June 23, 2015

Watson Coleman Drone Bill Passes in the House

For Immediate Release

Washington, DC (June 23, 2015) ― Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1646, the Homeland Security Drone Assessment and Analysis Act, legislation introduced by Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Ranking Member of the Homeland Security Committee’s Oversight and Management Efficiency Subcommittee. Rep. Watson Coleman is the third House Freshman Democrat to succeed in passing legislation on the House floor.

“I introduced this bill with the understanding that drone technology holds great promise that has yet to be fully realized,” said Watson Coleman. “Truly harnessing these devices’ potential requires us to mitigate the risks associated with them. The Homeland Security Drone Assessment and Analysis Act does that, enhancing national security, and clarifying the framework for drone manufacturers and enthusiasts alike. The end result will be policies that allow us to build and use drones in a lawful and safe manner. I am pleased that the House has passed this critical and timely piece of legislation.”

H.R. 1646 requires the Department of Homeland Security to:

  • Research how commercially-available small and medium-sized drones could be used to perpetrate an attack;
  • Take the lead as the Federal department responsible for developing policies, guidance, and protocols to prevent an attack perpetrated with a small or medium-sized drone;
  • Disseminate information to State, local and tribal law enforcement officials regarding how to respond to potential threats from these drones, and;
  • Conduct an assessment of the security threat associated with the commercial availability of drones.

H.R. 1646 passed by voice vote.