An amateur photographer was cited by a state sheriff for taking pictures of airplanes from a public sidewalk along Lagoon Drive, which is near Honolulu International Airport, without a permit.

But ACLU Hawaii said no permit was needed because the incident took place in a public area trafficked by joggers, tourists and even amateur photographers.

On Tuesday, the ACLU and the state reached agreement on the matter, stating that there is a First Amendment right of individuals to take photographs in public.

Honolulu International Airport takeoff. 7 april 2015. photograph by Cory Lum/Civil Beat
It’s officially OK to take a picture of this happening at Honolulu International Airport. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

The sheriffs will be informed of the agreement and Hawaii Administrative Rules amended.

Bronson Avila of the Law Offices of Brook Hart said in a press release, “The Attorney General’s prompt response reflects a commitment to First Amendment rights. Furthermore, the State avoided a lawsuit and saved taxpayers a significant expense. We could not envision a better outcome to this incident.”

Said Daniel Gluck, ACLU of Hawaii Legal Director, “It’s important that the State made clear the fundamental right of an individual to photograph in public. This is a win for freedom of speech and expression.”

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