SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
Congress finds as follows:
(1) In recent years, the Federal Government has enacted
regulations to prohibit or restrict photography in National
Parks, public spaces, and of government buildings, law
enforcement officers, and other government personnel carrying
out their duties.
(2) In recent years, photographers on Federal lands and
spaces have been threatened with seizure and forfeiture of
photographic equipment and memory cards, and have been arrested
or threatened with arrest for merely recording what the eye can
see from public spaces.
(3) Even in the absence of laws or regulations, Federal law
enforcement officers, other government personnel, and private
contractors have been instructed to prohibit photography from
public spaces, and threatened photographers with arrest or
seizure of photographic equipment.
(4) Arresting photographers, seizing photographic
equipment, and requirements to obtain permits, pay fees, or buy
insurance policies are abridgments of freedom of speech and of
(5) The First Amendment of the United States Constitution
states, ``Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the
freedom of speech, or of the press.''.
(6) Still and motion photographs are speech.
(7) The photography by Ansel Adams and other famous
photographers helped bring home to Americans the beauty and
fragility of our natural resources.
(8) Ansel Adams' photographs helped build public support to
make Yosemite into a National Park.
(9) Future ``Ansel Adams'' must not have their paths
blocked, regulated and made more expensive with fees and fines,
or be threatened with arrest and seizure of their equipment.
SEC. 3. RESTORATION OF FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS TO PHOTOGRAPHERS.
(a) In General.--It is contrary to the public policy of the United
States to prohibit or restrict photography in public spaces, whether
for private, news media, or commercial use.
(b) Should a Federal agency seek to restrict photography of its
installations or personnel, it shall obtain a court order that outlines
the national security or other reasons for the restriction. Such court
order shall allow restrictions of photography when such photography may
lead to the endangerment of public safety or national security. Nothing
in this Act shall restrict Federal agencies from taking lawful steps to
ascertain whether or not photography may consist of reconnaissance for
the purpose of endangerment of public safety or national security or
for other unlawful activity. Nothing in this Act shall be construed to
repeal, invalidate, or supersede section 795 of title 18, United States
(c) Prohibition on Fees, Permits, or Insurance.--No Federal
Government agency shall require fees, permits or insurance as a
condition to take still or moving images on Federal lands, National
Parks and Forests, and public spaces, whether for private, media, or
(d) Prohibition on the Seizure and Forfeiture of Photographic
Equipment.--Federal law enforcement officers or private contractors
shall not seize any photographic equipment or their contents or memory
cards or film, and shall not order a photographer to erase the contents
of a camera or memory card