, the summary says.

“It’s critical that we give law enforcement the tools to accomplish its mission of keeping our communities safe and our borders secure against criminal organizations,” said Sen. Kelly.