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Old January 28, 2010, 09:48 AM   #1
psyfly
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Question re: CCW and "Federal Facilities"

The question, in essence is:

Has the reference in Title 18, Part I, Chapter 44, section 930 (d), (3) (my bold text) been tested/had judicial opinion issued in terms of whether self-defense with proper state-approved CCW might qualify under "other lawful purposes" for "shall not apply"?


Applicable Federal Law (my excerpt, my emphasis):

TITLE 18--CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
PART I--CRIMES
CHAPTER 44--FIREARMS
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 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.
(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.
...


Thanks to all you legal types.

Best,

Will
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Old January 28, 2010, 11:01 AM   #2
NavyLT
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nope.
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Old January 28, 2010, 11:15 AM   #3
armoredman
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Was denied carry in a federal building last week, badge notwithstanding. Your CCW permit won't get very far, either.
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Old January 28, 2010, 11:22 AM   #4
Frank Ettin
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AFAIK it has not been tested. Any volunteers?
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Old January 28, 2010, 11:26 AM   #5
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fiddletown
AFAIK it has not been tested. Any volunteers?

Uh....

Quote:
shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 1
year, or both.

No....
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Old January 28, 2010, 11:38 AM   #6
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Me neither.
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Old January 28, 2010, 11:55 AM   #7
brickeyee
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Your CCW does not grant a "lawful purpose" under federal statute.

You will loose if you try.
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Old January 28, 2010, 11:59 AM   #8
bblatt11
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This is not legal advice. You are not paying me as your attorney and I am not advising you as your attorney. Scroll to the bottom for a summary of this post.

There is, to my knowledge, no case law clarifying this statute.

However, "other lawful purposes" in the context of the statute and as understood by Federal LEOs would likely include turning a firearm or other weapon over for evidence or with specific permission regarding that particular time, place, and manner (such as using a Federal firing range). That said, CCW, when legal in your state, may be in conjunction with a "lawful purpose."

However, you should also pay attention to:

<(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.


and


(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.>

Basically, you can leave the firearm in the car. However, since you know of the statute, even if signs are not posted, you may be charged, with the caveat that since there is no case law, to the best of my knowledge, you might be able to successfully argue that CCW is in conjunction with a "lawful purpose."

Brickeyee - the CCW alone does not grant "lawful purpose," but if your purpose in the building is lawful, and the carriage of the firearm is lawful, the one may protect the other, since neither statute nor case law clarifies that carriage with a lawful purpose is not allowed. Technically, the first subsection prohibits general carriage, but for this statute, "lawful purpose" may be used as a positive defense, with the understanding that even so, subsection (h) may still trump.
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Last edited by bblatt11; January 28, 2010 at 12:03 PM. Reason: New info at bottom of post
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Old January 28, 2010, 01:30 PM   #9
kraigwy
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I carry under HR 218 (retired not active). I don't attempt to carry in a federal court house. If I have cause to enter such buildings I lock my gun in the truck.

As we know, when we carry under HR 218 we have to carry our ID, (retired or active). When I retired my department gave me a retired badge in addition to the photo Id card. I carry the badge/id card in a wallet style wallet case.

When entering federal building you normally have to go through a metal detector. So, I empty my pockets in the little basket, including my retired badge.

Normally two things happen, I'm either asked, If I'm carrying to lock my pistol up in the locker next to the scanner, OR, they try to pass me through. I respond to both that I'm not carrying. It seems it doesnt really matter as to which state.

So that tells me it depends on who's working security. But again it dosnt matter to me because I lock my gun in the truck before enterring.

I never tried it with a normal CC permit, but I suppose it may be differant

Un-related, but at airports I seem to run into the same senaro. Sometimes they try to pass me thru, some times they ask if I'm carrying making me think they wont allow it, and sometimes they say they have to check with the pilot to see if he will allow it on his plane. Again I dont try to carry through security so it dosnt matter.
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Old January 28, 2010, 03:03 PM   #10
NavyLT
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I can tell you, as it applies to military bases, "other lawful purposes" is specifically defined by the Commanding Officer of that base and will be written in an instruction. Some bases allow hunting. Some bases have gun ranges on them open to military members. Some bases have family housing units on the base.

The Commanding Officer is in charge of his/her base and they set the policies, for the most part, about who gets on that base and what they can or cannot bring with them. Most of the time, when you get to the gates of a military you will see a sign that says something similar to "all firearms must be declared prior to entry". That is when, if you did not know the policies for that base, you would declare the firearm to the gate guard and, hopefully, they would know what would be required for entry or not.

Unless I possessed some sort of written authorization to bring a firearm onto/into a specific Federal facility for a specific purpose, I would not carry past an 18 USC 930 sign on a state issued permit.

And, here's a general rule of thumb anyway, that I just thought about. How can a state AUTHORIZE anybody to do anything on Federal government property anyway? If the Federal government bans something at the Federal level - a state cannot "unban" that item. For instance, Florida could not "unban" Cuban cigars and make them legal to possess in Florida. So I don't see how a state could overrule the Federal government by giving you a state issued permit.
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Old January 28, 2010, 03:16 PM   #11
Erik
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I'm unaware of an instance such as you are inquiring about.

However, I've put the question to representatives of various federal legal counsels before. The gist of their interpretation is that the exemptions refer to:

(1) LEOs
(2) Military and security personnel
(3) Individuals authorized by the controlling authorities for a specific purposes (e.i. hunting, sporting events, the delivery of a firearm to a federal facility, etc).

All guidance I've ever received has been unified in denying that CCW carriers somehow fall under exemption #3.

I work in a federal facility and in my capacity I routinely inquire if folks are carrying as well as informing them that, beyond a certain point, doing so is illegal. Folks leave and return sans firearms (the public parking is not federally controlled; presumably most secure their firearms in their vehicles). To date, nobody returning has been discovered with a firearm. IIRC, only one person ever left complaining to never return.

So... No case. Sorry. But... My advice to anyone would be to avoid lining up as the test case.
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Last edited by Erik; January 28, 2010 at 03:29 PM.
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Old January 28, 2010, 05:17 PM   #12
brickeyee
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Quote:
the CCW alone does not grant "lawful purpose," but if your purpose in the building is lawful, and the carriage of the firearm is lawful, the one may protect the other,
Except that federal property is NOT part of the state it is located in, and your permit is no more valid there than in a neighboring state (absent agreed upon reciprocity).

Neither local nor state police have jurisdiction on federal property unless specifically granted.


You are going to have a very hard time convincing a federal judge that the statute is anything but a prohibition on the carry of non-government sanctioned firearms in a federal facility.

It has probably not been seriously challenged since it is rather obvious what the intent of the law is.
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Old January 29, 2010, 10:59 AM   #13
psyfly
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Thanks all.

I actually had little doubt.

After all, the "law" in "lawful purpose" must, of course, refer to federal law.

To the feds it seems, (more and more) no other law need apply.

Or exist.

Indeed the interpretation is just "common sense".

I had to ask, though, because I'm well aware that much law bears little relationship to common sense.

I just wish they would provide a means for me to secure my weapon before I enter the gate.

Best,

Will
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Old January 29, 2010, 02:33 PM   #14
brickeyee
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When I used to hunt on military bases, there was a very set procedure in place to allow you to bring the firearm for hunting (and no other) onto the base.

There was a single gate that was used, manned by MPs and often with an officer present (even at 0500) to make sure you had the required permits including the base hunting permit, and that your name was present on the 'hunting access list.'

It was never a major hassle, just part and parcel of entering a restricted area for a specific purpose.

Many times the gate personnel appeared to be more interested in what we had seen when scouting previous days than anything else.

More than one base assigned hunting locations and supplied a map showing all the locations and emphasized only shooting in 'safe' directions from your assigned location.

Other bases assigned areas to each person and supplied detailed maps.
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Old January 29, 2010, 09:19 PM   #15
Jim March
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When we're talking about federal courthouses and military bases there's obvious issues.

However, when we're talking about, say, a post office where the "other lawful purposes" thing may be a factor, it's worth asking whether or not Heller changed things...after all, they just said personal defense is a lawful use of arms.
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Old January 29, 2010, 09:20 PM   #16
Erik
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Re hunting on federal property: That's a prime example of "other lawful purposes."

Note the permission, permits, lists, and confirmation process.
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Last edited by Erik; January 30, 2010 at 11:46 AM.
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Old January 29, 2010, 09:57 PM   #17
NavyLT
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However, the exception at the post office is not "other lawful purpose". The exception at the post office is "for official purpose".
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Old January 30, 2010, 11:49 AM   #18
Erik
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Agreed; d(3) does not permit CCW holders to carry in Post Offices.
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Old January 30, 2010, 10:53 PM   #19
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Maybe we can find our trial subject here

NavyLT,
What about the idiot with the "ARMY/NAVY" revolver.
He loves pressing the issue, maybe he'll volunteer for us to find out.
What do you think?
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Old January 31, 2010, 12:06 AM   #20
NavyLT
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Won't work, gearchecker. They revoked his permit a long time ago, from my understanding!
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