Legislator wants to ban state purchases of foreign-made drones

The growth of the use of drones has been astounding over the past decade. They’re used by oil and gas producers, land agents, ranchers and many others.

Now a legislator wants to prohibit the state of Oklahoma from buying drones from covered foreign entities. Rep. Chris Banning, a Republican from Bixy filed the legislation.

House Bill 3068 would restrict the state from purchasing or operating small unmanned aircraft systems, known as drones, that are built or assembled by covered foreign entities without specific waivers.

“This bill marks a step in safeguarding Oklahoma’s interests,” Banning said. “House Bill 3068 demonstrates that Oklahoma values the privacy and safety of its residents with its proactive approach to regulating foreign drones.”

HB3068 categorizes covered foreign entities as those whose names appear on the Consolidated Screening List or Entity List, as designated by the United States Secretary of Commerce, or domicile in the People’s Republic of China or the Russian Federation.

The Office of Management and Enterprise Services can waive these restrictions after reviewing the necessity to purchase a covered foreign entity-manufactured system due to difficult circumstances, Counter-Unmanned Aircraft Systems, or criminal investigative purposes.

Under HB3068, public entities cannot operate small unmanned aircraft systems from covered foreign entities after May 1, 2027.

HB3068 is available to be heard after the legislative session commences on Monday, February 5.

Source: House release