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Guidance Regarding Department Activities to Protect Certain Facilities from Unmanned Aircraft (Drones)

On April 13 2020, the United States Attorney General's Office released the following Memorandum regarding drones and counter-drone (cUAS) technology.

INTRODUCTION: "Law enforcement and security agencies play a crucial role in ensuring the safe and secure integration of drone technology into the airspace. As recognized in the Department's 2019 Policy on the Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems, drone technology has transformative potential as a valuable law-enforcement and public-safety tool, including for use in crime scene investigations, search and rescue operations, and security assistance. As drones become more powerful and capable, however, they also become a more attractive tool for criminals, terrorists, and other bad actors to cause disruption and destruction. Unfortunately, the threat is not theoretical."

The public document goes on to say, "To assist the Department of Justice ("DOJ") and Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") in combatting these threats, Congress passed the Preventing Emerging Threats Act of 2018 (codified at 6 U.S.C. § 124n) ("the Act"). The Act provides DOJ and DHS with a tailored grant of authority for authorized Department components to take certain counter-drone actions, notwithstanding certain provisions of federal law that could potentially constrain necessary and appropriate actions to mitigate credible drone threats to designated facilities and assets."

"Today, I have issued guidance under the Act entitled, Guidance Regarding Department Activities to Protect Certain Facilities or Assets from Unmanned Aircraft and Unmanned Aircraft Systems (“the Guidance”).  As authorized components, your counter-drone activities conducted under the Act will be governed by the Guidance. The Guidance outlines the process by which your components may seek approval for the use of counter-drone technologies and request designation of facilities or assets for protection.  As a general rule, not every facility or asset will qualify for protection.  Only those considered “high risk and a potential target” for drone activity–and relate to one of the authorized DOJ missions enumerated in the Act and the Guidance –will qualify." 

Read the entire 22-page document HERE.

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Read the original document on the US Justice Department's website here, published 4/13/2020 signed by Attorney General William Barr.