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Drone use tightly limited for Texas residents, but new law makes big exception for police

Texas is among seven states to recently pass a law limiting drone use in civilian airspace.

While discussion in almost every state legislature has mainly focused on protecting private citizens from too much surveillance by law enforcement, the new law in Texas limits the use of drones by public entities and ordinary citizens.

It also includes a broad exception that allows police to forgo required search warrants if they have probable cause or suspicion of wrongdoing.

Supporters say Texas is ensuring privacy protections keep pace with technology. But opponents worry the law may violate citizens' constitutional rights and bar the media from using unmanned aircraft to chase stories.

Still, the clamor to pass it was such that lawmakers in the Texas House chanted "Drones! Drones! Drones!"