House bill would punish crimes committed by aerial drones
Michigan's House has passed a bill holding drone operators criminally liable for any mischief wreaked by the unmanned aerial vehicles.
Lawmakers voted Thursday on a five-bill bundle of regulations that includes a provision calling for punishment of crimes committed via drones.
Drone activity that knowingly interferes with public employees or key government facilities such as prisons or law enforcement headquarters also would be barred.
Supporters of the bills, which now head to the state Senate, pointed to past instances of drones being used in Michigan for airborne contraband smuggling. They also warned of terrorists using drones to survey possible targets.
The Federal Aviation Administration does not regulate recreational drones, leading some states to legislate their own clampdowns.
Michigan established an Unmanned Aircraft Systems Act in 2016.