DDIC - Massachusetts


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Enacted Laws

H 5050 - Provides that not less than $7,500 shall be expended for the Sandwich fire department for an unmanned aerial vehicle program. View the Bill

Active Legislation

NACDL has not identified any active legislation for this state.

Previously Introduced Legislation (2022)

S 2915 – Provides funding for: an unmanned aerial vehicle program in the Sandwich fire department;  a drone for Millbury police department; high resolution drone mapping of the great marsh deterioration; a study on the workforce development needs of the commonwealth’s cranberry industry, including the use of drones, robotics, global positioning systems and data management technology. View the Bill

H 888 – Requires the division of fisheries and wildlife and the department of conservation and recreation to conduct annual population surveys which shall include fixed-wing aircraft or UAVs using aerial photography and downward-looking thermal imaging and distance sampling using driving transects and spotlights. View the Bill

HB 4183 – Prohibits the operation of a small unmanned aircraft system within a vertical distance of 400 feet in a school zone without authorization by the superintendent of schools. View the Bill

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HB 1457 – Establishes that an individual who knowingly operates an unmanned aerial vehicle within the flight path of an aircraft, or otherwise interferes with an aircraft in flight, shall be guilty of interfering with an aircraft and shall be fined not more than $1,500. If the individual causes a significant change of course or other serious disruption to the safe travel of an aircraft, the individual shall be fined not more than $5,000 or imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both. View the Bill

HB 1566 – Establishes that an individual who, without lawful authority, weaponizes an unmanned aerial vehicle or operates a weaponized unmanned aerial vehicle shall be imprisoned for 3-20 years in the state prison or 6 months-2.5 years in the house of correction, or by a fine of $1,000-$50,000, or both. An individual who willfully uses an unmanned aerial vehicle to photograph, videotape, or electronically surveil a critical infrastructure facility or another person, when the other person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy, shall be imprisoned in the house of correction for not more than 2.5 years or by a fine of not more than $5,000, or both. View the Bill

SB 1619 – Prohibits unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from being equipped with weapons. Specifies circumstances under which it is lawful for a government entity or official to operate an unmanned aerial vehicle. Establishes that facial recognition and other biometric matching technology shall not be used on data collected by a UAV, except to identity the subject of a warrant. Outlines requirements regarding the issuance of and reporting on warrants authorizing the use of unmanned aerial vehicles. View the Bill

Previously Introduced Legislation (2021)

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HB 3609 – Establishes that no municipality shall enact or enforce any ordinance regulating the operation of UAVs except as otherwise authorized by regulation promulgated by the Federal Aviation Administration or the laws of the commonwealth. Provides that a person who operates, or permits to be operated, any UAV in violation of any FAA regulation shall be fined not more than $100. Provides that a law enforcement officer who observes a violation of an FAA rule by an operator of a UAV may request the individual to state their name and address, and an individual who refuses to do so shall be fined and may be arrested without a warrant. Prohibits the operation of a UAV armed with a weapon capable of serious bodily injury or otherwise capable of releasing a projectile designed to cause serious bodily injury. Prohibits the use of an UAV in a manner that interferes with the flight of a manned aircraft or impedes the operations of any airport. Prohibits the use of a UAV for the purpose of conducting surveillance of an individual or their property without consent. Outlines circumstances under which the use of UAVs by law enforcement for observational or surveillance purposes is permitted. Requires a law enforcement agency to permanently destroy all images, footage, data, or recordings capture from a UAV not later than 120 following the date on which such images were captured, unless such information contains evidence of a crime or is relevant to an ongoing investigation. View the Bill

Previously Introduced Legislation (2019)

HB 1337 – Establishes penalties for interfering with an aircraft in flight by use of a laser pointer or unmanned aerial vehicle. View the Bill

HB 1406 – Establishes penalties for unauthorized use of unmanned aerial vehicles. View the Bill

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HB 1446 – Provides that any use of an unmanned aerial vehicle shall fully comply with all Federal Aviation Administration requirements and guidelines. Also regulates the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, including prohibiting weaponing drones. View the Bill

HB 1447 – Regulates the use of unmanned aerial vehicles. View the Bill

HB 3139 – Prohibits weaponizing drones. View the Bill

HB 4417 - This bill would establish certain violations for using unmanned aerial vehicles and provides for penalties. View the Bill

Previously Introduced Legislation (2017)

HB 2503 – An Act assuring municipal control of military equipment procurement by local law enforcement. View the Bill

HB 3496 – Prohibits weaponized unmanned aerial vehicles; prohibits unlawful surveillance of another person when the person has reasonable expectation of privacy; and prohibits unlawful surveillance of a critical infrastructure facility.  View the Bill

H 3577 – An Act relative to air traffic safety; interference by an unmanned aerial vehicle. View the Bill

H 3581 – A bill to regulate the use of unmanned aerial vehicles by police or other government entities. The bill would prohibit the use of facial recognition or other biometric matching technology  by an unmanned aerial vehicle.  Unmanned aerial vehicles shall not be used to track, collect or maintain information about the political, religious or social views, associations or activities of any individual, group, association, organization, corporation, business or partnership or other entity, unless such information relates directly to investigation of criminal activity, and there are reasonable grounds to suspect the subject of the information is involved in criminal conduct. It would also prohibit drones from being equipped with weapons. View the Bill

Previously Introduced Legislation (2015)

HB 1322 – An Act to regulate the use of unmanned aerial vehicles. View the Bill