State Duma to authorize police to shoot drones

The State Duma held the first reading of a bill that will authorize police and Federal Security Service officers to shoot down drones. The bill was submitted to the lower house of the Russian parliament back in January but required some improvements.

In addition to personnel of the Interior Ministry and the Federal Security Service, the authority to shoot drones will be given to members of the Federal Guard Service and the National Guard, Izvestia reports. Downing drones will be permitted over airports and during rallies. The bill authors believe that the new measure will increase public security and prevent terrorist attacks. It should be noted that the lawmakers did not provide any statistics as to the use of drones by terrorists in Russia.

Currently, there is no regulation that allows law enforcement officers to destroy private unmanned aerial vehicles. Therefore, drone owners can sue police for opening fire. But in real-life circumstances, police are not afraid to stop drones that look suspicious. The Kremlin and the Federal Security Service headquarters in Moscow are no-drone zones, which is indicated by respective signs. However, due to lack of legislation, police attacks against drones have been technically illegal until now.

The legislators explained that drones may be used for spraying war gases or delivering drugs. For some reason, they cited attacks on the Russian military base in Syria as an example of military drone use.

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