Americas Safety

Laws need to catch up with drone technology


Do we want somebody firing a gun from a drone in Chicago or elsewhere in Illinois, which is precisely what happened recently in Connecticut?

That’s just one of the many alarming concerns about drones as they increasingly take to our skies, far outpacing attempts to sensibly regulate them.

In Chicago last week, two aldermen took a thoughtful step toward drone regulation, introducing an ordinance that would ban drones within five miles of O’Hare and Midway airports or within a quarter mile of schools, hospitals, open-air stadiums and places of worship. The ordinance introduced by Scott Waguespack (32nd) and Edward Burke (14th) also, among other restrictions, would ban drones equipped with firearms.

Chicago has a responsibility to act now in part because efforts to regulate private and commercial drones have stalled in Springfield. All that’s come out of the Legislature is a bill, now on Gov. Bruce Rauner’s desk, that would ban drones used for hunting and fishing and create a task force to study the issue for about a year. It would be nice if the creation of the task force leads to helpful state laws, but similar study groups in the past have had a spotty record; some have done a good job but others have accomplished nothing.


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