Hartzler Supports Bill to Protect Americans from Terrorist Drones
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-4) applauded the passage of H.R. 6438, the DHS Countering Unmanned Aircraft Systems Coordinator Act, which would help protect U.S. citizens from dangerous and rogue drones.
“This bill is a good first step to countering criminal drones,” said Hartzler, a member of the House Armed Services Committee. “On the other side of the globe, terrorist groups have weaponized drones to target our troops and coalition partners, and we must equip our federal agencies to deal with this potential threat on U.S. soil.”
At the same time, Hartzler believes the federal government must go further to protect Americans from terrorist drones.
“While the bill we passed last night creates a position at the Department of Homeland Security to coordinate all of our counter-drone threat planning efforts, DHS still does not even have the authority to engage a rogue drone,” said Hartzler, who introduced a bill earlier this year to give federal agencies this authority. “My bill, the Safeguarding America’s Skies Act, would allow DHS and the Department of Justice to use counter drone technology to intercept unauthorized drones. Without relief from the current federal prohibition on intercepting criminal drones, federal agencies will continue to have their hands tied when it comes to protecting U.S. citizens from a potential drone attack.”
Specifically, the bill the House passed last night, H.R. 6438, would establish an Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Coordinator at the Department of Homeland Security to centralize all of the Department’s counter-drone threat efforts. The Coordinator would be responsible for working with the relevant components of DHS to develop plans for countering threats posed by drones. But as Rep. Hartzler mentioned, DHS currently does not even have the authority to engage with rogue drones.
Hartzler introduced her bill, H.R. 5366, the Safeguarding America’s Skies Act, in March. It has been referred to the following House Committees, where it awaits further review: Transportation & Infrastructure, Judiciary, and Homeland Security.
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