Everything is a crime:
It’s hard to know where to even begin with this proposal. I’ll just pluck some of the low-hanging fruit to get the ball rolling.
The bill defines a drone as a “an unmanned flying machine that is capable of [among other things] capturing images of objects or people on the ground.” I’d argue that, by this definition, all but the very smallest and lightest indoor RC aircraft are “drones,” because they are “capable” of capturing images – if you attach a small camera to them.
That is something that should have every RC pilot in the state worried. For those of us in the FPV community, it’s much, much worse. The moment this bill becomes law, I become a criminal – guilty of a Class B Misdemeanor. My crime? Possessing multirotor aircraft equipped for FPV flight operations.
That’s right – merely possessing a “drone” is a crime, even if you never fly it. Other Class B Misdemeanors in Oregon? Carrying a concealed switchblade or stealing $50 worth of merchandise.
If you actually fly a drone, that’s a Class A Misdemeanor, equivalent to carrying a concealed firearm without a license or driving drunk.
Let’s forget for the moment about the folks who enjoy flying FPV (or RC) for fun – instead, let’s consider the broader implications of this proposal for Oregon as a whole. I find it astonishing that while business and community leaders are hard at work, trying to get Oregon designated as one of six civilian drone test sites nationwide – because it has the potential to put our state at the forefront of a field that will be a major economic driver for the next several decades – some anonymous neo-luddite in the state senate is trying to slam our borders shut to this industry.