Texas photojournalists are suing state officials for a ban on drone filming and photography in certain locations that they say violates the First Amendment and is chilling the speech of reporters and news outlets.
The lawsuit, filed Thursday in Austin federal court, challenges the constitutionality of a section of Texas law that penalizes reporters and photojournalists for taking photos and recording videos with unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones.
Two provisions criminalize piloting a drone less than 400 feet above myriad facilities often recorded in news photo and videography, notably sports arenas, jails and prisons, oil and gas drilling sites, and petroleum refineries. The Federal Aviation Administration requires drones to fly below 400 feet, so Texas’ regulations constitute “a near absolute ban” on using drones near these places, the plaintiffs argue …
Courthouse News Service | Sept. 26, 2019