While AOPA is in the midst of trying to repeal the New York student background check law, California lawmakers are proposing a similar measure that would require background checks for anyone operating an aircraft in California. AOPA has discussed the implications of Senate Bill 798 with state officials. Not only would it unfairly impose a burden on pilots, but it is also preempted by federal law. Despite AOPA's talks, state officials have indicated that they might take the bill a step further - to basically mirror the New York law AOPA is fighting - and require background checks and permission from the state for student pilots to begin flight training. "Now they've decided to make a bad idea worse by considering adding in language from the New York law," said Greg Pecoraro, AOPA vice president of regional affairs. "We're working to kill the bill and prevent the language from the New York law from being added."
April 13, 2007