Casey Guernsey doesn't trust the government.
So the idea of the government deploying unmanned aircraft to patrol Missouri's skies terrifies him.
"It would be a nightmare scenario for me," Guernsey said. "It isn't far-fetched that we could see government agencies deploy drones to spy on individuals and businesses around the state."
That's why Guernsey, a two-term Republican state representative from Bethany, drafted legislation aimed at banning government agencies from using unmanned aerial vehicles -- more commonly known as drones -- to conduct surveillance without a warrant.
If it passes, Missouri would be the first state regulating drones.
"I don't want to see our state government get in the business of monitoring the citizens any more than we do right now," he said.
And the issue has brought Guernsey -- who considers himself a staunch, Tea Party conservative -- an unlikely partner in his quest: the American Civil Liberties Union.
"As drones become less expensive, our fear is that police and other agencies could use them for fishing expeditions that infringe on an individual's right to privacy," said Gary Brunk, executive director of the ACLU of Kansas & Western Missouri. "This bill is simply common-sense regulation."
Drone technology has made headlines in recent years, thanks to its military use in places such as Pakistan and Afghanistan. Drone surveillance helped find Osama bin Laden's compound, and has been used for targeting missile strikes at suspected terrorists.
U.S. courts have historically ruled that aerial surveillance without a warrant is legal. But since drones are far cheaper to build and fly than manned helicopters, for example, privacy advocates worry the practice will be abused.
Law enforcement agencies around the nation see drone technology as a potentially cost-effective tool to help combat crime. Others see benefits for emergency responders during natural disasters in helping people and assessing damage. In some parts of the country, the technology has already been deployed to inspect crop damage and monitor traffic patterns.
Earlier this year, federal legislation required the Federal Aviation Administration to plan for the safe integration of civilian drones into the nation's airspace by 2015. By then, commercial groups would also be allowed to fly drones.
But privacy advocates worry that there aren't enough legal safeguards in place to prevent drones from being used for mass surveillance.
Documents disclosed by a Freedom of Information Act request this summer from the Electronic Frontier Foundation showed that the federal government granted permission for numerous public entities to fly drones -- ranging from police departments in Seattle and Little Rock, Ark., to Kansas State University.
The Kansas City Police Department is not among those currently using drones.
Guernsey's bill, which he is calling the "Preserving Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act," would mandate that law enforcement must acquire a warrant before gathering evidence or other information pertaining to criminal conduct with an unmanned aircraft.
It would also ban the use of drones by any individual, entity or government agency to conduct surveillance of a farm or agricultural operation without consent of the property owner.
Any evidence or information obtained by using drones in violation of Guernsey's bill would be inadmissible in court, and aggrieved parties would be allowed to sue violators in civil court.
Similar legislation has been proposed in other states. On the federal level, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky has sponsored a bill that would require the government to obtain a warrant before using drones to conduct surveillance.
"I don't want drones ... crisscrossing our cities and our country snooping on Americans," Paul told CNN earlier this year. "And that's the surveillance state that I'm very concerned about."
Helping fuel the push for regulations are rumors that swirled in June about the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency dispatching aerial drones from Kansas City, Kan., to check on whether cow manure was fouling water supplies.
The rumor bounced around social media sites and conservative news outlets. Republican U.S. Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri was so alarmed by the news that he penned a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson decrying the use of drones as "deeply disturbing" and evidence that the EPA "assumes that Missouri farmers are the bad guys and are overreaching yet again ... trying to find any possible reason to harass farmers."
As it turns out, though, there were no EPA drones. The agency was using small piloted planes in Nebraska and Iowa. None were used in Missouri.
Guernsey isn't particularly fond of the use of manned aircraft either -- he said he'd love to prohibit their use to "spy" on farmers. But the concerns that resulted from the rumor demonstrate that something needs to be done, he said.
"In my view, this is a no-brainer," he said. "I really had agriculture and farming in mind. ...We need to further protect our largest industry in the state as much as possible from the government's intrusive arm."
Law enforcement, while embracing the idea of unmanned aircraft, has acknowledged privacy concerns. In August, the International Association of Chiefs of Police adopted guidelines that call for transparency in how drones are used.
The guidelines include a suggestion that any images captured by drones and retained by police should be open to the public, and encourage police to obtain a warrant if evidence collected by drones pertains to criminal wrongdoing.
Guernsey said he doesn't expect to run into much opposition in the Republican-dominated Missouri House, and is hopeful the legislation will quickly become law.