Minn. town restricts use of drones

The small Minnesota town of St. Bonifacius is restricting the use of unmanned aerial vehicles or drones.

The St. Bonifacius City Council has approved an ordinance restricting law enforcement use of unmanned aircraft without a warrant. The ordinance also limits private citizens to flying small remote control aircraft only on their own property.

St. Bonifacius is a city of 2,300, located just west of Minneapolis.

The council is concerned about a lack of federal and state restrictions on drones, according to Mayor Rick Weible.

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"When I look at the potential uses of drones, I have an obligation to my residents to defend their fourth amendment rights," he said.

City officials also want the state to impose a two-year moratorium on drone use so the public can debate how the technology should be used.

"This is a new tool. We just need to sit down as a society and figure out the best way that we can use these," said Weible.

The city only has legal authority to restrict airspace below 400 feet, according to Weible. The Federal Aviation Administration regulates airspace above 400 feet.

Weible says he believes St. Bonifacius is the first city in Minnesota to pass an ordinance restricting drones.

The Minnesota Legislature is considering statewide restrictions on the use of drones.