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Short Title: Emergency Management/Drone Use.



Representatives Speciale, Pittman, Torbett, and Cleveland (Primary Sponsors).

For a complete list of sponsors, refer to the North Carolina General Assembly web site.

Referred to:

Judiciary III, if favorable, Transportation

February 15, 2017


AN ACT to authorize emergency management services personnel to use unmanned aircraft systems for emergency medical response purposes.

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

SECTION 1. G.S. 15A‑300.1 reads as rewritten:

" 15A‑300.1. Restrictions on use of unmanned aircraft systems.


(c) Law Enforcement Exceptions. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, the use of unmanned aircraft systems by law enforcement agencies of the State or a political subdivision of the State is not prohibited in the following instances:

(1) To counter a high risk of a terrorist attack by a specific individual or organization if the United States Secretary of Homeland Security or the Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Public Safety determines that credible intelligence indicates that such a risk exists.

(2) To conduct surveillance in an area that is within a law enforcement officer's plain view when the officer is in a location the officer has a legal right to be.

(3) If the law enforcement agency first obtains a search warrant authorizing the use of an unmanned aircraft system.

(4) If the law enforcement agency possesses reasonable suspicion that, under particular circumstances, swift action is needed to prevent imminent danger to life or serious damage to property, to forestall the imminent escape of a suspect or the destruction of evidence, to conduct pursuit of an escapee or suspect, or to facilitate the search for a missing person.

(5) To photograph gatherings to which the general public is invited on public or private land.

(c1) Emergency Management Exceptions. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, emergency management services personnel acting in the course and scope of their duties may use unmanned aircraft systems for incident command, area reconnaissance, personnel and equipment deployment monitoring, and other related emergency management response purposes.


SECTION 2. This act is effective when it becomes law.