Odd: no signs at Post Office


PDA






misterwhipple
April 15, 2008, 12:31 PM
I just stopped at the PO for stamps, and kept my eye out for any kind of No Guns indication. There were no signs posted at any of the entrances, and I didn't see a Legal Notice-type poster anywhere.

Granted, I stopped at the box lobby, so there could have been something posted in the retail section next to the fugitives' mugshots. Still, if they want people not to carry guns in there, I'd have thought they'd make it known before we're past all the doors and standing at the counter.

If you enjoyed reading about "Odd: no signs at Post Office" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Winchester 73
April 15, 2008, 12:35 PM
They take it as a given that all us common folk know we shouldn't be carrying evil weapons into their sanctuaries.:D
There are lots of disputes on whether P.O. carry is legal.Lots of threads on THR and elsewhere.

rainbowbob
April 15, 2008, 12:57 PM
I did the same thing yesterday at my local post office and saw no signage either(?)

pisgah
April 15, 2008, 01:06 PM
The USPS employees I know believe that the law forbids guns there. Well, no... The law allows carry for law enforcement personnel or anyone else carrying for "lawful purposes". Now, many interpret that to mean that since a Concealed Carry permit holder carrying for self defense is a "lawful purpose", then carry in the PO is OK -- but, as far as I can determine, it hasn't yet been tested in court. As for me, well, when I carry concealed, I carry concealed, so there's no way they can know whether I am or I ain't.

rainbowbob
April 15, 2008, 01:17 PM
As for me, well, when I carry concealed, I carry concealed, so there's no way they can know whether I am or I ain't.

I was thinkin' the same thing as I entered the P.O., didn't see a sign...no problem. The sidewalk in front of my P.O. is a hang-out for many of the homeless and down-and-outers in the area. Harmless folks mostly...but a pretty desperate crew to wade through when you need stamps or something.

Car Knocker
April 15, 2008, 01:18 PM
At my local PO, the sign decal is inside the door leading to the service area so that you can only see it as you're leaving.

RTFM
April 15, 2008, 01:22 PM
Ours is all the way inside - 90* from the service counter left hand side.

SRT1
April 15, 2008, 02:21 PM
I just checked. My local PO has the signs posted on the entry door.

searcher451
April 15, 2008, 02:38 PM
Just keep in mind where the phrase "Going Postal" comes from.

.cheese.
April 15, 2008, 02:48 PM
same here. It's inside on a sign that has all the rules for the post office.

rainbowbob
April 15, 2008, 02:55 PM
Just keep in mind where the phrase "Going Postal" comes from.

As far as I know, it comes from a single incident years ago in which an employee (or ex-employee) entered his work-place and started shooting. How is this any different from other work-place shootings?

If a disgruntled employee shoots up a business of any kind, does that mean CCW should be banned from that business ever after?

misterwhipple
April 15, 2008, 03:16 PM
I used to work for a contractor to the USPS, and I came to feel that the postal employees were treated rather poorly. So, I was surprised to learn that the Postal Service actually has a lower incidence of workplace violence that the nation at large. Go figure.

poker88
April 15, 2008, 03:33 PM
As far as I know, it comes from a single incident years ago in which an employee (or ex-employee) entered his work-place and started shooting. How is this any different from other work-place shootings?


The big incident was in 1986 but it looks like there have been several incidents. This is from wiki

August 19, 1983, Johnston, South Carolina: Perry Smith, a resigned USPS employee, charged into a postal office with a 12-gauge shotgun and began firing at workers in a hall, killing the postmaster and wounding two other employees.[1]

August 20, 1986, Edmond, Oklahoma: Patrick Sherrill, a part-time letter carrier, enters the Edmond Postal Office and fatally shoots 14 employees and wounds another six. He subsequently committed suicide.

August 10, 1989, Escondido, California: John Merlin Taylor kills wife, then two colleagues and self at Orange Glen post office.

October 11, 1991: fired postal worker Joseph M. Harris kills his ex-supervisor and her boyfriend at their home in Wayne, New Jersey, then kills two former colleagues as they arrive at the Ridgewood, New Jersey post office where they all previously worked together. According to "Today in Rotten History," Harris was initially armed with an Uzi, pipe bomb, and "samurai sword" and was later arrested garbed in a ninja's outfit and gas mask. [1] He was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. He died on death row in 1996. [2]

November 14, 1991, Royal Oak, Michigan: fired postal worker Thomas McIlvane kills four, wounds five, kills self.

May 6, 1993, Orange County, California: Fired postal worker Mark Richard Hilbun kills his mother, then shoots two workers at Dana Point post office, killing one. Serving life term.

May 6, 1993, Dearborn, Michigan: Postal worker Larry Jasion kills one, wounds three, then kills self at a post office garage.

March 21, 1995, Montclair, New Jersey: former postal worker Christopher Green, highly indebted, kills four and one while robbing post office. Serving life term.

July 9, 1995, City of Industry, California: postal worker Bruce William Clark kills supervisor with gun he concealed in paper sack. Serving 22 years for second-degree murder.

September 2, 1997, Miami Beach, Florida: 21-year postal employee Jesus Antonio Tamayo shoots ex-wife and friend, whom he saw waiting in line, then killed himself.

April 17, 1998, Dallas, Texas: letter carrier Maceo Yarbough III fatally shoots a clerk after an argument. Found not guilty of murder by reason of insanity, ordered to mental health facility.

January 30, 2006, Goleta, California: former mail processor Jennifer San Marco, 44, kills six employees (five immediately, another died later. A possible seventh victim, a former neighbor, was found dead in her apartment and has yet to be confirmed to be of the same shooting. Marco committed suicide at the sorting facility. [2][3][4]

April 4, 2006, Baker City, Oregon: Letter carrier Grant Gallaher entered the federal building in this Eastern Oregon city Tuesday afternoon intending to kill postmaster Michael McGuire. Unable to find McGuire, Gallaher left the building and shot 49-year-old co-worker Lori Hayes-Kotter several times at close range. Gallaher had been a postal employee for 13 years and Hayes-Kotter for 17.

Winchester 73
April 15, 2008, 04:20 PM
poker88,sometimes it seems half the U.S. is working for the USPS.
Per capita, rainbowbob and misterwhipple are correct.
Their rate of violence is lower.

rainbowbob
April 15, 2008, 05:07 PM
The big incident was in 1986 but it looks like there have been several incidents.

That is a much longer list than I suspected...I count 13.

rainbowbob
April 15, 2008, 05:13 PM
I am reading my Washington State firearms statute and see nothing about post offices. Is this a federal law that would not necessarily be mentioned in my state statutes?

Winchester 73
April 15, 2008, 05:27 PM
See this article,bob:

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

Concealed-carry in a post office may lead to rude awakening

By Ken Hanson, Esq.
Legislative Chair
Buckeye Firearms Association

There is considerable confusion over whether an Ohio Concealed Handgun Licensee (CHL) can carry a concealed firearm at the post office. This confusion mostly centers around the wording on the signs posted at the post office. The signs quote two sections of federal regulation - 18 USC 930 and 39 CFR 232.1.

Looking at 18 USC 930, it would appear, at first blush, that carrying firearms is prohibited. That section provides:

930. Possession of firearms and dangerous weapons in Federal facilities

Release date: 2004-08-06

a. 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.

So part of the confusion is rooted in the wording of this section. The prohibition applies to "Federal facilit(ies)" except as provide for in subsection (d). Subsection (d) provides:

(d) Subsection (a) shall not apply to-

(1) the lawful performance of official duties by an officer, agent, or employee of the United States, a State, or a political subdivision thereof, who is authorized by law to engage in or supervise the prevention, detection, investigation, or prosecution of any violation of law;

(2) the possession of a firearm or other dangerous weapon by a Federal official or a member of the Armed Forces if such possession is authorized by law; or

(3) the lawful carrying of firearms or other dangerous weapons in a Federal facility incident to hunting or other lawful purposes.

Many people have seized upon (d)(3) with the argument that they have a CHL, so their carrying of a firearm is an "other lawful purpose" and therefore they are exempt from the sign. This is problematic for several reasons. First, 39 USC 410 exempts Post Offices from 18 USC 930 (being a statute dealing with Federal facilities in general.) 39 USC 410, specifically dealing with post offices, states:

410. Application of other laws

Release date: 2003-06-24

(a) Except as provided by subsection (b) of this section, and except as otherwise provided in this title or insofar as such laws remain in force as rules or regulations of the Postal Service, 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.

(b) The following provisions shall apply to the Postal Service:

(1) section 552 (public information), section 552a (records about individuals), section 552b (open meetings), section 3102 (employment of personal assistants for blind, deaf, or otherwise handicapped employees), section 3110 (restrictions on employment of relatives), section 3333 and chapters 72 (antidiscrimination; right to petition Congress) and 73 (suitability, security, and conduct of employees), section 5520 (withholding city income or employment taxes), and section 5532 (dual pay) of title 5, except that no regulation issued under such chapters or section shall apply to the Postal Service unless expressly made applicable;

(2) all provisions of title 18 dealing with the Postal Service, the mails, and officers or employees of the Government of the United States;

Thus it would appear, by operation of 39 USC 410, that 18 USC 930, a law that deals generally with Federal property, does not apply to the Powers of the Postal Service. Rather, the only provisions of 18 USC that would apply are those specific to the post office e.g. Theft of Mail, Robbing Post Offices, Stealing Postal Money Orders etc. Further evidence of the proposition that 18 USC 930 does not apply to post offices is in the numbering of the aforementioned 39 CFR 232.1. As we will later examine, 39 CFR 232.1 clearly prohibits carrying firearms. CFR sections typically draw their numbering from the underlying laws that they are promulgated under, although there are numerous exceptions. The numbering of 39 CFR would be further evidence that 39 USC controls the situation, and not 18 USC.

The second problem with relying on 18 USC 930(d)(3) is that this section in no way EMPOWERS anyone to carry a gun; rather, that section simply states that 18 USC 930 does not apply to someone is lawfully carrying a gun incident to some lawful purpose. In Ohio's law, there is a big difference between something NOT BEING PROHIBITED and something BEING SPECIFICALLY LICENSED. Just because a statute says that certain conduct is not prohibited by that particular statute does not automatically equate into authority to engage in the conduct.

This is an important distinction, because the other part of the post office sign cites 39 CFR 232.1, which clearly does prohibit guns in post offices. In pertinent part, it states:

(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.
The argument advanced against 39 CFR 232.1 is that a regulation cannot conflict with a statute, and indeed, a later portion, 39 CFR 232.1(p), states "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." So would 39 CFR 232.1 be in conflict if it is read to prohibit a CHL from carrying at the post office? It does not appear that this would be the case.

First, as we previously examined, 18 USC 930 does not apply to a post office. Second, as we previously examined, even if 18 USC 930 DID apply to post offices, remember that 18 USC 930(d) merely states that the lawful carrying of a firearm is not prohibited by 18 USC 930(a), not that the lawful carrying of a firearm is allowed. This being the case, what is 39 CFR 232.1 in conflict with? I think it is difficult to argue it is in conflict with anything.

This being the case, at a minimum, we have a situation where there is a valid RULE prohibiting the carrying of firearms, and properly posted signs evidencing this fact. That being the case, an Ohio CHL is prohibited from carrying at the post office by Ohio's criminal trespass. If an expansive reading is given to 39 CFR 232.1 and it is considered a FEDERAL LAW, and/or there is a federal law that makes it a crime to violate a provision of the CFR, then carrying at a post office would be prohibited by 2923.126(B)(10), meaning that the Ohio CHL would be committing a felony by carrying at the post office.

I do not want to be right about the answer to this question, because I personally see no problem with a CHL carrying in a post office. However, I think some of the information/discussion going on in forums has the potential to expose the Ohio CHL to a rude awakening.

rainbowbob
April 15, 2008, 05:42 PM
Thanks, Winchester. I waded through most of that and my impression is that if the P.O. posts NO GUNS - that means NO GUNS. I will have to look closer and see if there is a sign posted anywhere at my local P.O. Absent that, can I safely CCW?

Winchester 73
April 15, 2008, 05:51 PM
I waded through most of that and my impression is that if the P.O. posts NO GUNS - that means NO GUNS. I will have to look closer and see if there is a sign posted anywhere at my local P.O. Absent that, can I safely CCW?

Well,as a previous poster pointed out, there does not seem to be a "test case" on record.I cannot with 100% certainty say you can safely carry, even with a CCW.
IANAL.Perhaps one of the many excellent attorneys on THR might interject with a firm opinion.

Moonclip
April 15, 2008, 08:02 PM
IIRC murder is the 2nd highst cause of death while working for the USPS after motor vehicle accidents.

rainbowbob
April 15, 2008, 08:11 PM
What is IIRC murder?

btg3
April 15, 2008, 09:15 PM
The P.O. here is not federally owned property. It it leased from a private owner. Nevertheless, it is a "federal facility", thus I don't CC there.

Neener Neener
April 15, 2008, 09:48 PM
Don't do it..........

Winchester 73
April 15, 2008, 09:53 PM
What is IIRC murder?


IIRC definitions:
http://www.acronymfinder.com/af-query.asp?acronym=IIRC

Huddog
April 15, 2008, 10:00 PM
If it is not posted assume it is a trap.:confused:

rainbowbob
April 15, 2008, 10:09 PM
IIRC definitions from "Acronym Finder":

If I Recall/Remember Correctly
If I Read Correctly
If I Really Cared
If It Really Counts
If I Recollect Correctly

:confused::confused:

Winchester 73
April 15, 2008, 10:15 PM
IIRC murder is the 2nd highst cause of death while working for the USPS after motor vehicle accidents

catfish101
April 15, 2008, 11:26 PM
Postal employees aren't allowed to carry guns or knives. They can carry pepper spray and other things like that.

It depends on where you are located. Some POs don't care and some do.

DPris
April 16, 2008, 12:08 AM
BUT- to further muddy the waters, it is perfectly permissable to mail a long gun at a US post office. Since it's permissable under their regulations, and mailing such a firearm requires that it be carried inside the facility and onto the property, that would seem to contradict the NO GUNS signs & verbiage elsewhere. :)
There is no clear answer, and a case may easily be made for either side, yes you can & no you can't take a gun into the PO.
Denis

Kurt S.
April 16, 2008, 11:47 AM
The signs quote two sections of federal regulation - 18 USC 930 and 39 CFR 232.1.

Okay, I'm convinced. CCW in the Post Office is not allowed.

So, let's say a CHL holder goes into the neighborhood PO, buys a book of stamps, and leaves. An alert letter carrier or counter person notices him or her printing.

Who does the PO employee call? Who gets the bust? HPD? Harris County Sheriff Deputy? Precinct 4 Deputy Constable? DPS? Texas Rangers? FBI? BATF? CIA? UN Peacekeepers?

Does the Post Office have it's own LEO force?

I am serious, how would an apprehension/arrest take place?

Moonclip
April 16, 2008, 08:32 PM
Yes the USPS has it's own postal inspectors.

Neener Neener
April 16, 2008, 08:45 PM
The local police would be called, initially. It would then be referred to the US Postal Inspection Service. Only the larger cities/towns usually have Postal Inspectors locally, so the smaller town would call local LE to get the quickest response.

rainbowbob
April 16, 2008, 09:17 PM
Yes the USPS has it's own postal inspectors.

Based on my experience with them - we've got nothing to worry about!

One of the local P.O. employees accepted a pick-up notice for my certified mail from the crach-head that stole it out of my mailbox.

A signature and ID is required but - you guessed it! - they didn't bother. The zombie got away with a check for $1,000 which, fortunately, they were not able to cash.

Meanwhile...the postal inspectors sent me around one bend after another, denying any responsibility or liability, until I finally gave up in frustration. Which is exactly what they were counting on.

misterwhipple
April 16, 2008, 10:32 PM
Meanwhile...the postal inspectors sent me around one bend after another, denying any responsibility or liability, until I finally gave up in frustration. Which is exactly what they were counting on.

Man, that sucks! We can hope yours was an unhappy fluke; all the postal workers I met seemed very careful to avoid attracting the Inspection Service's attention.

Nate C.
April 16, 2008, 11:29 PM
Not sure where the original person to post is located, but I have seen this sign (attached) in just about every post office I have ever been in. I found it online in about 30 seconds.

rainbowbob
April 16, 2008, 11:33 PM
I have seen this sign (attached) in just about every post office I have ever been in.

I probably missed the fine print. I guess I was a looking for a big sign with a gun icon in a red circle with a slash through it.

Aguila Blanca
April 17, 2008, 01:53 AM
I just stopped at the PO for stamps, and kept my eye out for any kind of No Guns indication. There were no signs posted at any of the entrances, and I didn't see a Legal Notice-type poster anywhere.

Granted, I stopped at the box lobby, so there could have been something posted in the retail section next to the fugitives' mugshots. Still, if they want people not to carry guns in there, I'd have thought they'd make it known before we're past all the doors and standing at the counter.
They don't need signs. They have a Federal law that says you can't carry in the Post Office, and the Federal law does not require that the post offices have signs. That's that.

Winchester 73
April 17, 2008, 01:57 AM
That's that.

That says it all.Comprende?Kapish?Understand?

GaryM
April 17, 2008, 10:18 AM
OUr PO has the sign up but the funny thing is that the sign is misleading. Think about it, the USPS allows longarms to be sent throught the mail and large/heavy packages have to go throught the counter meaning that rifle has to be carried to the counter.
The key is the wording "(3) the lawful carrying of firearms or other dangerous weapons in a Federal facility incident to hunting or other lawful purposes". This takes it out of federal jurisdiction. Of course if your local/state laws state otherwise then it is up to you to know.

ETA,
Funny thing, I work for the USPS and some of our old time drivers (TTOs) have told me about the old days when a driver, if he was to pick up the pouch (registered mail etc, is carried in a separate locked pouch) at a station at night could actually go down to the guard station and check out a gun. Usually an old rusty .38 special. That would be their means of defending the mail.
Needless to say those days are long over with.

If you enjoyed reading about "Odd: no signs at Post Office" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!