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Legalities of Post Office Carry... parking lot?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by RoostRider, Jun 20, 2009.

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  1. RoostRider

    RoostRider Member

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    Can anyone here cite the laws regarding having a firearm on Postal Property?

    It is my understanding that it is a Federal offense to carry your gun, permit or not, into the Post Office. (correct me if I am wrong here)

    It is also my understanding that there is some issue as to whether the parking lot qualifies as Postal Property, or as a standard public parking lot.... which, in the latter case, would allow you to store your firearm there while you went in to do business....

    This isn't a "should this be allowed" thread... or an "this is oppression" thread... this is a please cite me the law and source thread.... thus, if you have an opinion or assumption, state is as such...

    Thanks.....

    PS- I did do a search first, but this subject gets so many hits, and very little of it is even relevant to this threads specific nature.... link me if I'm lame and missed it.....
     
  2. MT GUNNY

    MT GUNNY Member

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    Your state would Help?

    In Montana its Fine to have a Firearm in your vehical, or OC through the Parking lot!
     
  3. average_shooter

    average_shooter Member

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    I don't have the law itself in front of me, but what I remember seeing posted on signs at the post office said something to the effect of carry only being legal "for lawful purposes." Which would put PO carry in a gray area, unless you are carrying into the PO with the intent to commit a crime.

    Some may read the law and interpret it to mean that if you are carrying for lawful self-defense and are properly licensed, then the law allows for that. Then again, it is federal property which is generally a no-no.
     
  4. divemedic

    divemedic Member

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    Part of the confusion is rooted in the wording of 18 USC 930(d). Subsection (d) provides:

    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. First, 39 USC 410 exempts Post Offices from 18 USC 930:

    So then we turn to postal regulations: 39 CFR 232.1, which clearly does prohibit guns in post offices. In pertinent part, it states:

    So the answer is that carry on postal PROPERTY is prohibited, not just within a postal building. This means that a parking lot that belongs to the post office is prohibited.
     
  5. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

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    It's still against FEDERAL law, even in Montana. 37 CFR 232.1.
     
  6. Dokkalfar

    Dokkalfar Member

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    I dont see anywhere in 39 CFR Ch.I with a section for definitions. If you have a CHL, you are officially allowed to CC a handgun. The official purpose of the CHL is to permit the citizenry to carry a handgun in a concealed manner. So, technically, any carry of the firearm could be considered for 'official purposes', could it not?
     
  7. RoostRider

    RoostRider Member

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    Yeah, thats exactly what I thought..... there is no clear definition as to the parking lot issue....

    I agree that arguments made might make some sense for concealed carry being allowed, but it would appear that this is an issue that could get real cloudy.

    I don't see how it matters what state I live in since I am asking about Federal Law.... but I am in MN.... and I believe MN statute specifies that public parking lots cannot ban guns..... which leaves it even more grey.... but my guess is it is going to depend on the disposition of the local Post Master and/or police/prosecutors.... at least until some sort of precedent is set....

    Anyone know of any case law?
     
  8. TCOV

    TCOV Member

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    I guess mailing a firearm is an official purpose.
     
  9. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    I don't believe you [legally] can mail [a pistol by USPS]. :)
     
  10. Eightball

    Eightball Member

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    IIRC, long guns are allowable. Hand guns are not.
     
  11. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    I am reasonably certain that you are correct...I was referring to a handgun (something that generally would be concealed) but that wasn't clear...so I shall revise. :)
     
  12. TCOV

    TCOV Member

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    An FFL can mail a handgun.
     
  13. average_shooter

    average_shooter Member

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    Black's Law Dictionary (Eighth Ed.) defines "official" thus:
    So I would think a CCW license/permit could be argued to be an "authorization or approval by a proper authority."

    Ultimately, I think it's so unclear because nobody has been willing to be a test case yet. At least, I haven't heard of any high-profile post office carry legal cases.
     
  14. TAB

    TAB Member

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    1 prob with that... the federal goverment didn't authorize you, your state did.

    So if you took the it strickly as the meaning you posted, you would still be in violation of the law. Since states have no power over federal property( unless the feds give it to them)
     
  15. stickhauler

    stickhauler Member

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    "Offical Purposes?"

    Though not a lawyer, I'd see that phrase as meaning a sworn law enforcement officer from a local or state agency, or a Federal law enforcement official or a person authorized by a local agency, a state agency, or a Federal agency to carry, not a citizen who has a state's license or permit to carry a firearm. Either way, if I'm going onto government owned or controlled property, unless it's stated I am allowed to carry a firearm there, I'm not doing it. I hear Levenworth isn't a really great vacation destination.
     
  16. bonza

    bonza Member

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    I'm a USPS employee & work at a large facility here in Washington state. The only posted notices that I see expressly forbidding weapons on the property is by the door at each building entry, there is nothing as you enter the secured parking lot. However, a few years ago one of our maintenance guys on night shift was fired for having firearms in his vehicle in that same employee parking lot. He was an FFL-holder & was going to be attending a gun show when he got off work the next morning & had a bunch of mil-surp rifles on the back seat of his car 'covered' by a blanket. Apparently another employee saw them & reported it to management & the Postal Inspectors were called in.
     
  17. Deltaboy1984

    Deltaboy1984 Member

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    My post office has no signs here in Texas. And my town has 30,000 people.

    As far as the Fed goes in Texas the State allows me to carry in the parking lot of a public school and to store in my car as a public school parking lot inspite of the Fed Laws Gun free school zone act.
    I just play it smart and go to the drive through at the PO and use a private shipping store for everything else.
     
  18. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    I gayrawntee you that in the eyes of the federal government, "Official business" means federal or state LEO types of some sort or another. Toting as part of their job, their duty. It won't include Joe Sixpack with a CHL.
     
  19. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

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    That's because the Fed Laws Gun Free School Zone Act specifically exempts you from the prohibition against carrying because you have a licensed issued by the same state that the school zone is located in, so long as that state takes fingerprints and does a background check.

    There is no such exemption written into the Post Office regulation. You are not playing it safe by using the PO drive through, it is still a Federal crime, albeit harder to get caught doing.
     
  20. SHvar

    SHvar Member

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    Do not carry in a post office, its illegal, and the parking lot (usually if its belongs solely to the post office with no other business connected to the building) is part of that gun free zone.
    Unless you are an on duty LEO forget it, just like carrying in a federal building, or courthouse.
    Its not an official purpose to be carrying with a CCL, CHL, CWL, etc.
     
  21. RoostRider

    RoostRider Member

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    Lots of great information here guys....

    I think it is safe to say that no one here so far can be absolutely sure that the Post Office parking lot is a legal place to carry, or even store a firearm.

    Most of the true 'facts' posted (in the form of legislation, not speculation) seem to suggest that it is not legal, or, at very best, an 'iffy' situation subject to interpretation by whoever it is that catches you doing so (Post Master/cops).

    Suffice to say, I wont be carrying or storing a gun in my car in the Post Office parking lot.
     
  22. divemedic

    divemedic Member

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    The post office is a funny place. We recently did a walk through training session of the Post Office in my first due area. The postmaster informed us that if the post office catches fire, we cannot enter the facility to put out the fire without first contacting the postmaster or his representative and getting permission to do so.
     
  23. MT GUNNY

    MT GUNNY Member

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    Federal Law:

    Sec. 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 or attempts to kill 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, shall be punished as provided in sections 1111, 1112, and 1113.

    (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.

    (e) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), whoever knowingly possesses or causes to be present a firearm in a Federal court facility, or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.

    (2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to conduct which is described in paragraph(1) or (2) of subsection (d).

    (f) Nothing in this section limits the power of a court of the United States to punish for contempt or to promulgate rules or orders regulating, restricting, or prohibiting the possession of weapons within any building housing such court or any of its proceedings, or upon any grounds appurtenant to such building.

    (g) As used in this section:

    (1) The term "Federal facility" means a building or part thereof owned or leased by the Federal Government, where Federal employees are regularly present for the purpose of performing their official duties.
    (2) The term "dangerous weapon" means a weapon, device, instrument, material, or substance, animate or inanimate, that is used for, or is readily capable of, causing death or serious bodily injury, except that such term does not include a pocket knife with a blade of less than 2 1/2 inches in length.

    (3) The term "Federal court facility" means the courtroom, judges' chambers, witness rooms, jury deliberation rooms, attorney conference rooms, prisoner holding cells, offices of the court clerks, the United States attorney, and the United States marshal, probation and parole offices, and adjoining corridors of any court of the United 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.
     
  24. divemedic

    divemedic Member

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    MTGunny:

    First, 39 USC 410 exempts Post Offices from 18 USC 930,


    (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;



    and then we turn to postal regulations: 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.



    So the answer is that carry on postal PROPERTY is prohibited, not just within a postal building. This means that a parking lot that belongs to the post office is prohibited.
     
  25. MT GUNNY

    MT GUNNY Member

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    Montana has this also:

    Exemption from Federal Gun Free School Zones Act

    45-8-360. Establishment of individual licensure. In consideration that the right to keep and bear arms is protected and reserved to the people in Article II, section 12, of the Montana constitution, a person who has not been convicted of a violent, felony crime and who is lawfully able to own or to possess a firearm under the Montana constitution is considered to be individually licensed and verified by the state of Montana within the meaning of the provisions regarding individual licensure and verification in the federal Gun-Free School Zones Act.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2009
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