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Cardinals Back Adding Stadiums to Drone Bill

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The St. Louis Cardinals don’t want anything but baseballs flying over Busch Stadium.

The Cardinals organization is backing a bill proposed to the Missouri House that would make it a misdemeanor offense to fly a drone near the sports facility. 

Michael Whittle, general counsel for the Cardinals, went before a Senate panel this week to ask lawmakers to include open-air sports facilities in the legislation that would ban drones flying over prisons, mental hospitals and county jails. Specifically, the legislation would include all open-air sports facilities with a capacity of 30,000 or more. 

According to KMOX New Radio in St. Louis, Whittle said drones pose a threat because they can carry explosives, biological weapons or chemical weapons.

“Unfortunately, there is nothing in our current Missouri law that would make it unlawful for a drone operator to fly a drone into a mass gathering space, such as a large open-air stadium, imposing a threat to its occupants and/or causing an actual attack and/or mass panic or fear from an attack,” Whittle said.

The stadium inclusion has not yet been added to the bill, but the sponsor for the House version, Rep. Mike Henderson, said his hope is a Senate committee will adopt the language.

The House bill would make it a misdemeanor to knowingly fly a drone near a correctional facility or mental hospital. The bill would make it a felony if someone used the drone for the purpose of delivering a weapon or controlled substance with the drone.

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