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Thread: Examiner.com: US Postal Service enforces gun ban in public parking lots

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    http://www.examiner.com/x-2782-DC-Gun-Rights-Examiner~y2009m10d19-US-Postal-Service-enforces-gun-ban-in-public-parking-lots

    SNIP


    USPS spokesperson Joanne Vito told the Examiner.com that 39 CFR 232.1(l)


    “applies to anyone coming into a Post Office or a Postal facility. The regulation prohibiting the possession of firearms or other weapons applies to all real property under the charge and control of the Postal Service. . . . Both open and concealed possession are prohibited, so storage of a weapon on a car parked in a lot that is under the charge and control of the Postal Service would be prohibited.”

    . . .

    Philip Van Cleave, President of the Virginia Citizens Defense League . . . said that the Postal Service is just “setting a trap” for the many gun owners who now carry their guns on a daily basis and may not even know about this parking lot gun ban. “Even the National Park gun ban allowed folks to store their guns in their cars,” said Van Cleave . .

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    It's quite courteous of the USPS spokesperson to so adamantly clarify just how ridiculous this rule is. Makes it all that much easier to persuade Congress to fix.

    TFred


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    The Fifth Circuit panel disagreed, writing that

    [size=“the Postal Service used the parking lot for loading mail and staging its mail trucks. Given this usage of the parking lot by the Postal Service as a place of regular government business, it falls under the ‘sensitive places’ exception recognized by Heller.”]

    [size=The Court did not indicate whether the Second Amendment would protect gun owners from prosecution if they possess a gun in the public areas of USPS property.][/size]
    A post office is considered "federal property" and most states still prohibit carrying on 'government' property, such as court houses, city or county or state offices, etc. However, most states do specify what is considered "secure storage" and if you are on a restricted property, then compliance with the state mandated secure storage should protect you. Now, whether that happens in the real world probably depends completely upon your local interpretation of the law. Send a letter to the editor and see if they won't go interview the DA for a definitive answer.

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    I haven't been to a USPS office in nearly 4 years. There is a quick shop nearby that has a contract to provide certain USPS services. If I need to send something that I can't send there that would require actually using the USPS I just send the darn thing through FedEx ... I have steeply reduced rates through my business and really, given the aggravation and time wasting involved with going to any USPS office, the net cost is less to me to send it FedEx.

    In short, if I can't throw a stamp on it and throw it in the mailbox it goes by common carrier not USPS. These irrational gun rules are a significant part of the reason. Given the USPS's financial problems any private industry would understand the stupidity in trying to further alienate any of their customer base.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    This raises a question.

    Where I live, the nearest post office at the end of rather small collection of stores and services, not more than perhaps five or six of them in a forty to fifty yard long building. They all share a common parking lot and a common sidewalk outside of their entrances.

    So the parking lot cannot be considered post office property because it is not sectioned off or marked as such and neither is the sidewalk where, at its end, there is a mail collection box.

    Can I, and I have, walk up to the collection box to drop mail off? As long as I don't enter the post office, I assume I can carry along the length of the sidewalk and into the parking lot... is that true?

    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

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    okboomer wrote:
    The Fifth Circuit panel disagreed, writing that

    [size=“the Postal Service used the parking lot for loading mail and staging its mail trucks. Given this usage of the parking lot by the Postal Service as a place of regular government business, it falls under the ‘sensitive places’ exception recognized by Heller.”]

    [size=The Court did not indicate whether the Second Amendment would protect gun owners from prosecution if they possess a gun in the public areas of USPS property.]
    Using this logic, all the streets that have a mail box on them are federal property
    since a mail truck load mail at them.


    Guess you need to follow interstate rules now, if you are traveling out of state
    when you drive onto a parking lot.

    I really pity the people who have mailboxes on the front door. Their house
    is a federal post office restricted zone.

    Good thing Obama believes in the second amendment and rule of law.


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    Regular Member Interceptor_Knight's Avatar
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    okboomer wrote:
    A post office is considered "federal property" and most states still prohibit carrying on 'government' property, such as court houses, city or county or state offices, etc.
    Not so. The language is often to the effect of "government building".... A parking lot is not a building... I am not aware of any State statute applicable to USPS parking lots here in WI......

    There is an exemption in the quoted statute for "official purposes" (mailing firearms).

    The fine listed is no more than $50 and no more than 30 days.

    In accordance with 39 CFR 232.1(l)
    Vehicles are only subject to inspection when they are in restricted non public areas. That means any firearms secured in your trunk are out of sight and out of mind. They have absolutely zero authority to search your trunk in the parking lot unless you are otherwise subject to search because of something else.


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    SouthernBoy wrote:
    Can I, and I have, walk up to the collection box to drop mail off? As long as I don't enter the post office, I assume I can carry along the length of the sidewalk and into the parking lot... is that true?
    Assuming there is not a gun free post office zone in your community...

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    Concealed Carry in the Post Office
    An Analysis by Robert P. Firriolo, Esq.
    The normally quiescent Rob Firriolo,TGZ's valued consigliore, is steamed! After a thread about this subject on one of the Internet's larger gun forums was locked down by the Moderator who had posted a demonstrably erroneous conclusory statement, Rob filed this illuminating brief to straighten out a common misperception.It is no secret that lots of wrong information on firearms laws is propagated by the Internet and by word of mouth. In my experience, one of the most prevalent myths is that it is a federal offense to carry a firearm in a United States Post Office even if you have a permit or license to carry. As a general proposition, this is simply not the case. While state law or carry permit restrictions may prohibit carry in a Post Office, I have yet to locate a federal law that actually criminalizes such conduct where state law and permit regulations allow it.

    The statute tossed out in support of the proposition that carry in a post office is illegal is 18 U.S.C. § 930. This statute is also cited in posters typically displayed in federal facilities giving notice that carrying firearms in the facility is a crime. The posters do not even mention the exception to the law that applies to those private citizens who lawfully carry handguns.

    Here are the relevant sections of the law:

    Title 18, United States Code, Sec. 930. - Possession of firearms and dangerous weapons in Federal facilities


    1. Except as provided in subsection (d), whoever knowingly possesses or causes to be present a firearm or other dangerous weapon in a Federal facility (other than a Federal court facility), or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.
    2. Subsection (a) shall not apply to -


      1. the lawful carrying of firearms or other dangerous weapons in a Federal facility incident to hunting or other lawful purposes.
    In order to fall within the exception to the law, two conditions have to be met. First, one has to be engaged in the "lawful carrying of firearms." This means you cannot be a "prohibited person" such as a convicted felon, a fugitive from justice, or fall within any of the other categories that would prohibit one from lawfully purchasing or owning a firearm under federal law.

    It also means that it must be legal for you to carry the firearm under any applicable federal, state, and local laws. If, for example, it is illegal under state law to carry a firearm in a post office, the exception in section (d) (3) of 18 U.S.C. § 930 offers you no protection. The same is true about any local regulations or restrictions on the terms of your carry permit. In other words, if state or local law, or the terms of your carry permit, prohibit carry in a post office, then such carry is not "lawful," and the exception to the ban on carrying in federal facilities does not apply to you.

    The second condition that has to be met for one to fall within the exception to the ban on carrying a firearm in a federal facility is that one must be carrying in the facility "incident to hunting or other lawful purposes." One cannot be in the facility with intent to commit a crime, or while committing a crime, and fall within the exception.

    A simple test of whether one may legally carry in a post office could involve answering four questions:


    1. Is it illegal for me to carry a handgun on the street outside the post office?
    2. Is there a state or local law prohibiting carry in a post office?
    3. Am I violating the terms of my CCW permit by carrying inside a post office?
    4. Am I going to commit a crime or engage in some unlawful activity once inside the facility?
    If one answers "no" to all four questions, it seems that one falls within the exception to the federal ban on carrying in a federal facility. The answer to the first three questions seeks to resolve whether one is engaged in the "lawful carrying" of a firearm. The answer to the final question seeks to resolve whether one is carrying "incident to ... lawful purposes."

    It is important to note that the term "Federal facility" does not include a federal court facility. Even with a valid concealed weapon or handgun license, it is a federal offense to bring a firearm into a federal court facility. Under this statute, the only persons who may lawfully carry in a federal court facility are federal, state, or local law enforcement officers on official duty, or a Federal official or a member of the Armed Forces if authorized to possess the firearm.

    Anyone with verifiable information about a CCW permit holder who was prosecuted for violation of 18 U.S.C. § 930 (or any other federal law), and who was also not allegedly committing, or attempting to commit, a crime (other than illegal firearm possession), should contact The Gun Zone or the author and provide details.


    AddendumThe Code of Federal Regulations contains the following regulation (excerpted in pertinent part; full text from link):


    39 C.F.R. 232.1 Conduct on Postal Property:

    (l) Weapons and explosives. 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.
    However, looking further down the regulation, we see the following:

    (p) Penalties and other law.

    (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 fine of not more than $50 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 of any State and local laws and regulations applicable to any area in which the property is situated.
    Regulations in the CFR have to be based on laws in the United States Code, must be consistent with them, and cannot supercede them. Section (p)(2) of the 39 CFR 232.1 recognizes this fact. That is, the CFR cannot abrogate applicable Federal law.

    In so far as firearms are concerned, 18 U.S.C. § 930 (a) is essentially the same as 39 CFR 232.1 (l), except that the regulations do not contain the exception for lawful concealed carry contained in 18 U.S.C. § 930 (d) (3). But by its own terms, the regulations do not override the United States Code ("Federal law)", which does allows carrying a firearm in federal facility.

    In other words, the CFR cannot trump the U.S.C., and the U.S.C. allows lawful concealed carry in a federal facility.

    Disclaimer: The discussion above is not legal advice. It cannot, and does not purport to, apply to any individual's specific situation. If you have questions about whether your specific conduct is legal, consult a qualified, local attorney familiar with laws regulating firearms. You should also obtain specific information from the government agencies responsible for issuing firearm licenses and/or regulating firearm possession in your location. The author and The Gun Zone assume no responsibility for any actions taken in reliance on the information in this discussion.

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    Count wrote:
    Regulations in the CFR have to be based on laws in the United States Code, must be consistent with them, and cannot supercede them. Section (p)(2) of the 39 CFR 232.1 recognizes this fact. That is, the CFR cannot abrogate applicable Federal law.

    In so far as firearms are concerned, 18 U.S.C. § 930 (a) is essentially the same as 39 CFR 232.1 (l), except that the regulations do not contain the exception for lawful concealed carry contained in 18 U.S.C. § 930 (d) (3). But by its own terms, the regulations do not override the United States Code ("Federal law)", which does allows carrying a firearm in federal facility.

    In other words, the CFR cannot trump the U.S.C., and the U.S.C. allows lawful concealed carry in a federal facility.
    The problem with this sort of analysis is that it is, well, wong. See the 5th Cir. opinion.

    Regulations promulgated by federal agencies are law, and it is extremely rare for these regulations to be held invalid.

    NOTE: The postal reg goes much further than the federal facilities statute in that it covers all land, not just "facilities."

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    TFred wrote:
    It's quite courteous of the USPS spokesperson to so adamantly clarify just how ridiculous this rule is. Makes it all that much easier to persuade Congress to fix.

    TFred
    Boowahahahahahaha!

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    the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld the conviction of a postal employee for possessing a gun in his vehicle while parked on a non-public United States Postal Service (USPS) parking lot


    [“the Postal Service used the parking lot for loading mail and staging its mail trucks. Given this usage of the parking lot by the Postal Service as a place of regular government business, it falls under the ‘sensitive places’ exception recognized by Heller.”]

    [The Court did not indicate whether the Second Amendment would protect gun owners from prosecution if they possess a gun in the public areas of USPS property]

    Since the court went out of its way to specifically address the non-public parking area, they must believe that there is a difference. Besides, they can not prosecute you for something they are not allowed to look for.....



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    Mike wrote:
    USPS spokesperson ... Vito ...
    and "valued consigliore" in the same thread!Vito Corleone is preparing to make an offer that can't be refused.

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    Mike, ref your reply about the analysis being wrong because of the 5th circuit opinion, did you see in the postal regulation referenced below the last part in bold?

    39 C.F.R. 232.1 Conduct on Postal Property:

    (l) Weapons and explosives. 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.
    However, looking further down the regulation, we see the following:


    (p) Penalties and other law.

    (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 fine of not more than $50 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 of any State and local laws and regulations applicable to any area in which the property is situated.

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    Regular Member Sonora Rebel's Avatar
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    People 'been goin' to the post office armed since the Hashknife outfit was in the Pony Express. OK... they're in the truck or under a jacket... but that's the 'actual'. I believe NOTHING these fedgoons have to say about anything. Particularly if it's comin' outta the yap of some D.C. cubicalpouge.

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    (3) Except as otherwise ordered, properties

    must be closed to the public

    after normal business hours. Properties

    also may be closed to the public in

    emergency situations and at such other

    times as may be necessary for the orderly

    conduct of business. Admission to

    properties during periods when such

    properties are closed to the public may

    be limited to authorized individuals

    who may be required to sign the register

    and display identification documents

    when requested by security force

    personnel or other authorized individuals.

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    Count wrote:
    Mike, ref your reply about the analysis being wrong because of the 5th circuit opinion, did you see in the postal regulation referenced below the last part in bold?
    Yes. This just means that if a state has a more severe penalty for carrying at the post office, the postal service police may enforce this under the Federal Assimilated Crimes Act.





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    Mike,

    The U.S.C supersedes the postal regulation. The U.S.C appears to allow carrying for other lawful purposes including hunting. Has that lawful purpose been defined by any higher courts yet? Why is that the same law only requires federal buildings to post the first two paragrahphs that talk about the prohibition and not the second part of that statute that talks about allowing it for lawful purposes? Last, that 5th circuit case you mentioned, was that individual in the parking lot otherwise allowed to carry or have it in his car under state/local laws? I am just a cop so these federal statutes don't make any sense to me...and they weren't written with the intent of making sense either...confusion is control!

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    Count wrote:
    Mike,

    The U.S.C supersedes the postal regulation.
    No. Regulations go beyond statutory code all the time - regulations are only invalid if a court says so, and to get such a holding, one must show that the agency's promulgation of the regulation was beyond their specific grant of power to the agency by Congress.



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    Regular Member ChinChin's Avatar
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    Email, fax, fedEd, Ups, DHL. . .I'm honestly surprised they're still around. Saying you can't carry in such an antiquated service area is kind of like saying you can't carry in a8-track repair store honestly.

    If they want to further reduce their generation of business revenue by not taking the money of lawful gun owners/carriers. . .it's simply accelerating their pending demise as far as I see it.


    The problem with the internet is nobody can really tell when youre serious and when youre being sarcastic. Abraham Lincoln

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    Count wrote:
    Mike,

    . The U.S.C appears to allow carrying for other lawful purposes including hunting. Has that lawful purpose been defined by any higher courts yet? Why is that the same law only requires federal buildings to post the first two paragrahphs that talk about the prohibition and not the second part of that statute that talks about allowing it for lawful purposes?
    Read section 101 of the GCA of 1968. My reason is personal protection. Bold in quote is my emphasis.

    Sec. 101. The Congress hereby declares that the purpose of this title is to provide support to Federal, State, and local law enforcement officials in their fight against crime and violence, and it is not the purpose of this title to place any undue or unnecessary Federal restrictions or burdens on law-abiding citizens with respect to the acquisition, possession, or use of firearms appropriate to the purpose of hunting, trapshooting, target shooting, personal protection[/b], or any other lawful activity[/b], and that this title is not intended to discourage or eliminate the private ownership or use of firearms by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes, or provide for the imposition by Federal regulations of any procedures or requirements other than those reasonably necessary to implement and effectuate the provisions of this title.



    Link: http://www.atf.gov/pub/fire-explo_pub/gca.htm
    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

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    And how does this figure into the equation:

    Title 18 section 930.h states...

    (h) Notice of the provisions of subsections (a) and (b) shall be
    posted conspicuously at each public entrance to each Federal
    facility, and notice of subsection (e) shall be posted
    conspicuously at each public entrance to each Federal court
    facility, and no person shall be convicted of an offense under
    subsection (a) or (e) with respect to a Federal facility if such
    notice is not so posted at such facility,
    unless such person had
    actual notice of subsection (a) or (e), as the case may be.


    I was at a POtoday and was assured it's illegal and hunters shouldknow to park out on the street, yet there are NO notices posted at entrances, bulletin boards, counters or parking areas. Four years ago, I asked the PO in Silverdale, WA about this and was told if they wanted to, they could post but they had chosen not to. I was behind the counter in the Passport office and they emphasized that it was NOT allowed behind the counter in the employee area and only employees of the Postal Inspection group (division, whatever) orLEO'swere allowed to carry behind the counter.

    Thoughts?

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    ecocks wrote:
    And how does this figure into the equation:

    Title 18 section 930.h states...

    (h) Notice of the provisions of subsections (a) and (b) shall be
    posted conspicuously at each public entrance to each Federal
    facility, and notice of subsection (e) shall be posted
    conspicuously at each public entrance to each Federal court
    facility, and no person shall be convicted of an offense under
    subsection (a) or (e) with respect to a Federal facility if such
    notice is not so posted at such facility,
    unless such person had
    actual notice of subsection (a) or (e), as the case may be.
    This section does not figure into anything unless you are being charged under this section.

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    On the plus side, the U.S Postal Service is going broke, so we won't have to worry about their parking lots much longer. I have never seen such signs at a Fed-Ex, or UPS location yet. Private industry: The Foundation of this country. Just my .02.

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    Well, everyone, fuss, fuss, fuss!! I'm not going to give th usps LEOs ANY trouble. There's a VERY CLEAR warning on all their vehicles:



    POSTAL POLICE :what:

    Ye gods.



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