Ammo in U.S. Postal Office parking lot?


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bushmaster1313
January 10, 2013, 08:03 PM
Is it legal to have rifle or pistol ammo in the trunk of a car in a U.S. Post Office parking lot?

I know it is illegal to mail ammo

I know it is legal to mail a long gun and illegal for a non-FFL to mail a handgun

I know it is illegal even for a carry permit holder to have a handgun in the car in the parking lot of a U.S. Post Office.

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Malamute
January 10, 2013, 08:52 PM
I'm curious as to your source for the "not even in the parking lot" comment regarding handguns. I believe the law says inside federal buildings. A parking lot is not a building.

It's perfectly legal to carry in National Parks so long as the particular state says it's OK, just not inside the federal buildings of the park. No mention ever of the parking lots. Presumably you could stand outside the building, even lean against it, but not go inside with a gun.

243winxb
January 10, 2013, 09:22 PM
New Jersey may have very different state laws. :confused:

NavyLCDR
January 10, 2013, 09:31 PM
I'm curious as to your source for the "not even in the parking lot" comment regarding handguns. I believe the law says inside federal buildings. A parking lot is not a building.

39 CFR 232.1:

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. This section shall not apply to

(i) Any portions of real property, owned or leased by the Postal Service, that are leased or subleased by the Postal Service to private tenants for their exclusive use;

(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.

NavyLCDR
January 10, 2013, 09:32 PM
The CFR does not mention ammunition, one would have to research further to see if ammunition is classified by the post office as an "explosive".

Given this from the Domestic Mail Manual:
8.6 Hazardous Materials

Harmful matter also includes regulated hazardous materials as defined in 10.0 that are likely to harm USPS employees or to destroy, deface, or otherwise damage mail or postal equipment. This includes materials such as caustic poisons (acids and alkalies), oxidizers, or highly flammable liquids, gases, or solids; or materials that are likely, under conditions incident to transportation, to cause fires through friction, absorption of moisture, or spontaneous chemical changes or from retained heat from manufacturing or processing, including explosives or containers previously used for shipping high explosives with a liquid ingredient (such as dynamite), ammunition, fireworks, radioactive materials, matches, or articles emitting obnoxious odors.

It would appear as if ammunition is classified differently than explosives by the Post Office.

bushmaster1313
January 10, 2013, 09:51 PM
I'm curious as to your source for the "not even in the parking lot" comment regarding handguns. I believe the law says inside federal buildings. A parking lot is not a building.

It's perfectly legal to carry in National Parks so long as the particular state says it's OK, just not inside the federal buildings of the park. No mention ever of the parking lots. Presumably you could stand outside the building, even lean against it, but not go inside with a gun.

I was once at the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C. observing oral arguments and one case on appeal was for a postal employee who was fired for having a handgun on Post Office property, which was argued by the Government attorney to be against the law.

It seems this poor slob had a carry permit and he kept a handgun in his car while working at the Post Office. He knew not to bring it into the building. Some woman was really mad at him, and told the police about the gun in the car, and they arrested him after he got in his car, which was parked in the Post Office parking lot. They searched his car and found the gun in the trunk or glove compartment, and because it was a violation to have a handgun anywhere on U.S. Post Office property, including outside the building, he was fired.

He was appealing his firing to the Federal Circuit and it did not look good.

zorro45
January 11, 2013, 08:18 PM
Another good reason to keep the lips zipped about "carry status" especially around potentially crabby people.

tulsamal
January 11, 2013, 08:22 PM
But you aren't allowed to carry into the Post Office. So you try to obey the laws and you take the gun off and leave it in your locked car while you go inside. Now I'm being told even that is against the law? It's as bad as a school. Then I have to park across the street!

Gregg

smalls
January 12, 2013, 03:25 AM
But you aren't allowed to carry into the Post Office. So you try to obey the laws and you take the gun off and leave it in your locked car while you go inside. Now I'm being told even that is against the law? It's as bad as a school. Then I have to park across the street!

It is worse than a school. At least federally. Federally with a concealed carry permit you may have a handgun on school property. You cannot be anywhere on USPS property with a handgun if you don't hold an FFL.

tulsamal
January 12, 2013, 02:48 PM
Federally with a concealed carry permit you may have a handgun on school property. You cannot be anywhere on USPS property with a handgun if you don't hold an FFL.

Then I guess this is one of those instances where the state law is more restrictive than the Federal. In Oklahoma I can have my CCW in the car with me when I drive through to pick up or drop off my child. But I can't exit the car. And I can't take the gun off and leave it in the car either.

So if I have to go sign out a kid to take them to the doctor, I have to park somewhere across the street. Leaving my gun in the car. Then come back out and get it back in place on my belt.

I HATE those No Guns signs at the schools!!

Gregg

lemaymiami
January 12, 2013, 06:08 PM
bushmaster... the citation about the postal employee and his firing may have missed an important point. Not whether what he did was illegal...but whether a postal employee violates his conditions of employment by having that firearm on postal property....

The conclusion that I draw (and I'm not a lawyer, just a retired cop who frequently was called on to decide the practicalities of one particular law or other....) was that this situation about his property rights (that job) and had little to do with whether he was or was not arrested...

bushmaster1313
January 12, 2013, 07:26 PM
Good observation.
But the issue argued on appeal was whether the federal law also applied to the parking lot as well as the building.

Seems kind of odd, doesn't it, that the Federal Gun Free School Zone is less strict than the rule for the post office. A state CCW holder is allowed to be in a school building in that state under federal law but not in the parking lot of post office.

State law can be stricter.

vtail
January 12, 2013, 11:45 PM
It's strange talking about post offices and guns.

On the morning of August 20, 1986, I left my house and was on my way to the gym when I was going to stop and get the mail at the post office, but as I drove past the post office, I decided to pick it up on the way back from the gym.

Minutes later, postal employee Patrick Henry Sherrill began shooting and fifteen minutes later he had shot 20 people, killing 14 people and himself in the post office in Edmond, Oklahoma.

I had my .45 automatic in the car at the time through a special permit from the sheriff.

I've always wondered what would have happened had concealed carry been legal then and I had stopped to get the mail. I guess I either would have stopped him from killing so many, or I may have ended up as another of his victims.....

Weird guy, used to pick up our mail sometimes.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_Sherrill

smalls
January 13, 2013, 12:47 AM
Then I guess this is one of those instances where the state law is more restrictive than the Federal. In Oklahoma I can have my CCW in the car with me when I drive through to pick up or drop off my child. But I can't exit the car. And I can't take the gun off and leave it in the car either.

Same with MI, sorta. We can leave it in the car. But, with a vdlid CPL we may also open carry on school property. No CC, though.

HorseSoldier
January 13, 2013, 08:34 AM
It would appear as if ammunition is classified differently than explosives by the Post Office.

Ammo falls into the catch-all sort of category of "Other Regulated Materials, Class D" (ORM-D). I'm pretty certain explosives have a specific identifier code for shipping and hazmat, though I can't recall the details at the moment (been a few years since I worked ammo a lot in the .mil).

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