Missouri residents and government agencies could not use drones to conduct surveillance without a warrant under legislation advanced by the state House.
The measure would also prevent journalists and other organizations from using drones to observe private property without an owner's consent. State universities could still use unmanned aircraft to conduct educational research.
Sponsoring Republican Representative Kenneth Wilson of Smithville, says the bill protects privacy rights. Opponents say the ban is unnecessary and could hurt business opportunities with companies that use drone technologies.
Under the bill, any evidence collected from improper drone usage would not be admissible in court cases.
The House gave the measure initial approval today. It needs one more vote before moving to the Senate.