US Protest Law Tracker

The US Protest Law Tracker, part of ICNL’s US Program, follows initiatives at the state and federal level since November 2016 that restrict the right to peaceful assembly. For information about our methodology, click here.

45 states have
considered
220 bills
28 enacted 70 pending

No initiatives
Pending, defeated or expired initiatives
Enacted initiatives

Legislation and executive orders

Latest updates: Apr. 16, 2021 (Montana), Apr. 15, 2021 (Arkansas, Florida, Oklahoma), Apr. 11, 2021 (Kansas, Wisconsin)
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2 entries found matching the provided filters.
Kansas

SB 172: New penalties for protests near gas and oil pipelines

Creates four new criminal offenses that could capture the conduct of peaceful protesters near pipelines. Under the law, entering or remaining in a "critical infrastructure" facility, or on property containing such a facility if it is posted with signs or fenced off, is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. Trespassing with intent to "tamper with" a critical infrastructure facility, or to “impede or inhibit” its operations, is a Level 7 felony, punishable by approximately 2 years in prison. Actually, knowingly "tampering with” the facility is a Level 6 felony, punishable by approximately 3 years in prison, and doing so with the intent to impede or inhibit the facility's operations is a Level 5 felony, punishable by approximately 4 years in prison. The law amends Kansas’s RICO law, adding the trespass and damage offenses above to the underlying crimes that may be prosecuted under RICO. The law also creates a broad new definition of “critical infrastructure,” which includes among many other things “a portion of any belowground or aboveground oil, gas, hazardous liquid or chemical pipeline” or any storage, processing, or distribution facility for crude oil or natural gas. When it was introduced, the law included new penalties for "defacing" and "vandalizing" critical infrastructure, as well as civil liability for any person or "entity" that provided compensation to someone to commit the offenses described above; these provisions were removed prior to the law's enactment. (See full text of bill here)

Status: enacted

Introduced 8 Feb 2021; Approved by Senate 2 March 2021; Approved by House 30 March 2021; Signed by Governor Kelly 9 April 2021

Issue(s): damage costs, conspiracy, infrastructure, trespass

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Kansas

HB 2612: New penalties for protesters who conceal their identity

Would create the crime of concealing one's identity during a public demonstration. The bill provides that wearing a mask, hood, or any other device that “covers any portion of the face to conceal the identity of the wearer” while participating in a public demonstration or protest would be a Class A misdemeanor, if done to intimidate another person or while engaged in any unlawful activity. Accordingly, a protester whose identity was masked by a facial covering and who committed some other infraction could be sentenced to a year in jail or a fine of up to $2,500, or both. (See full text of bill here)

Status: defeated / expired

Introduced 2 Feb 2018; Died in committee 4 May 2018

Issue(s): face coverings

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For more information about the Tracker, contact Elly Page at EPage@icnl.org.