Charlottesville, Va., this week passed the nation's first ban on drones, and some states are considering similar measures. But drones can also be helpful tools, experts say.
As scrutiny over US drone policy abroad grows, local and state officials are considering measures to ban their use at home.
Charlottesville, Va., passed the first anti-drone law in the nation Monday, and lawmakers in at least nine states from Massachusetts to California are considering some form of legislation restricting the use of drones.
The measures are largely symbolic, because the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is charged with regulating US airspace, trumping state and local authorities, experts say. They add that drones can be extraordinarily useful, from crop monitoring to water management and a whole host of emergency and life-saving functions. But politicians' concerns speak to mounting questions about just how and when such powerful technology should be used.