Status of Domestic Drone Legislation in the States

Final update to this chart 1/22/14. Status of 2014 legislation is available here.

We’re currently seeing an unprecedented surge of activity in state legislatures across the country aimed at regulating domestic surveillance drones. (My colleagues Jay Stanley and Catherine Crump have this recent piece detailing the trend.)  Working closely with our lobbyists in state capitols around the country, we have been tracking this activity and working hard to make sure these privacy-protective bills become law. The chart below shows the current status of state legislation as we understand it. We will update this as we receive new information.

With the exceptions noted below, almost all of the bills we’re seeing require law enforcement to get a probable cause warrant before using a drone in an investigation.  If you see your state listed below (unless you live in Arizona), call your legislators and urge them to support privacy-protective drones legislation.

(See here for an analysis of the content of drone legislation throughout the nation.)

Legislation proposed in 43 states and enacted in 9 states

(Update: The 2013 state legislative sessions have drawn to a close. This chart represents a snapshot of the 2013 state legislative action on drones. Many of the bills listed below have been 'carried over' into 2014, and the work to legislate privacy protections for law enforcement use of drones continues. Stay tuned.)

State

Status

Notes

AlabamaPassed Senate committee; legislature adjourned without further action 
AlaskaResolution adopted creating drone task force; legislature adjourned without further actionTask force is to recommend drone policies and legislation
ArizonaPassed House; legislature adjourned without further action 
ArkansasLegislature adjourned without taking up proposed legislation 
CaliforniaBill introduced; legislature adjourned without further action 
FloridaLegislation enacted, goes into effect July 1, 2013.  
GeorgiaBill introduced; legislature adjourned without further actionResolutions honoring the aerospace/drones industry also passed in both houses.
HawaiiBill introduced; legislature adjourned without further action 
IdahoLegislation enacted, goes into effect July 1, 2013 
IllinoisLegislation enacted, goes into effect Jan. 1 2014 
Indiana“Study group” resolution passed Senate committee; bill introduced; legislature adjourned without further action 
IowaBill introduced; legislature adjourned without further action 
KansasBill introduced; legislature adjourned without further action 
KentuckyBill introduced; legislature adjourned without further action, but interim study hearing on drones held Aug. 21. 
MainePassed both chambers, VETOED by governor 
MarylandBill introduced; legislature adjourned without further action 
MassachusettsIntroduced 
MichiganIntroduced 
MinnesotaBill introduced; legislature adjourned without further action 
MissouriPassed House; legislature adjourned without further action 
MontanaLegislation enacted, goes into effect Oct. 1, 2013 
NebraskaBill introduced; legislature adjourned without further action 
NevadaBill introduced; legislature adjourned without further action 
New HampshireDead for this yearPassed House committee; tabled in House.
New JerseyPassed Senate; passed committee in AssemblyPocket vetoed (governor did not sign the bill before the deadline)
New MexicoDied in committee 
New YorkIntroduced 
North CarolinaTwo-year moratorium enacted (PDF, p. 41).  
North DakotaDead for this year Passed House, defeated in Senate.
OhioIntroduced 
OklahomaDead for this yearBill held over until next session; interim study hearing on drone privacy issues to be held Sept. 26
OregonLegislation enacted 
PennsylvaniaIntroduced 
Rhode IslandBill introduced; legislature adjourned without further action 
South CarolinaPassed House Committee; legislature adjourned without further action 
TennesseeLegislation enacted, goes into effect July 1 
TexasLegislation enacted, goes into effect Sept. 1 
VermontBill introduced; legislature adjourned without further action 
VirginiaLegislation enacted, goes into effect July 1, 2013. 
WashingtonNot brought up for full House vote before deadline, so dead for this session.  
West VirginiaBill introduced; legislature adjourned without further action 
WisconsinIntroducedLegislature adjourned but legislation will carry over into 2014.
WyomingDied in committee 

 

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