First Amendment Activities Explained
Freedom of speech, press, religion, and assembly are constitutional rights. 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 is determined by the group size.
A small group is defined as 25 people or less. A small group is not required to obtain a First Amendment Permit if they are located within a park designated First Amendment site and have no more than leaflets, booklets, and/or hand-held signs. A permit is required for any small group that:
- wants to hold a demonstration or distribute and/or sell printed matter somewhere outside a designated First Amendment area.
- wants to use equipment (i.e., 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 designated First Amendment areas.
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.
Some examples of special events that fall under First Amendment Rules:
- distribution and/or sale of printed matter
- religious services
- public demonstrations or assemblies, etc.