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View Full Version : Examiner.com: US Postal Service enforces gun ban in public parking lots


Mike Stollenwerk
10-19-2009, 7:27 PM
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 . . .

leelaw
10-19-2009, 7:42 PM
Interesting. I read through their posting in one of the local offices about firearms and knives, and it basically said that the carrying was prohibited if you used them in a criminal manner, or something like that. This is an interesting interpretation.

Scratch705
10-19-2009, 7:45 PM
want to see them enforce it by breaking into my car to find the gun.

freakshow10mm
10-19-2009, 7:55 PM
Yes it's interesting given the fact that subsection D allows for lawful purpose and also reinforces the fact that the CFR cannot and does not trump the USC, meaning the USC holds weight, thus allowing for carrying of a firearm in a post office or on the premises pursuant to sub D. The regional postal inspector knows I carry and the postmaster know I carry. They have both told me it's legal as long as I'm there for lawful purpose.

HondaMasterTech
10-19-2009, 8:18 PM
Who stores their gun "on" their car? Unless it's a minigun mounted in the back of your pickup truck, I'd probably store it "in" my car. Besides, I thought only postal employees shot people in the post office...

WokMaster1
10-19-2009, 8:20 PM
Alison Merrilee's twin sister. Federal law according to HER.

Shane916
10-19-2009, 8:25 PM
Ha and who do they expect to enforce such a law. USPIS? There is less than 2,000 of them worldwide and I highly doubt they care to enforce something so petty with their current caseload(s).

Another feel good law to keep us all safe. :rolleyes:

dantodd
10-20-2009, 12:35 AM
So I'll ask again, is there any talk about a level of scrutiny for the sensitivity of a place?

Level of scrutiny is one of the things we hope will be addressed in the opinion on McDonald. As of right now there is no case law on "level of scrutiny" post-Heller.

GrizzlyGuy
10-20-2009, 12:53 AM
Well, that regulation is unconstitutional under Heller unless those places are "sensitive".

"Sensitive places" was only mentioned in Heller as one of many examples where gun prohibitions are reasonable (in addition to restricting possession by felons, the mentally ill, in government buildings, etc.) They were making the point that 2A isn't an unlimited right. There was no ruling that gun laws in places other than "sensitive areas" was unconstitutional.

http://www.scotuswiki.com/index.php?title=DC_v._Heller

CALPsidewinder
10-20-2009, 4:07 AM
So if I just happen to be on my way to the gun range or have just picked up my gun out of 10 day lock up and decide to pass by the PO to drop off or pickup mail, and it just so happens that I have my gun lawfully stored in the trunk and a leo notices it as I open said trunk in the PO parking lot I could be cited or arrested?

I can understand a ban on carry inside the PO as it is a Federal location, but in the parking lot? Just more incrementalism. We won't just outright take your guns we will just ban them in every place that isn't your home, and sooner or later even transportaition in your vehicle will be a crime since it is done on public roadways. :73:

Sunwolf
10-20-2009, 6:13 AM
The U.S.Postal service can`t even keep the mail in their boxes secure much less enforce anything outside.

CSACANNONEER
10-20-2009, 6:19 AM
My father is a retired PPO (Postal Police Officer) and this is nothing new. This has been enforced ever since I can remember. Of course, for +31 years, he carried a gun on USPS property though. Also, this does not apply to FFLs who are mailing or picking up firearms. Just remember that only FFLs are allowed to send firearms via USPS!

freakshow10mm
10-20-2009, 6:23 AM
Anyone can mail a long gun via USPS.

There is no exception in the federal code pertaining to specifically FFLs on postal property.

CSACANNONEER
10-20-2009, 6:25 AM
Anyone can mail a long gun via USPS.

Really? Thanks for correcting me. I did not know that. I've only had to ship handguns and I knew I couldn't do it through the USPS without a FFL.

freakshow10mm
10-20-2009, 6:35 AM
Only FFLs can ship handguns via US mail (FFL to FFL only), but anyone can ship a long gun so long as the receiver is an FFL.

gun toting monkeyboy
10-20-2009, 7:06 AM
That is interesting, considering that the post office is one of the places listed in CA hunting regs as a place you can go to have your filled deer tag signed off.

Bugei
10-20-2009, 7:29 AM
Wait until you see their upcoming 1,000' rule "just to make it consistent with the school rules".

GrizzlyGuy
10-20-2009, 8:30 AM
The regulations are here:

http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_2003/julqtr/39cfr232.1.htm

Here is an excerpt:

"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."

Maybe I missed it, but I don't see an exception for bringing firearms onto their property for the purpose of mailing them. Unless that is considered an "official purpose" (?).

hvengel
10-20-2009, 9:12 AM
The regulations are here:

http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_2003/julqtr/39cfr232.1.htm

Here is an excerpt:

"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."

Maybe I missed it, but I don't see an exception for bringing firearms onto their property for the purpose of mailing them. Unless that is considered an "official purpose" (?).

Yes it is an "official purpose". Since the regs allow for the mailing of fire arms there needs to be a "loop hole" in the no weapons rule so that it is possible for this to happen.

bigstick61
10-20-2009, 10:36 AM
Personally I think the entire thing is rediculous, even when it comes to barring firearms within the building. Even though it is Federal, that does not in and of itself serve as a justification for such a law; the Post Office is not the sort of building where the RKBA can even be remotely justified.

dantodd
10-20-2009, 11:25 AM
It is unfortunate that this law exists but I am quite confident that the parking lot of a Post Office is NOT a "sensitive area" I suspect that the interior of a post office will also be deemed NOT a "sensitive area" though that is a slightly closer issue.

bwiese
10-20-2009, 12:29 PM
http://www.examiner.com/x-2782-DC-Gun-Rights-Examiner~y2009m10d19-US-Postal-Service-enforces-gun-ban-in-public-parking-lots (http://www.examiner.com/x-2782-DC-Gun-Rights-Examiner%7Ey2009m10d19-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 . . .


Let's back off from some of the drama on this and not get too "all wet" about it yet.

It's an 'unpublished ruling' from E. Louisiana (IIRC). And this case addressed employee-access-only areas of a postal facility; it also addressed the matter of Doroson as an employee.

The spokesperson, Joanie Vito, extrpolated the case into a blanket gun ban in a wide sweep without details.

That's why Ms. Vito is a spokesperson, and not a lawyer - and paid commensurately. Next week, she'll be extolling the virtues of the new USPS commeorative Christmas 2009 stamps and the availbility of new wrapping papers. She might even comment if a mail sorter were found to be throwing some mail away instead of processing it properly.

That being said, legal carry (CCW or OC) in USPOs may be questionable due to murkiness of Fed regs.

This is a bit focused on Ohio peculiarities, but the general tone of caution and interplay of Fed regs is good analysis:

http://www.buckeyefirearms.org/Concealed-carry-in-a-post-office-may-lead-to-rude-awakening

Now, the fact the Post office has regulatory procedures & standards for legal shipment of firerams obviously cancels some of the above. If you bring in a firearm (long gun for non-FFLs; FFLs can also ship handguns) securely wrapped for shipment, and declared as such, you should not be afraid. Ignore any asshat that says to declare something as "metal parts".

wash
10-20-2009, 12:40 PM
The PO itself may be a "sensitive place". They've got cash, blank postal money orders and an obligation to protect the property that people are mailing. I would say it's almost as sensitive as a bank.

I would hope that they would not extend that to the public parking lot but a PO is a lot more "sensitive" than for instance a county fairgrounds.

But I don't know, is there any talk about a level of scrutiny for the sensitivity of a place?

GrizzlyGuy
10-20-2009, 12:57 PM
I would hope that they would not extend that to the public parking lot but a PO is a lot more "sensitive" than for instance a county fairgrounds.

But I don't know, is there any talk about a level of scrutiny for the sensitivity of a place?

See my post above, their regulations (39 CFR 232.1) already apply to the public parking lot. If you drive into the parking lot with a gun in the car, you are violating those regulations. They don't make exceptions for unloaded guns, guns locked in cases, etc. It is a blanket prohibition.

Our post office has a sign at the entry point to the parking lot stating this, as the regulation requires the post office to do for the regulations to be in effect. Here is the applicability section:

"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."

Here is the restriction on firearms:

"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."

If you drive into any of their private parking lots (like one for employees) the situation is worse - you have now automatically consented to an "inspection" of your vehicle:

"(2) Vehicles and their contents brought into, while on, or being
removed from restricted nonpublic areas are subject to inspection. A
prominently displayed sign shall advise in advance that vehicles and
their contents are subject to inspection when entering the restricted
nonpublic area, while in the confines of the area, or when leaving the
area..."

http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_2003/julqtr/39cfr232.1.htm

gun toting monkeyboy
10-20-2009, 1:20 PM
So does the official purposes include coming in from the field to have your deer tag signed off?

wash
10-20-2009, 2:45 PM
See my post above, their regulations (39 CFR 232.1) already apply to the public parking lot. If you drive into the parking lot with a gun in the car, you are violating those regulations. They don't make exceptions for unloaded guns, guns locked in cases, etc. It is a blanket prohibition.
Well, that regulation is unconstitutional under Heller unless those places are "sensitive".

So I'll ask again, is there any talk about a level of scrutiny for the sensitivity of a place?

wash
10-21-2009, 10:31 AM
Bump.

GrizzlyGuy
10-21-2009, 12:37 PM
Well, that regulation is unconstitutional under Heller unless those places are "sensitive".

In Heller, SCOTUS didn't say that gun restrictions in non-sensitive places were unconstitutional. They said that 2A was not an unlimited right and "sensitive places" was only mentioned incidentally as one of many instances where existing gun laws would still be constitutional:

------------
However, "[l]ike most rights, the Second Amendment is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose." The Court's opinion, although refraining from an exhaustive analysis of the full scope of the right, "should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms."
------------

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/District_of_Columbia_v._Heller

bigstick61
10-21-2009, 12:47 PM
I personally disagree with what is in the Heller ruling. I wonder if it would have made a difference if Gura had not made so many concessions during his oral arguments (I actually thought we might lose after hearing his oral argument). I also wonder how it would have been written had Kennedy been solidly pro-RKBA and not a sort of swing vote. It seems like in the Heller ruling they went out of their way to justify many of the gun control laws currently in existence without explicitly addressing them.

Anyhow, I don't see the post office as the sort of place where guns should be restricted, whether you are in the customer area or outside. For me, sensitive is a place where classified info is stored, secure military facilities, courthouses in urban areas, jails, etc.

wash
10-21-2009, 12:53 PM
If existing laws might be constitutional in sensitive places, how could they be constitutional in places which are not sensitive?

Heller certainly did address sensitive places, they said that private property in D.C. (a place) is not an area where they could violate the second amendment. If private property in D.C. was sensitive they could have decided that a handgun ban was constitutional.

dantodd
10-21-2009, 1:18 PM
Anyhow, I don't see the post office as the sort of place where guns should be restricted, whether you are in the customer area or outside. For me, sensitive is a place where classified info is stored, secure military facilities, courthouses in urban areas, jails, etc.

I would agree with this but the opinion specified "government buildings" as examples of sensitive places so I suspect the legislature will try to have as many buildings as possible added to the list.

wash
10-21-2009, 1:55 PM
But they didn't list parking lots...

GrizzlyGuy
10-21-2009, 5:29 PM
If existing laws might be constitutional in sensitive places, how could they be constitutional in places which are not sensitive?

Tie goes to the government. Unless a court rules that a law is unconstitutional, it is assumed to be constitutional.

Heller certainly did address sensitive places, they said that private property in D.C. (a place) is not an area where they could violate the second amendment. If private property in D.C. was sensitive they could have decided that a handgun ban was constitutional.

SCOTUS's ruling was actually narrow in terms of where a person has RKBA. It applied RKBA to a citizen's own private property, and specifically their home, but not necessarily all private property or unusual private property that might also be a sensitive place (ex: a privately owned power plant): "In sum, we hold that the District's ban on handgun possession in the home violates the Second Amendment, as does its prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense..." A c

Other than dicta, they made no ruling regarding sensitive places.

bigcalidave
10-21-2009, 8:18 PM
Until there are metal detectors at the post office...