Last year, Florida enacted a statute known as "Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act." This statute bans Florida law enforcement agencies from using drones to gather evidence or any other information on citizens. Some exceptions to the statute include using drones for aerial mapping, capturing images by or for an electric, water, or natural gas utility, and for using them under the scope of a warrant.
The Florida law enforcement agencies affected by the enacted law include all local sheriff offices and police departments, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), but the law DOES NOT have any legal effect on Federal law enforcement agencies such as the FBI, DEA, ATF, the U.S. Attorney, the U.S. Marshall Service, or Homeland Security. Florida Statute § 934.50. creates a civil right of action whereby an individual can sue in civil court to stop the surveillance and can also use the statute to prevent evidence from being used in a court in Florida in a criminal prosecution.
Now, Florida's Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) is seeking permission to use drones, as an exception to the law. The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), a law enforcement agency under the DHSMV, would like to use drones “...for complex traffic crash scenes where aerial photos and scene mapping can aid in clearing roads" The DHSMV's request is part of their 2017 Legislative Concepts package, which proposes the state of Florida create "...a pilot program in coordination with the FDOT traffic management to allow law enforcement to use drones for traffic crash management and clearance."
Other states are also going through the fine tuning of drone legislation, just as Florida is now. The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), as part of their Domestic Drone Information Center (DDIC), keeps an updated Bill Map, showing pending drone legislation throughout the United States, including active federal legislation.
One of the reasons that the federal government has taken the lead on drone legislation is because of the heightened concern in the U.S. that drones could be used not only to violate reasonable expectations of privacy by individuals, but to kill people at public gatherings, such as football games and rallies. This heightened concern prompted Congress to push the FAA by enacting the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (Public Law 112-95). This law allowed the FAA to take the lead in creating rules and also funded the FAA to enforce the rules.
For now, since the battle of drone regulation seems to be won so far by the feds, it's useful to have a thorough understanding of the FAA UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) regulations, specifically on the new requirements of registering drones for flight and what can get you in major trouble if you are acting without proper licensing and such. I suggest that you take an hour or more to go to the FAA website, specifically their new comprehensive UAS rule (Part 107), which will help you become very familiar with what regulations have been created before you go out and fly your drones into trouble.
Last year, the White House issued a memo titled "Presidential Memorandum: Promoting Economic Competitiveness While Safeguarding Privacy, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties in Domestic Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems," which is a glimpse of what is coming in the near future in regard to drone regulation.