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Thread: Guns in Post Offices lawsuit moves one step closer

  1. #1
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Guns in Post Offices lawsuit moves one step closer

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireS...fices-25890145

    A three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday heard arguments in his case, which could impact security at the Postal Service's tens of thousands of facilities nationwide. The court met at the University of Colorado campus in Boulder, where the judges held the hearing so students could listen.

    Though Bonidy was never specifically confronted about his handgun, he sued the Postal Service in 2010. U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch found the agency could not keep him from securing his weapon in his truck in the post office parking lot while he went inside unarmed.

    But the judge also ruled that the post office could prohibit him from bringing his gun into any part of the building.

    Bonidy appealed, seeking access to the unsecured lobby. He said Matsch's ruling didn't go far enough.

    The Postal Service also appealed, arguing the judge was wrong to let Bonidy take his weapon anywhere on postal property, even the parking lot.

    Bonidy, whose lawsuit is backed by the National Association for Gun Rights, and the postal service disagree over what constitutes a "sensitive place" where guns can be legally banned, such as a government building or school.

    Bonidy's attorney Steven Lechner of the Mountain States Legal Foundation told the judges the lobby is not such a place, as there are no security guards checking patrons, who come at all hours.

    "Not every government building is sensitive. There has to be some criteria or the government gets a free pass," he said. "If the government prevents someone from defending themselves, there has to be some security. You can't disarm a citizen if he wants to pick up his mail."

    But Daniel Tenny, an attorney for the Department of Justice, told the judges that the Postal Service needs the blanket weapons ban for security purposes. Deciding which buildings — and which people — should be exempt from the rules would be a strain on resources, he said.
    This is a slug-fest worth watching. If Bonidy gets his foot in the door there could be an avalanche of challenges to the "where federal employees regularly work" clause.

    stay safe.
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    The government cannot legally prevent a person from carrying into ANY public building.

    If they have high-security places, then that's what God made locks on doors for.

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    The PO box lobby at P.O. buildings are an unsecured area ,entrance and exit doors are always unlocked.
    There is 24/7 access to these areas.
    This PO lobby area is no different than any other government building lobby, most are open to firearms carry.

    ....................Jack

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    Regular Member decklin's Avatar
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    This is good news.
    It'd be nice to not worry about this anymore.
    The post office in my town is gonna get someone arrested one day.
    It is a room about 4x10 in size. It is basically a closet on the side of a private business. There is only one parking lot with 4 spaces. The first time I walked in I didn't know it was a post office till I was already inside. The sign is about 12" and on a window.
    It's right next to the pd and there is usually a cop parked out front.
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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spooler41 View Post
    The PO box lobby at P.O. buildings are an unsecured area ,entrance and exit doors are always unlocked.
    There is 24/7 access to these areas.
    This PO lobby area is no different than any other government building lobby, most are open to firearms carry.

    ....................Jack
    Uh, no.

    In fact, the Post Office is NOT a "federal facility." It has its own set of laws. These laws include no possession of firearms or even your pet dogs anywhere on the property. As an interesting point of this fact, the penalties are far less than being caught with a firearm in an actual federal facility illegally, assuming you survive being arrested.

    Here is a thread that really got into the details: http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...ht=post+office
    Last edited by MAC702; 10-02-2014 at 12:40 AM.
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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spooler41 View Post
    The PO box lobby at P.O. buildings are an unsecured area ,entrance and exit doors are always unlocked.
    There is 24/7 access to these areas.
    This PO lobby area is no different than any other government building lobby, most are open to firearms carry.

    ....................Jack
    Neither is true.

    "In many post offices in the U.S., the PO box lobby is separate from the window-service lobby, so that the former may be kept open around the clock while the latter is locked after business hours. However, in the U.S. since the 1980s, in cities and large urban areas, post offices have tended to close box lobbies overnight because of the tendency of homeless people to use them for sleeping quarters. As a result, some box lobbies are accessible after-hours by customers who are provided a code to a door keypad."
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-office_box

    As to the second point, please provide a cite. Our common knowledge regarding federal buildings is quite the opposite.
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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    I no longer go to the actual post office excepting when I have no real option such as for passports. The USPS around here has contracted locations inside quick shops/groceries which use non-USPS workers so aren't subject to the absurd restrictions.

    Anyway, yes, this does look like an interesting slug fest. I find the restriction absurd. I do not understand how the USPS thinks that having my loaded gun in my parked car on the unlimited access street in front of their facility is in any way safer for anyone than to have it in my car in the somewhat restricted access and certainly video surveillanced USPS parking lot. But then a lot of bureaucratic types think like that. I certainly hope some cracks appear on the issue just on constitutional principle.

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    Regular Member California Right To Carry's Avatar
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    Thumbs up The audio to the Oral Arguments to Bonidy are here.

    A non-party to the appeal filed a motion to release the oral arguments which was granted yesterday. I sent him an email asking for a copy which he forwarded to me this afternoon.

    I've added the oral arguments in the Bonidy case to my collection of Second Amendment oral arguments maintained at my website.

    You can find the audio to the Bonidy Oral arguments under the October 21, 2014 Update by clicking here.

    By the way, this is an as-applied challenge limited to one post office. The Court of Appeals may or may not weigh in as to whether or not it believes the "regulation" is facially invalid.

    Also, Bonidy backtracked on Open Carry. He argued that concealed carry inside of the post office was appropriate and did not even argue for Open Carry in the post office parking lot.

    10th Circuit court watchers should know by now that this could be fatal to Bonidy's cross-appeal.
    Concealed carry is of no use to me, I don't carry a purse.

    Charles Nichols – President of California Right To Carry
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  9. #9
    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by California Right To Carry View Post
    You can find the audio to the Bonidy Oral arguments under the October 21, 2014 Update by clicking here.
    Do you have a link to a transcript?
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by since9 View Post
    Do you have a link to a transcript?
    Sorry, no. Don't hold me to it but I seem to recall in this Circuit if a party wants a transcript then he has to bring his own court reporter. That said, I suppose it would be possible for an attorney to make a motion with the court of appeals asking for a transcript.
    Concealed carry is of no use to me, I don't carry a purse.

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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    But Daniel Tenny, an attorney for the Department of Justice, told the judges that the Postal Service needs the blanket weapons ban for security purposes. Deciding which buildings — and which people — should be exempt from the rules would be a strain on resources, he said.
    Of course, not enforcing stupid, pointless rules in the first place isn't an option. Nooooooo. The law is a self-actuating instrument, amirite?

    Last edited by marshaul; 10-27-2014 at 10:10 PM.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Opinion issued today.

    US Appeals Court: No Guns on Post Office Property

    The courts are ignoring Heller more and more openly, it seems. We are truly becoming a nation without laws. At one point I would have welcomed further review by SCOTUS, but now I'm afraid they will just overturn Heller and be done with it.

    How many more straws can this camel carry?

    TFred

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    Opinion issued today.

    US Appeals Court: No Guns on Post Office Property

    The courts are ignoring Heller more and more openly, it seems. We are truly becoming a nation without laws. At one point I would have welcomed further review by SCOTUS, but now I'm afraid they will just overturn Heller and be done with it.

    How many more straws can this camel carry?

    TFred
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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    .....but now I'm afraid they will just overturn Heller and be done with it.

    How many more straws can this camel carry?

    TFred
    Good gracious that could well be enough to spark revolution. After a few innocents are killed all semblance of order will be lost. NOT that i'm either advocating it nor am I looking forward to it but I fear there may be no going back if that happens
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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Hopefully if this goes to the current SCOTUS that the right to carry on postal property will be affirmed. But until then it is not a problem, mail can be dropped off at mail boxes not on postal property, and UPS stores will accept USPS packages, and ours is not posted. Also many small post offices are on leased property, and the parking lots are not under control of the post office.
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    So for the sake of discussion let's assume John Q Public has heard about the prior decisions allowing firearms in the parking lot but doesn't hear about this reversal and is observed leaving his firearm in his vehicle, parked in a post office owned parking lot, prior to entering the post office.

    What's the maximum penalty?

    Title 39, Chapter 1, Subchapter D, Part 232.1(l) is the phohibition.

    (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.


    Title 39, Chapter 1, Subchapter D, Part 232.1(q) is provides that

    (q) Enforcement. (1) Members of the U.S. Postal Service security force shall exercise the powers provided by 18 U.S.C. 3061(c)(2) and shall be responsible for enforcing the regulations in this section in a manner that will protect Postal Service property and persons thereon.


    Title 39, Chapter 1, Subchapter D, Part 232.1(p)(2) provides for the penalties associated with violation of 232.1(l) by referring to 18 USC 3571. However, it does not prescribe the level of the violation nor attempt to establish any particular level of fine. It does however, set teh MAXIMUM length of imprisonment at 30 days (indicating a rather low level for the violation).

    (p) Penalties and other law. (1) Alleged violations of these rules and regulations are heard, and the penalties prescribed herein are imposed, either in a Federal district court or by a Federal magistrate in accordance with applicable court rules. Questions regarding such rules should be directed to the regional counsel for the region involved.

    (2) 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.


    18 U.S. Code ง 3571 provides for the following:

    18 U.S. Code ง 3571

    General.— A defendant who has been found guilty of an offense may be sentenced to pay a fine.

    (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.

    Section (c) deals with fines for ORGANIZATIONS only so I've omitted it

    (d) Alternative Fine Based on Gain or Loss.— If any person derives pecuniary gain from the offense, or if the offense results in pecuniary loss to a person other than the defendant, the defendant may be fined not more than the greater of twice the gross gain or twice the gross loss, unless imposition of a fine under this subsection would unduly complicate or prolong the sentencing process.



    SO:

    Are local law enforcement officers authorized (and under what authority) to enforce the federal regulations of the postal service when the law specifically states that enforcement is the responsibility of the Postal Service security force?

    What level of violation under part (b) of 18 USC 3571 applies?

    Are we looking at a maximum fine for Mr. John Q Public of $5,000 and 30 days in jail?

    Also, it should be noted that 18 USC 930 doesn't apply as its prohibitions on firearms ONLY apply in federal facilities (which the Post Office probably isn't and the parking lot definitely is not) and specifically defines "facility" to be a BUILDING thus totally negating any possible application to John Q Public in the Post Office parking lot.


    Anyone that can answer this DEFINITIVELY?
    "The Second Amendment speaks nothing to an unfettered Right". (Post # 100)
    "Restrictions are not infringements. Bans are infringements.--if it reaches beyond Reasonable bans". (Post # 103)
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    I HATE the gross way the courts are ignoring our Constitution

    "(Reuters) - A federal appeals court said a U.S. Postal Service regulation banning firearms on postal property is constitutional, and reversed a lower court ruling that would have let people keep weapons inside their vehicles in post office parking lots."

    No guns on post office property, says U.S. appeals court
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

  18. #18
    Regular Member rightwinglibertarian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by since9 View Post
    "(Reuters) - A federal appeals court said a U.S. Postal Service regulation banning firearms on postal property is constitutional, and reversed a lower court ruling that would have let people keep weapons inside their vehicles in post office parking lots."

    No guns on post office property, says U.S. appeals court
    Well there you have it. A federal court has made an illegal ruling and we the people will lay back and take it. Another unessesary loss of freedom
    "Which part of shall not be infringed is so difficult to understand"?

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    No surprise.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

  20. #20
    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    I, for one, concern myself with the vacillations of Federal courts when going about my daily routine.

    /sarcasm

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    "20 stores in this parking lot, so please identify each and every parking place owned by the post office, and please draw a line and place signs so I can tell where Walmart's paving ends and the post office begins. The asphalt and striping are identical, so I suspect that your silly rule does not apply here."


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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nonameisgood View Post
    "20 stores in this parking lot, so please identify each and every parking place owned by the post office, and please draw a line and place signs so I can tell where Walmart's paving ends and the post office begins. The asphalt and striping are identical, so I suspect that your silly rule does not apply here."


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Shopping center common area parking lots are not USPS property; unlike free standing, dedicated and owned USPS facilities. No cite provided.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

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  23. #23
    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshaul View Post
    I, for one, concern myself with the vacillations of Federal courts when going about my daily routine.

    /sarcasm
    +1 With less sarcasm and more wink wink nudge nudge.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

  24. #24
    Regular Member Logan 5's Avatar
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    What are they going to do? Search EVERY vehicle that comes and goes each and every day at the USPS parking lot? Then don't park in the parking lot, but out in the street parking. Or go ahead and have guns in your car when parking there. Unless they are readily visible, how will they know if you have a gun on board? They won't. And if they enter your car without your consent, they are still government and they still need a warrant or something that justifies it by exigent circumstances. No EC, no RAS, no PC, even the Feds can fall there. IIRC Bivens Act kicks in. But then, I ain't a lawyer, just a common-everyday-joe-schmoe.
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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    I would have a lot more respect for SCOTUS if they would overturn laws for being absurd, unenforceable, and pointless.

    But, since our society placed law on an altar, declaring it to be identical with morality and worthy of enforcement for no reason but its own sake, we get this kind of crap: government self-righteously declaring within its lawful authority that which is impossible, futile, or pointless.

    Well, it's within my rightful authority to fly to Alpha Centauri. The difference is, I won't spend countless appropriated tax dollars to pontificate on the fact, nor will I occasionally cage a human being for failing to espouse this proclamation.
    Last edited by marshaul; 06-30-2015 at 02:29 PM.

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