RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A two-year moratorium on the use of drones by police and government agencies is now in the hands of Gov. Bob McDonnell.
The Senate accepted a House amendment Thursday and voted 40-0 to pass the moratorium legislation.
Proponents of the legislation say the unfettered use of the small, unmanned aircraft for surveillance could infringe on Virginians' privacy rights. A diverse coalition of organizations including the ACLU, the Tea Party Patriots Federation and agriculture groups supported the bill. Several law enforcement organizations opposed it.
Lawmakers initially considered regulating drones but settled on the moratorium to allow more time to study the issue. The bill provides exceptions for the use of drones in emergencies, to search for missing children or seniors and for National Guard training.