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Thread: Is a Post Office also a "federal facility?"

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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Is a Post Office also a "federal facility?"

    I'm being called out on using Post Office regulations (CFR) as the rule for not carrying in the Post Office. And while this is what we have always used, all my Google-fu is failing me in being able to show that the "federal facility" rules also don't apply, which are, of course, much higher penalties if they did.

    Have you guys already been through this, or am I just wrong?
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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Yes, until the USPS says otherwise. I don't know of many "private" government institutions that have their own cops that have no jurisdictional boundaries. Kind of like a US Marshal, except Postal cops have a non-lethal weapon for uppity dawgs.

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    When discussing matters of the law, it's useful to post either links or text of the specific statutes/regs of interest. Is this the statute you're referring to?

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/930

    If so, then see the definition it contains here:

    As used in this section:
    (1) The term “Federal facility” means a building or part thereof owned or leased by the Federal Government, where Federal employees are regularly present for the purpose of performing their official duties.
    Last edited by georg jetson; 02-10-2014 at 05:34 PM.

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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Sorry, it came up so much I forgot I should post the CFR that governs the postal service. By the way, our site search engine absolutely sucks.

    While it appears there MAY be some possible overlap (notably affecting who can enforce what), here is a US Code that seems to apply and override: 39 USC 410, in relevance: "no Federal law dealing with public or Federal contracts, property, works, officers, employees, budgets, or funds, including the provisions of chapters 5 and 7 of title 5, shall apply to the exercise of the powers of the Postal Service."

    Thanks to member FelidMaximus for finding that for me this morning.
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    41 cfr 102-192.35

    The request was for a Code of Federal Regulations citation

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/41/102-192.35

    §102-192.35 What definitions apply to this part?
    [ ... ]
    Federal facility (or facility) means any office building, installation, base, etc., where Federal agency employees work; this includes any facility where the Federal government pays postage expenses even though few or no Federal employees are involved in processing the mail.
    Last edited by Nightmare; 02-10-2014 at 05:48 PM.
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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    39 CFR 232.1 - Conduct on postal property.

    "Whoever shall be found guilty of violating the rules and regulations in this section while on property under the charge and control of the Postal Service is subject to a fine as provided in 18 U.S.C. 3571 or imprisonment of not more than 30 days, or both. Nothing contained in these rules and regulations shall be construed to abrogate any other Federal laws or regulations or any State and local laws and regulations applicable to any area in which the property is situated.
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/39/232.1
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    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    39 CFR 232.1 - Conduct on postal property.

    "Whoever shall be found guilty of violating the rules and regulations in this section while on property under the charge and control of the Postal Service is subject to a fine as provided in 18 U.S.C. 3571 or imprisonment of not more than 30 days, or both. Nothing contained in these rules and regulations shall be construed to abrogate any other Federal laws or regulations or any State and local laws and regulations applicable to any area in which the property is situated.
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/39/232.1
    You are looking at the penalty. Lets look at the actual regulation as to what must happen for the regulation to have force and effect of law.
    (l) Weapons and explosives. - Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law, rule or regulation, no person while on postal property may carry firearms, other dangerous or deadly weapons, or explosives, either openly or concealed, or store the same on postal property, except for official purposes.
    According to part "I" there are no guns allowed on post office property, but only if a sign is posted. See part "d."
    (d) Conformity with signs and directions. - All persons in and on property shall comply with official signs of a prohibitory or directory nature, and with the directions of security force personnel or other authorized individuals.
    Well part "d" says that if a sign is posted noticing you of no guns permitted then you can't carry guns on postal property.

    But, is that really true????? Lets look at part "a."
    (a) Applicability. - This section applies to all real property under the charge and control of the Postal Service, to all tenant agencies, and to all persons entering in or on such property. This section shall be posted and kept posted at a conspicuous place on all such property...
    This part clearly says that if the regulation is not conspicuously posted then the regulation in whole has no force and effect of law. In other words, if a no gun sign is posed on the door and the regulation is not posted on the door next to the sign then the no gun sign has no force and effect of law. Meaning no penalty.

    The regulation requires notice. No notice, no foul.
    Last edited by color of law; 02-11-2014 at 10:46 PM.

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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by color of law View Post
    ...According to part "I" there are no guns allowed on post office property, but only if a sign is posted. See part "d."

    Well part "d" says that if a sign is posted noticing you of no guns permitted then you can't carry guns on postal property.

    But, is that really true????? Lets look at section "a."

    This part clearly says that if the regulation is not conspicuously posted then the regulation in whole has no force and effect of law. In other words, if a no gun sigh is posed on the door and the regulation is not posted on the door next to the sign then the no gun sign has no force and effect of law. Meaning no penalty.

    The regulation requires notice. No notice, no foul.
    I think those sections are independent of each other. No guns are allowed (no sign required), and if a sign is there prohibiting something else, then it isn't allowed either.
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    Regular Member x1wildone's Avatar
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    [

    (l) Weapons and explosives. - Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law, rule or regulation, no person while on postal property may carry firearms, other dangerous or deadly weapons, or explosives, either openly or concealed, or store the same on postal property, EXCEPT FOR OFFICIAL PURPOSES.

    I know for a fact that every time I go to the post office it is for OFFICIAL PURPOSES.

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    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    I think those sections are independent of each other. No guns are allowed (no sign required), and if a sign is there prohibiting something else, then it isn't allowed either.
    Incorrect. Those are parts to the section. All those parts comprise the section. Part "a" mandates that the entire regulation must be posted to have force and effect of law.

    I have experience in this. A friend was charged with violating a prohibition in a federal park. The regulation required posting of the regulation. Blue light special, no regulation was posted. Assistant U.S. attorney was given in discovery pictures of the bulletin board at the entrance of the park. No regulation was posted. A copy of the regulation also was supplied to the Assistant U.S. attorney showing that the regulation was required to be posted. Result, Assistant U.S. attorney withdrew the charge. Judge entered a Nolle Prosequi on the record.

    Those parts are not read independently.
    Last edited by color of law; 02-11-2014 at 11:32 PM.

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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by color of law View Post
    Incorrect. Those are parts to the section. All those parts comprise the section. Part "a" mandates that the entire regulation must be posted to have force and effect of law...
    I read it again. I think you are right. However, I would bet that it does not mean it must be posted at the door, and I'll bet their regulations poster is somewhere "conspicuous" inside.

    But I think your point is valid, but would likely have to be an affirmative defense.

    Good catch.
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    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    I read it again. I think you are right. However, I would bet that it does not mean it must be posted at the door, and I'll bet their regulations poster is somewhere "conspicuous" inside.

    But I think your point is valid, but would likely have to be an affirmative defense.

    Good catch.
    “This section shall be posted and kept posted at a conspicuous place on all such property...”
    My comment of posted on the door was only to illustrate a conspicuous place. However, here in Ohio neither the law nor has a court defined the term. Black's law dictionary defines “conspicuous place” as – Within the meaning of a statute relating to the posting a notice, a “conspicuous place” means one which is reasonably calculated to impart the information in question.

    So, posting the regulation on a bulletin board inside the lobby where you you would have to go out of your way to read the regulation would not meet the definition of “conspicuous place.” It could also be considered entrapment.

    This also applies to shopping malls that post their rules of conduct back in a corner of the concourse where the public normally does not travel.

    The post offices that I've been in usually don't even have the regulation or sign posted. I've been in some where the sign is posted back in a corner on a bulletin board and no regulation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by x1wildone View Post
    [

    (l) Weapons and explosives. - Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law, rule or regulation, no person while on postal property may carry firearms, other dangerous or deadly weapons, or explosives, either openly or concealed, or store the same on postal property, EXCEPT FOR OFFICIAL PURPOSES.

    I know for a fact that every time I go to the post office it is for OFFICIAL PURPOSES.
    You need to read that again. The 'Official Purpose' applies to the carrying of a gun into the Post Office, not the going into the Post Office.

    But yes it's still a stupid law. But it's only a misdemeanor. Max six months in Federal Prison and max $5,000 fine.

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    Campaign Veteran MSG Laigaie's Avatar
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    I hated to disarm and leave my weapon in the vehicle. I have found several Post Office Annexes, sort of a side table in a local mini mart. All the services of the big one except money orders. I do not have to disarm and there is seldom a line. Works for me, I like a smooth passage.
    "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the people's liberty teeth (and) keystone... the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable... more than 99% of them by their silence indicate that they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference .When firearms go, all goes, we need them every hour." -- George Washington

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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by notalawyer View Post
    ...But it's only a misdemeanor. Max six months in Federal Prison and max $5,000 fine.
    Well, now we are back to the original question. Postal regulations say max 30 days. As for misdemeanor, where can we find that? I don't see it in postal regulations, so I would classify it as an infraction, which the new reference to the US Code would say is max $5000, yes. The misdemeanor was significantly more.
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    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    The below link may help with some explanation of federal law by dragging in 18 USC 930. But, when reading the article be careful of the Ohio concealed carry angle. Also, notice the typical attorney ignores the proper posting of notices. 18 USC 930(h) addresses posting.

    http://www.buckeyefirearms.org/Conce...rude-awakening

    Lets look at 18 USC 930(g).....
    18 USC 930(g) As used in this section:
    (1) The term “Federal facility” means a building or part thereof owned or leased by the Federal Government, where Federal employees are regularly present for the purpose of performing their official duties.
    So, are post office employees federal employee under 18 USC 930(g)?

    5 USC 2105 defines federal employee. 5 USC 2105(e) states:
    Except as otherwise provided by law, an employee of the United States Postal Service or of the Postal Regulatory Commission is deemed not an employee for purposes of this title.
    Is the post office a "Federal facility"? I think not.

    As to Ohio law ORC 2923.126(10) says a concealed carry license does not authorize the concealed carrying in a place in which federal law prohibits the carrying of handguns. So big deal. What's Ohio law got to do with carrying guns in federal buildings. Nothing. All Ohio law says is don't rely on an Ohio conceal carry license to have any force and effect of law as it related to federal buildings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    Well, now we are back to the original question. Postal regulations say max 30 days. As for misdemeanor, where can we find that? I don't see it in postal regulations, so I would classify it as an infraction, which the new reference to the US Code would say is max $5000, yes. The misdemeanor was significantly more.
    Sorry, was thinking of Florida law....That's what I get for relying on my memory instead of looking it up.

    so I would classify it as an infraction
    Correct, my error.

    Same penalty as having your dog or cat in your car in the Post Office parking lot!
    Last edited by notalawyer; 02-12-2014 at 05:35 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    Well, now we are back to the original question. Postal regulations say max 30 days. As for misdemeanor, where can we find that? I don't see it in postal regulations, so I would classify it as an infraction, which the new reference to the US Code would say is max $5000, yes. The misdemeanor was significantly more.
    For the classification of a federal crime please see...

    See 18 U.S.C. §3559(a)
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/3559

    (a) Classification.— An offense that is not specifically classified by a letter grade in the section defining it, is classified if the maximum term of imprisonment authorized is—
    (1) life imprisonment, or if the maximum penalty is death, as a Class A felony;
    (2) twenty-five years or more, as a Class B felony;
    (3) less than twenty-five years but ten or more years, as a Class C felony;
    (4) less than ten years but five or more years, as a Class D felony;
    (5) less than five years but more than one year, as a Class E felony;
    (6) one year or less but more than six months, as a Class A misdemeanor;
    (7) six months or less but more than thirty days, as a Class B misdemeanor;
    (8) thirty days or less but more than five days, as a Class C misdemeanor; or
    (9) five days or less, or if no imprisonment is authorized, as an infraction.

    Classification based on fine see first:
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/19

    U.S. Code › Title 18 › Part I › Chapter 1 › § 19
    18 U.S. Code § 19 - Petty offense defined
    As used in this title, the term “petty offense” means a Class B misdemeanor, a Class C misdemeanor, or an infraction, for which the maximum fine is no greater than the amount set forth for such an offense in section 3571 (b)(6) or (7) in the case of an individual or section 3571 (c)(6) or (7) in the case of an organization.

    Then:
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/3571

    (b) Fines for Individuals.— Except as provided in subsection (e) of this section, an individual who has been found guilty of an offense may be fined not more than the greatest of—
    (1) the amount specified in the law setting forth the offense;
    (2) the applicable amount under subsection (d) of this section;
    (3) for a felony, not more than $250,000;
    (4) for a misdemeanor resulting in death, not more than $250,000;
    (5) for a Class A misdemeanor that does not result in death, not more than $100,000;
    (6) for a Class B or C misdemeanor that does not result in death, not more than $5,000; or
    (7) for an infraction, not more than $5,000.
    Last edited by georg jetson; 02-12-2014 at 09:19 PM.

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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Okay, if I read that right, it might be a Class C misdemeanor, but still max $5000, right?
    "It's not important how many people I've killed. What's important is how I get along with the people who are still alive" - Jimmy the Tulip

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    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    no

    A post office is not a federal facility because it is not owned by the feds, operated by the feds, or staffed by federal employees.

    It has its own section of federal code to "protect" it. And it's just as illegal to have an animal on the property, or drive on the property without a current valid driver's license or vehicle registration, tags, etc. as it is to be armed on the property.

    I'd love to see someone fight this by claiming that when they go to mail a letter it's for 'official purposes'.
    I think we're more likely to get it (somewhat) corrected by going the "no civil rights infringement route".


    39CFR 232.1 postal property

    (j) Dogs and other animals, except those used to assist persons with disabilities, must not be brought upon postal property for other than official purposes.

    (k)(1) Drivers of all vehicles in or on property shall be in possession of a current and valid state or territory issued driver's license and vehicle registration, and the vehicle shall display all current and valid tags and licenses required by the jurisdiction in which it is registered.

    (l) Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law, rule or regulation, no person while on postal property may carry firearms, other dangerous or deadly weapons, or explosives, either openly or concealed, or store the same on postal property, except for official purposes.

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/39/232.1


    For the penalty part...
    Whoever shall be found guilty of violating the rules and regulations in this section while on property under the charge and control of the Postal Service is subject to a fine as provided in 18USC3571 or imprisonment of not more than 30 days, or both.

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/3571

    (b)Fines for Individuals.
    Except as provided in subsection (e) of this section, an individual who has been found guilty of an offense may be fined not more than the greatest of
    ...
    (7) for an infraction, not more than $5,000
    .

    So up to $5000 and up to 30 days in jail.
    Last edited by MKEgal; 03-03-2014 at 10:19 PM.

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