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California Lawmakers Approve Drone Trespassing Crime Bill

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SACRAMENTO (AP) —

California lawmakers have approved a bill that would make it a trespassing violation to fly drones over private property without permission.

The Assembly voted 43-11 on a bill by Santa Barbara Democratic Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson. The bill creates a trespass crime for operating a drone less than 350 feet above ground over private property without consent.

Democratic Assemblyman Mike Gatto of Glendale, who presented Jackson’s bill, said it makes sense to extend property rights upward as drones become more popular.

Republican Assemblywoman Shannon Grove of Bakersfield was among several members who worried the proposal would harm a growing industry. Grove asked lawmakers not to regulate an industry out of business.

Gatto said the bill would not affect businesses.

The bill previously passed the Senate and returns there for Assembly amendments.