SC Rep. Dan Hamilton introduces bill to restrict aerial drone usage

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott and Columbia Police Chief Randy Scott unveiling surveillance drones in 2011.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- A South Carolina lawmaker wants to make it more difficult for law enforcement agencies use unmanned aircraft to gather criminal evidence in the state.

Rep. Dan Hamilton introduced a bill Thursday that would prohibit the use of drones without a warrant. It would also require that photographs of people that are taken by drones be destroyed unless they're part of an authorized investigation.

The Greenville Republican's proposal would also allow public colleges and universities to use drones for research.

Drones are best known for their military application in Iraq and Afghanistan. But federal law enforcement has begun using drones along the border with Mexico.

Other states including Florida and Texas are considering similar bills this year. South Carolina's measure has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee.