AUGUSTA- A new law was proposed concerning the use of drones.
Drones are used for a lot of tasks.
You can record nature, use it to hunt, and even save lives.
However, when they’re used to follow and record strangers, that’s when it becomes stalking.
As one citizen of Gorham found out in late January, there are currently no state laws to punish those using drones to stalk people.
“The fact that it’s occurred in Gorham already, it occurred in my town, it’s something that has the potential to escalate into a very bad outcome and I think that definitely qualifies as an emergency,” Republican Rep. John Andrews of South Paris.
Andrews proposed a bill that would not only make it illegal to stalk people using drones, but also establish harsher penalties for those convicted of surveilling underage children.
“What scares me, there’s a lot of parents in the legislature with daughters and sons, but what if that’s a human trafficker with stalking their future pray or even a pedophile trying to follow somebody, trying to learn their routines for abduction or something like that,” he said.
On Thursday, top lawmakers from both chambers gathered for the legislative council to decide if Andrews‘ bill would be considered by the full legislation.
After short deliberations, they unanimously voted yes.
“So let’s clarify the situation for the benefit of the police, the public and the court system, and explicitly state that the use of drones in surveillance of a person is a violation,” Democrat Rep. Steve Moriarty of Cumberland said.