Drones routinely fly too close to Lambeau Field on game day, federal government can now take them down

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- The Green Bay Police Department says it detects, on average, two drones flying too close to Lambeau Field every home game.

So far, none of the drones spotted have been considered a threat to people.

However, there's growing concern in Washington, D.C. that drones could eventually be used to attack.

Cathy Lanier, the NFL Vice President of Security, is hoping lawmakers continue to expand authority prevent drone from flying over stadiums during a game.

During a September hearing on Capitol Hill, Lanier told lawmakers,“Drones today are capable of inflicting much greater damage.”

Federal regulations already prohibit people from flying drones over large crowds, but people do it anyway.

Since the September hearing, the federal government has granted the Department of Homeland Security authority to take drones out of the air if they fly into restricted air space.

Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) authored the legislation that became law and said, “Knocking down a drone is not all that easy to do.”

Johnson said his bill also allows DHS to explore ways to take down a drone safely.

DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen highlighted the importance of rising to that challenge, and said in an early October statement, “Terrorist groups aspire to use armed drones against our homeland and U.S. interests and have already deployed such devices abroad to surveil, disrupt, and kill.”

Matt Feeny, with the libertarian think tank Cato Institute, says he agrees with the law’s aim, but says it’s written too broadly.
He worries the law could block photographers from places they ought to have access to, like natural disaster areas.

Feeney said, “This legislation could be used to stifle legitimate journalism.”

President Trump signed the law last week, it’s unclear when DHS will begin using its new power to clear the air.

Green Bay police don’t expect any changes immediately, but do expect to discuss the new law with the federal government and Packers soon.

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