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Va. lawmakers back 2-year moratorium on drones

Tuesday - 2/5/2013, 6:19pm  ET

RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia lawmakers have approved a two-year moratorium on the use of drones by police and government agencies.

The House of Delegates voted 83-16 to pass the bill Tuesday. The Senate voted 36-2 to approve a similar measure.

Proponents of the legislation say the unfettered use of the small, unmanned surveillance aircraft could infringe on Virginians' privacy rights. A diverse coalition of organizations including the ACLU, the Tea Party Federation and agriculture groups supported the bills.

Legislators initially proposed regulating the use of drones but decided on the moratorium to allow more time to study the issue.

Law enforcement groups opposed any restrictions. Lawmakers tried to address their concerns by carving out exceptions for the use of drones in emergencies, or to search for missing children or seniors.

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