31 States Enact Legislation Addressing Unmanned Aircraft Systems


NCSL NewsNew NCSL Report Details Action on Drones

DenverThirty-one states have enacted laws addressing unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or drones) issues, and an additional five states have adopted resolutions, according to the report “Taking Off: State Unmanned Aircraft Systems Policies,” by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). 

A few highlights from the report include:

  • Every state but South Dakota has considered legislation regarding UAS between 2013 and 2016.
  • 12 states have passed legislation providing privacy protections from other citizens that are specific to drones.
  • 18 states have passed legislation requiring law enforcement agencies to obtain a search warrant to use UAS for surveillance or to conduct a search.
  • 3 states explicitly prohibit law enforcement agencies from using UAS with attached weapons.
  • 13 states have passed legislation related to criminal penalties of UAS misuse.

Read the complete report. 

NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.