Open carry ...at the Post Office?


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radshooter
March 30, 2012, 04:34 PM
While standing in line today to pick up some packages and I noticed the guy in front of me was open carrying a Glock in a Serpa-style holster. He was not in any kind of uniform. If he was some form of LEO, he was either off duty or under cover.

Have I been misinformed about the law regarding guns in federal buildings? Aren't all Post Offices considered Federal buildings?

There are no gun-buster signs anywhere in the Post Office that I can find, and I have been going there for 4 years now. I always remove my cc pistol from the holster and leave it in the car while I go in the building.

Am I wrong? Can you carry into a federal building if there are no signs????

Thanks.

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Hunterdad
March 30, 2012, 04:39 PM
I'm sure he was an LEO of somesort.

Sgt_R
March 30, 2012, 04:41 PM
Or just really stupid.

Lee D
March 30, 2012, 04:42 PM
yep, LE or real stupid

Ryanxia
March 30, 2012, 04:55 PM
It is a federal building and is not legal to carry.

buck460XVR
March 30, 2012, 04:59 PM
It is a federal building and is not legal to carry.


Really? Check this out..............http://rlwesquire.wordpress.com/2008/06/09/question-about-concealed-carry-in-a-post-office/

CoRoMo
March 30, 2012, 05:06 PM
If he was some form of LEO, he was either off duty or under cover.
Or neither; he may have been on duty / plain clothes.
I always remove my cc pistol from the holster and leave it in the car while I go in the building.
If you're parking on PO property, you may as well just carry it inside because that's just as illegal.

Buck Kramer
March 30, 2012, 05:08 PM
Its not even legal on the property. CoRoMo beat me to it.

CoRoMo
March 30, 2012, 05:14 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryanxia
It is a federal building and is not legal to carry.

Really? Check this out..............http://rlwesquire.wordpress.com/2008...a-post-office/
Yes, really.

The author of your article is wrong. He says, "The statute in questions is 18 U.S.C. 930 – Possession of firearms and dangerous weapons in Federal Facilities.", which is incorrect. The statute in question is not the one he cites. He should have reviewed this one...
http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr&sid=e51a2edc4dc486153905d53ac4650184&rgn=div8&view=text&node=39:1.0.1.4.21.0.1.1&idno=39

Title 39: Postal Service
232.1 Conduct on postal property.
(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.

(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.

mdauben
March 30, 2012, 05:35 PM
Have I been misinformed about the law regarding guns in federal buildings? Aren't all Post Offices considered Federal buildings?

Actually, my understanding is that postal buildings fall under somewhat different rules than other federal properites. For one thing if the same rules applied, it would be illegal to carry a packaged firearm into the post office to mail it.

On the other hand, AFAIK its still illegal to "carry" a loaded weapon into a post office.

bushmaster1313
March 30, 2012, 06:12 PM
Only handgun you can bring into Post Office is one packaged for mailing with the correct form and you are an FFL

Lee D
March 30, 2012, 06:14 PM
"Only handgun you can bring into Post Office is one packaged for mailing with the correct form and you are an FFL"


thats what i was taught years ago in my CC class

NavyLCDR
March 30, 2012, 08:35 PM
yep, LE or real stupid
Or maybe both? :D


Also, 18 USC 930, the prohibition of firearms in Federal facilities requires prominent posting at all entrances to the facility in order to be prosecuted. 39 CFR 232.1, the prohibition of firearms on post office property only requires signs to be posted somewhere on the property - and contains no consequences for a lack of the sign.

The Lone Haranguer
March 30, 2012, 08:43 PM
If he is an undercover LEO, I think he might be a little unclear on the concept. :D

AlaskaMan
March 30, 2012, 09:06 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee D
yep, LE or real stupid

Or maybe both?



Or maybe he was just a concealed weapons permit holder who thought he was above the law?:D

Law enforcement officers are selected from the community. They are no more "stupid" than anyone else.

NavyLCDR... maybe he was in the military, then are we allowed to say he was real stupid or both?:D

Putting a smiley face at the end of such a remark does not keep it "high road".

allaroundhunter
March 30, 2012, 09:10 PM
If he is an undercover LEO, I think he might be a little unclear on the concept.

That was my thought......

XxBulletBendeRXx
March 30, 2012, 09:15 PM
Or maybe he was just a concealed weapons permit holder who thought he was above the law?:D

Law enforcement officers are selected from the community. They are no more "stupid" than anyone else.

NavyLCDR... maybe he was in the military, then are we allowed to say he was real stupid or both?:D

Putting a smiley face at the end of such a remark does not keep it "high road".
The Smleys are there as an option to use. :) As many say, especially on this site, Use it or lose it.... :) That is all.. carry on... :neener:

writerinmo
March 30, 2012, 09:24 PM
There is at least once lawsuit making it's way through the courts on the Post Office restrictions as we speak from what I see. It contends that the phrase "Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law, rule or regulation," would exempt any person who was legally carrying a firearm, such as a LEO or a person with a concealed carry permit. We'll have to see how that plays out, since as someone noted, the Post Office does not post signage restricting it, and it falls somewhat outside the Federal building rule. The parking lot rule also only applies if it's not a shared parking lot with any other business, mine has a shop next door that is owned by a local FFL who builds AR's there for resale.

guyfromohio
March 30, 2012, 09:34 PM
To put all of that mail in jeopardy? What a jerk!

radshooter
March 30, 2012, 10:04 PM
Thanks for all the replies. I don't think I will be testing the waters any time soon.

armoredman
March 30, 2012, 10:18 PM
writerinmo, our actual Post office does indeed post a sign. The contract PO does not, and it is both privately owned and staffed. It ain't fed.gov property, which makes it a better place to do business for me. :) I understand many more POs may be closing and going to fewer contract POs. Service will suffer slightly.

Tinpig
March 30, 2012, 10:41 PM
CoRoMo-

You quote CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) 232.1 to contradict 18 USC (United Stares Code) 930 (and buck460XVR).

However, CFR 232.1 also 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.

From the Massachusetts Law Enforcement Guide to Firearms Law, used to train police officers in Massachusetts and at the State Police Academy:

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 USC 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 USC 930 (d) (3). But by its own terms, the regulations do not override the United States Code ("Federal law"), which does allow carrying a firearm in a federal facility other than a court facility.

In other words, the CFR cannot trump the USC, and the USC allows lawful civilian concealed carry in Post Office by Class A LTC holders.

I lawfully carry concealed in Post Offices in Massachusetts based on this.
Other states may have more restrictive state or local laws.

Tinpig

armoredman
April 1, 2012, 12:52 AM
Interesting...

230RN
April 1, 2012, 02:19 AM
Tinpig quoted from the Massachussetts police training document:

In other words, the CFR cannot trump the USC, and the USC allows lawful civilian concealed carry in Post Office by Class A LTC holders.

I'm not familiar with what a Class A License to Carry is. May I assume that's relevant only to Massachusetts, or does it refer to some federal class of license?

In any case, I have a Post Office Box in the lobby of my PO, which is open 24 hours a day. For years, I avoided carrying in there with my permit even if the main service counter was closed because there was a sign near the door as follows:



TITLE 18 * PART I * CHAPTER 44

930. Possession of firearms and dangerous weapons in Federal facilities

(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.

(b) Whoever, with intent that a firearm or other dangerous weapon be used in the commission of a crime, knowingly possesses or causes to be present such firearm or dangerous weapon in a Federal facility, or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.

(c) A person who kills any person in the course of a violation of subsection (a) or (b), or in the course of an attack on a Federal facility involving the use of a firearm or other dangerous weapon, or attempts or conspires to do such an act, shall be punished as provided in sections 1111, 1112, 1113, and 1117.

(Bolding mine)



I later found what these exceptions were in that "subsection (d)" remark which I put in bold above:



(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.

(Bolding mine)


I then began to carry concealed in the Post office, considering that "other lawful purposes" included self-defense.

At some point along there, amidst several long discussions on several different respected gun boards regarding carry in Post offices, it appeared that another law or regulation had been written (or at least pointed out) which, despite subsection (d) made it illegal anyhow.

So I quit carrying into the Post Office at all, or even parking in their lot to get to my POB on the theory that so many actual attorneys on the gun boards could not come to a consensus on whether it was legal or not, and I did not want to be the test case.

However, of late, I noticed that all signs regarding weapons were removed from my post office. (I do not know if this is in reaction to the Avon Post Office case here in Colorado --see below.)

So now I read in this thread that the signs have to be posted for the law to be effective, and I interpret Tinpig's remarks to mean that carry in Post Offices is legal because the Regulations cannot trump the Law.

Personally, it looks to me like since there always seems to be continuing debate about the issue that the laws and regulations, taken together are vague or confusing enough to be totally unenforceable on the face of it.

So should I stay on the safe side of the debate and continue to disarm before entering Post Office property or not? Will Lassie get Jimmy out of the well? Will Aunt Jane come to realize that her husband is actually her brother?

Terry, 230RN

REF (The Avon Case. My latest info is as of Nov 2011):

http://www.mountainstateslegal.org/legal_cases.cfm?legalcaseid=231

NOTE 1: Although the original question was with respect to Open Carry, I believe this long-standing question on Concealed Carry in Post Offices is equally relevant.

NOTE 2: My general detached view of all this is that Post Office officials generally don't want you to carry in their facilities, but there really isn't much they can do about it except huff and puff and make it sound like you can't. <This is not legal advice, only my own rather acid comment on it all.

buck460XVR
April 1, 2012, 09:34 AM
Personally, it looks to me like since there always seems to be continuing debate about the issue that the laws and regulations, taken together are vague or confusing enough to be totally unenforceable on the face of it.

So should I stay on the safe side of the debate and continue to disarm before entering Post Office property or not? Will Lassie get Jimmy out of the well? Will Aunt Jane come to realize that her husband is actually her brother?


....and does Timmy ever figure out that Lassie is really a Laddie?:scrutiny:

I asked two friends that are lieutenants in the local PD about carrying into a Post Office. I got two different replies. Guess we're not the only ones confused.

NavyLCDR
April 1, 2012, 01:08 PM
NOTE 2: My general detached view of all this is that Post Office officials generally don't want you to carry in their facilities, but there really isn't much they can do about it except huff and puff and make it sound like you can't. <This is not legal advice, only my own rather acid comment on it all.

I believe the fine is $500 and up to 30 days in jail:

Title 39: Postal Service
232.1 Conduct on postal property.
(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.

(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.

(2) Local postmasters and installation heads may, pursuant to 40 U.S.C. 1315(d)(3) and with the approval of the chief postal inspector or his designee, enter into agreements with State and local enforcement agencies to insure that these rules and regulations are enforced in a manner that will protect Postal Service property.

(3) Postal Inspectors, Office of Inspector General Criminal Investigators, and other persons designated by the Chief Postal Inspector may likewise enforce regulations in this section.

If you commit a crime while armed on postal property, then you get the sentence enhancement called for in 18 USC 930 (b) and/or (c).

Good luck.

wacki
April 1, 2012, 01:19 PM
Law enforcement officers are selected from the community. They are no more "stupid" than anyone else.

Actually, that's not true. Smart people are officially banned from being cops in parts of New England:

New York Times: METRO NEWS BRIEFS: CONNECTICUT; Judge Rules That Police Can Bar High I.Q. Scores (http://www.nytimes.com/1999/09/09/nyregion/metro-news-briefs-connecticut-judge-rules-that-police-can-bar-high-iq-scores.html) Published: September 09, 1999

whanson_wi
April 1, 2012, 01:48 PM
Just went through a CCL course a few months back, and the Post Office (along with courtrooms, prisons, schools, etc) was specifically mentioned as a "no-go zone".

The rules are so convoluted that good people can make mistakes. I wish all of these places that are illegal to carry but don't require a sign would post signs anyway, for clarity. It would cost a whole ten-spot or so per door, and be well worth it.

230RN
April 1, 2012, 02:01 PM
Re NavyLCDR's post 26:

(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.

Real explicit about which "rules" they're talking about, and this is a criminal offense, where the laws should be explicit and not subject to interpretation.

...and...

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.
and this...

2) Local postmasters and installation heads may, pursuant to 40 U.S.C. 1315(d)(3) and with the approval of the chief postal inspector or his designee, enter into agreements with State and local enforcement agencies to insure that these rules and regulations are enforced in a manner that will protect Postal Service property.
...all put together tells me that they don't know what they're talking about, either. My opinion, as noted above in Note 2, is that they'd sure like to keep guns off of post office property, but realize that all they can do is huff and puff about it. <This is not legal advice.

The last quote above seems to recognize the ability of local government to allow it if they want to.

Also, per TInpig's quote (again, from Massachussetts) says:

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.

But nobody really seems to know what this "applicable Federal law" is. Excepting the highest law of the land, that is {insert quotation of the Second Amendment here}.

Incorporated to the States or not, that would seem to bind the Federal government from making any laws about Post Office carry at all, whether it's a quasi-government agency or a private outfit. (I note the PO's website has a "com" domain, and not a "gov" domain.)

Moreover, I don't enter the Post Office with any evil intent. I just want to get my bills and birthday cards out of my box and go home.

I repeat, I don't want to be a test case, so I park on the street, unlimber my iron, secure it in the car pursuant to local law, and go get my bills and birthday cards.

And unlimbering that iron is a royal pain in summertime, when I'm carrying in an ankle rig. Or in winter, when I may be carrying a backup defensive firearm as well.

I emphasize once again, that in reviewing literally hundreds of posts in the last ten years about Post Office Carry (POC) written by lawyers and those in the population who are most concerned about its legality (thee and me), nobody has come up with any really comprehensive understanding of this vague passel of laws and regulations.

Witness thereto, this thread, here in April of 2012.

I submit, therefore, that the totality of these laws and regulations are vague and incomprehensible to ordinary mortals.

And are hence unconstitutional on that basis alone.

This is not legal advice <click> this is not legal advice <click> this is not legal advice....

Terry, 230RN

CZguy
April 1, 2012, 02:47 PM
Moreover, I don't enter the Post Office with any evil intent.


I don't either..........I leave that up to the employees.

NavyLCDR
April 1, 2012, 06:31 PM
http://about.usps.com/posters/pos7.pdf

Weapons and Explosives
No person while on Postal Service property may carry firearms, other dangerous or deadly weapons, or explosives, either openly or concealed, or store the same on Postal Service property, except for official purposes.

http://about.usps.com/posters/pos158.pdf

Possessing a firearm or other dangerous weapon in a federal facility for
other than official purposes, causing such a weapon to be present, or
attempting to do so are punishable by a fine, imprisonment for up to 1
year, or both.

If the prohibited weapon is intended to be used to commit a crime, the
penalty is an increased fine, imprisonment for up to 5 years, or both.
Title 18, United States Code, Section 930

No person on U.S. Postal Service property may carry or store firearms,
explosives, or other dangerous or deadly weapons, either openly or
concealed, except for official purposes.
Title 39, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 232.1

Go ahead and do whatever you want to with your guns on US Post Office property. There is no conflict between 39 CFR 232.1 and 18 USC 930, they both act together to prohibit firearms on Post Office property. Just like passing through the gates to a US military base - tell the gate guard there that the pistol concealed on your person is for "other lawful" or "official" purposes and see how far the gate guard lets you go, and that is only under 18 USC 930.

For "official purposes" means an FFL transporting an unloaded handgun for mailing, any person carrying an unloaded rifle or shotgun for mailing, or persons carrying service firearms authorized by a government agency for official use while on duty such as a LEO on duty.

NOTE: I will say that since no Post Office that I know of has the posting required by 18 USC 930, a person could only be convicted under 39 CFR 232.1 for the mere carrying of a loaded firearm on Postal Property and not 18 USC 930.

oneounceload
April 1, 2012, 07:19 PM
My PO has a sign explicitly prohibiting weapons (meaning not just firearms) upon entering the facility

Carry if you want, for me, it is not worth the risk of losing all of my guns for a 5 minute trip to the PO

NavyLCDR
April 1, 2012, 07:26 PM
My PO has a sign explicitly prohibiting weapons (meaning not just firearms) upon entering the facility

Carry if you want, for me, it is not worth the risk of losing all of my guns for a 5 minute trip to the PO

Oh but come on, you could be the next McDonald or Heller!

Deltaboy
April 1, 2012, 08:40 PM
The Rule is a joke since it never stopped their employees from going POSTAL. I have seen State, County and City LEO's and even a few Military people with sidearms in the Post Office. I buy stamps at my Grocery Store and mail packages with a Private Mail Service so the PO can take a long walk off a short plank with this stupid rule.

writerinmo
April 1, 2012, 08:55 PM
I have yet to see where a court decision has defined what exactly the term "For official purposes" means. Hopefully the court case currently making it's way (probably) to the Supreme Court will lay this to rest. Since my CC permit is indeed an "official" document and all...

ArmedOkie
April 1, 2012, 10:22 PM
Detectives in my area are allowed to wear casual clothing.

lloveless
April 1, 2012, 11:07 PM
So the second admendment states" No infringement". Therefore the Post office is in violation of the Constitution of the USA.
ll

4v50 Gary
April 1, 2012, 11:14 PM
I carried in a post office, but I was LE and in uniform. I think the post office is off limits to carry for anyone who isn't LE. They can always have the Postal Police arrest the person. A criminal charge and conviction does a pro-gun person no good.

Redlg155
April 2, 2012, 08:35 AM
I'm sorry, but I'm not willing to be a test case in order to establish a precedence. I'll just keep mine in the vehicle. I will just have to rely on my other skills that have kept me alive the last 43 years.

gfanikf
April 2, 2012, 11:35 AM
It is a federal building and is not legal to carry.
Yeah, I had stuff in my trunk from the range and went to mail something, just to be on the safe side I parked in the lot next to it to ensure nothing was in or on Federal property.

brboyer
April 2, 2012, 04:32 PM
Where is "Official Purposes" defined in the CFR?

If it is defined anywhere, does it include a LEO handling personal business or even agency business?

FM12
April 2, 2012, 09:13 PM
LCDR: You remind me of a Lt Cdr i served with in the Navy.

FMF Doc
April 2, 2012, 10:02 PM
I generally leave mine in the truck, parked in public street, no PO, parking. But more importantly, other than a location that is really anti-gun, how many people know &/or care? and secondly, if you are carrying concealed, no one knows, so again...who cares??? It isn't like there are metal detectors at the PO, too many legal things that would set them off. I am not advocating knowingly breaking the law, but if it is unclear, and there is not a climate of "give a sh*t, and it stays concealed, as it should, no harm, no foul in my book.

Nutnspecial
April 3, 2012, 01:56 AM
WoW! This was one good read!

NWCP
April 3, 2012, 03:49 AM
You can't carry open, or concealed in post office. All that I've been in have been posted.

Tinpig
April 3, 2012, 01:34 PM
Posted by 230RN:
I'm not familiar with what a Class A License to Carry is. May I assume that's relevant only to Massachusetts, or does it refer to some federal class of license?

Yes, that's the Massachusetts license for concealed handgun carry, it's not federal.

I'm a builder, not a lawyer or a police officer, so I make no suggestions or recommendations to other people about what they should do unless it's in the building trades.
But as a matter of interest I posted the published interpretation of the Massachusetts State Police on Post Office concealed-carry as being legal for duly licensed Mass. citizens.
I act accordingly, no one else needs to.
Incidentally, I've never seen a sign that prohibited firearms in any Post Office or private business in Massachusetts, but then I don't live in Boston:rolleyes:.

Tinpig

NavyLCDR
April 3, 2012, 02:01 PM
But as a matter of interest I posted the published interpretation of the Massachusetts State Police on Post Office concealed-carry as being legal for duly licensed Mass. citizens.
I act accordingly, no one else needs to.

Unfortunately, the Massachusetts State Police have no jurisdiction or authority to decide what is legal or not on property under the control of the US Federal Government. For example, take your handgun to the John F. Kennedy Federal Building in Boston, show your Class A license to carry and let them know that you intend to carry your handgun inside the building because the MA State Police says that you can. How far do you think you would get?

When you are in front of a Federal judge, for violating a Federal regulation, arrested by a Federal LEO, charged by a Federal prosecutor, do you really think that the Massachusettes State Police's opinion is really going to be considered?

Any opinion can be supported by at least one "expert".

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