Proposed legislation that would make it illegal to fly drones over prisons and detention centers in South Carolin has gotten key approval in the state Senate.
Lead sponsor State Sen. Vincent Sheheen, D-Kershaw, said there is already a problem with people throwing contraband over the fences of detention centers But now smugglers are using drones to drop it “over the fence.”
“They are now beginning to see emergence of the use of this new technology to deliver contraband,” Sheheen said last week. “All (the bill) says is you can’t fly these things over prisons. It’s pretty much common sense, protect your guards, protect your law enforcement.”
The proposal would make it a misdemeanor to fly a drone within 500 feet around or 250 above a state prison or jail without the consent of the facility’s director.
He said exceptions can be made. “For example, if there are power lines running over it and they need to be inspected.”
State Department of Corrections Director Bryan Stirling was at the capitol last week when the proposed bill was being debated. He has said the legislation is needed.