Rep. Paul Rosenthal, D-Denver, introduced the
legislation after hearing stories from several other
states, where drones were used to drop prohibited
items into prison yards. He called it a public safety
issue, pointing out that fights broke out in those
yards as a result of the contraband deliveries.
But Rosenthal’s legislation did not stop at prisons. It
also would have prohibited flying drones within five
miles of an airport, an issue that sent the bill into
Opponents pointed out that prohibiting drone flights
within 1,000 feet of a prison could prevent
photographers and videographers from accessing
areas that are otherwise legal to capture.
Given the seemingly endless concerns, Rosenthal
simply decided to spike his own legislation, asking
the House Judiciary Committee to kill the bill, which
the committee agreed to do.