NEVADA – A new bill in the Nevada Legislature that would criminalize the installation of GPS tracking devices on personal vehicles has received broad bipartisan support. The legislation comes after a recent case where Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve was tracked using a mobile tracking device without her consent.
If passed, the bill would make it a misdemeanor to install a mobile tracking device on someone else’s vehicle without their permission. The second offense would be a gross misdemeanor and the third offense would be a category C felony.
Assembly Bill 356, sponsored by both Republican Assemblywoman Jill Dickman and Democratic Assemblywoman Selena La Rue Hatch, was heard for the first time in the Assembly Judiciary committee on Wednesday.
The bill’s sponsors note that the proposed legislation is not exclusive to elected officials and is aimed at preventing the installation of GPS tracking devices on anyone’s personal car without their consent. They hope it would also protect victims of domestic violence from stalking.
However, AB 356 does not change Nevada laws surrounding fleets or rental cars and includes a carve-out for law enforcement, which could continue to use such tracking devices in the course of a legal investigation.
According to the bill sponsors, 24 states have already approved legislation to ban the use of GPS-tracking devices. The legislation has 26 sponsors in total, including members of both parties.
During the hearing, Assemblywoman Dickman expressed her surprise that installing tracking devices was not already a criminal offense. In the case of Mayor Schieve, she had to file a civil lawsuit because there was no criminal violation.
Supporters of the legislation hope that it will help prevent the abuse of GPS trackers in the private investigation field. However, Assemblyman Ken Gray raised concerns about the impact on private investigators, especially in cold cases. Dickman responded by saying that investigators would have to “do it the old-fashioned way” if the measure is approved.
The committee did not vote on the measure during Wednesday’s hearing.
Credits: My News 4
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