Freedom of speech, press, religion, and assembly are protected rights under the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. However, the courts have recognized that activities associated with the exercise of these rights may be reasonably regulated to protect park resources. The necessity of a permit to conduct First Amendment activities may be required by the Superintendent by groups of any size but may not be needed by groups that are less than 25 in size.
A small group is defined as "25 people or less." A small group may not be required to obtain a First Amendment Permit if they are located within our First Amendment site and have no more than leaflets, booklets and/or handheld signs. A permit is required for any small group that:
wants to hold a demonstration or distribute and/or sell printed mater somewhere outside a designated First Amendment area
wants to use equipment (tables, banners, platforms, etc.) even if it is within a designated area
is merely an extension of another group already availing itself of the 25-person maximum
wants to guarantee they will have priority for the use of a location including the desgnated First Amendment area(s)
A large group is defined as "more than 25 people" and is required to obtain a First Amendment Permit even if they are utilizing a park designated First Amendment site.
Types of First Amendment Activities:
Religious services or ceremonies
Press coverage of breaking news
Collecting signatures on petitions or voter initiatives
Public demonstration, picketing, assembly or rally for expressing opinion and views
Sale or distribution of printed material related to free expression of opinion
Type of Activities that are NOT covered by the First Amendment Permit:
Church picnic or social gathering
Wedding ceremonies or receptions
Political fund raiser or other invitation-only political activity or event
Solicitation of donations
Community parades, athletics, or sporting events
Sale of message-bearing clothing, arts and crafts, or similar merchandise
For a permit or for questions about this process, please call the visitor center at 501-374-1957.