State Drone Law

Generally, Federal law preempts state law, as discussed elsewhere in this blog.  Nevertheless, to date twenty-six (26) states have enacted laws addressing UAS issues and an additional six states have adopted resolutions. Common issues addressed in the legislation include defining what a UAS, UAV or drone is, how they can be used by law enforcement or other state agencies, how they can be used by the general public and regulations for their use in hunting game.


In 2015, 45 states have considered 156 bills related to drones. Nineteen states–Arkansas, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia–have passed legislation. Four other states - Alaska, Georgia, New Mexico and Rhode Island - adopted resolutions related to drones. Georgia’s resolution established a House study committee on the use of drones and New Mexico adopted memorials in the house and senate requiring a study on protecting wildlife from drones. Rhode Island's resolution created a legislative commission to study and review regulation of UAS.

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