Drones are a pretty cool gadget for some hobbyists and professional photographers/videographers, but they also could be dangerous.

The NFL’s top security official last week backed bipartisan legislation that would authorize the federal government to track, seize and destroy drones considered a threat to large, public gatherings — including professional football games.

“This is growing technology that’s becoming more and more sophisticated, and we need law enforcement to have the authority to begin studying how exactly they handle this, and in extreme cases, to be able to knock them out of the sky or bring them down in one way, shape or form,” said Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.

The NFL’s senior vice president of security, Cathy Lanier, spoke with the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee about what she said was a “dramatic increase in the number of threats, incidents, and incursions by drones” at NFL stadiums across the country.

One of the biggest instances comes from last year when the San Francisco 49’s had a drone fly over their field and drop leaflets in the end zone.

“The first thing this bill does is give the Department of Homeland Security the same limited authority we’ve given to the Department of Defense and Department of Energy to at least begin studying how to study the malign use of drones, which is a pretty complex issue in and of itself,” explained Sen. Johnson.

The NFL fully supports this legislation, which is sponsored by Sen. Johnson, the committee’s chairman, and Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri.

“For example, if there’s a malign use of drones over stadiums or airports, there’s no authority right now that can knock those drones out of the sky or counter them, and that’s what we’re trying to fix,” Sen. Johnson said.

NFL officials spoke to Congress saying that they want them to take this legislation further by allowing not just federal authorities, but also local authorities to take down drones due to the slow response time it could take a federal authority to make a drone call.

Lanier has also made it known that the NFL fully supports the Federal Aviation Administration’s proposal to require drones that are owned and operated by anybody be labeled with an ID number similar to a license plate.

These concerns have been brought up because of the number of disturbances from drones at NFL games in the past, from drone usage by terrorist organizations, as well as NFL teams using drones to spy on other teams’ practices.

Sen. Johnson said he hopes to get limited first step authorization into law within the next couple of months.

There was a time when drones were just a fun gadget, but that is no longer the case — even in the world of sports.