The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has released a “fact sheet” from its legal department on a discussion of federal preemption of drone regulations, or as they put it, information on “state and local regulation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).”

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The 7-page PDF is geared to help states and local governments (counties, municipalities, etc.) considering laws or regulations addressing drones, aka UAS. While federal laws control certain prohibitions and regulations, there are various related topics that can fall within the authority of local “police powers” (not preempted by federal law).

Examples of appropriate local controls included in the document are the following:

  • Requirement for police to obtain a warrant prior to using a UAS for surveillance.
  • Specifying that UAS may not be used for voyeurism.
  • Prohibitions on using UAS for hunting or fishing, or to interfere with or harass an individual who is hunting or fishing.
  • Prohibitions on attaching firearms or similar weapons to UAS.

While prohibitions of using that Christmas gift drone to peek into your neighbors’ windows are important, the thought of drone mounted firearms really is scary. Just check out these examples in case you missed them:



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