You Can Now Bear Arms in a Post Office Parking Lot

PhotoXpress

Tab Bonidy was polite enough to ask before he brought a gun into a Colorado post office. In 2010 his lawyer sent a letter to USPS asking whether Bonidy would be prosecuted if he brought a firearm inside the facility or left one in his car while, let's say, purchasing stamps. And he got a response.

According to Thursday's ruling by District Judge Richard Matsch, the USPS legal counsel responded to Bonidy, saying, "Regulations governing conduct on postal property prevent (Bonidy) from carrying firearms, openly or concealed, onto any real property under the charge and control of the Postal Service."

She was referring to Title 39 of the Federal Regulations, which dates back to 1972:

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.

Feeling his rights were being violated, Bonidy teamed up with the National Association for Gun Rights to file suit against this provision. 

And they won. Well, at least partially. Judge Matsch maintained that USPS did violate Bonidy's rights by not permitting him to leave a gun in the trunk of his car. But guns inside the post office itself are still forbidden.

Citing the Supreme Court's decision in District of Columbia v. Heller (the case that ended the handgun ban in the District of Columbia), it is still in the federal government's right to deny carrying firearms within the actual buildings. "The Avon Post Office building is used for a governmental purpose by significant numbers of people, with no means of securing their safety;" the judge wrote. "Therefore, it is a sensitive place, and the USPS Regulation is presumed to be valid as applied to the building.... There is no such easy answer as to the public parking lot."

In a press release, the National Association for Gun Rights said it will appeal the decision, with the hope of allowing firearms within the post offices themselves.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.