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Old December 20, 2011, 03:58 PM   #1
maestro pistolero
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Bonidy vs US Postal Service

Transcript of oral arguments for MSJ 11/19/11

A great read. The judge assumes 2A applies outside the home. More than hints that intermediate scrutiny may apply, at least in the public parking lot. He also claims 1A jurisprudence in analogous. The judge isn't swallowing the sensitive places argument, at least in the parking lot.

This is a good one to watch.

Quote:
20 THE COURT: But I’m--that’s what I’m challenging, your
21 position that, because it’s proprietary you can’t look at
22 whether it affects any constitutionally protected activity.
23 You would agree, wouldn’t you, that if somebody comes in
24 there with a bumper sticker that says, “I hate the Postal
25 Service,” the Postal Service can’t keep them out.
11
MS. FARBY: Yes, Your Honor, because 1 that would likely
2 be an unreasonable regulation, but here--
3 THE COURT: Well--
4 MS. FARBY: --the Postal Service decision to prohibit
5 firearms on its property to further the interest in public
6 safety--
7 THE COURT: Well, isn’t that the very question, whether
8 that is reasonable, whether there’s no way in which, by a
9 permitting process or in any other fashion, like trigger
10 locks--you know, there are a lot of ways in which a firearm,
11 on this--at least the public parking lot, can be considered
12 inaccessible while it’s on the public parking area. Right?
13 MS. FARBY: Right.
14 THE COURT: You could have a requirement that there be a
15 trigger lock, that it be in a glove compartment, locked. And
16 what would be wrong with that?
17 MS. FARBY: Well, the Supreme Court has made clear that
18 when--
19 THE COURT: Don’t talk about the Supreme Court, I’m
20 talking about this case.
21 MS. FARBY: Okay. The Postal Service is not required to
22 enact the most reasonable, or the only reasonable,
23 regulation, so just because the Postal Service could have
24 imposed a standard that was less stringent than the one it
25 has imposed, does not mean that the standard it did impose is

1 unreasonable when it’s acting in its proprietary 1 capacity.
2 That’s established case law. As long as the Postal Service
3 regulation is reasonable then it passes muster, and here the
4 Postal Service--
5 THE COURT: Well, how do I know whether it’s reasonable?
6 That’s the problem with this being considered on a motion to
7 dismiss. The reasonableness of it depends upon whether there
8 are any other alternatives.
9 MS. FARBY: Well, again, Your Honor, the Court has made
10 clear that the Postal Service is not limited to the least
11 restrictive means available to it to further its purpose.
12 THE COURT: What Court said that?
13 MS. FARBY: The Supreme Court, Your Honor.
14 THE COURT: In what?
15 MS. FARBY: I’ll provide the cite, Your Honor.
16 (Pause.)
17 The case I’m referring to, and I believe that
18 language is found in many different cases, but the specific
19 language I’m referring to is in Board of Trustees of State
20 University of New York versus Fox, which is a 1989 Supreme
21 Court--
22 THE COURT: Yeah, which doesn’t deal with the Postal
23 Service.
24 MS. FARBY: No, it doesn’t deal with the Postal
25 Service--

1 THE COURT: No.
Quote:
MS. FARBY: The Second--the Postal Service regulation
5 here doesn’t affect Second Amendment rights at all outside of
6 Postal property. It’s a narrow regulation. All it does is
7 says you can’t bring firearms onto Postal property, and the
8 regulation, of course, says nothing about any other place in
9 which the Bonidys or any other person might exercise their
10 Second Amendment right. It’s a very narrow regulation.
11 THE COURT: Not when it comes to a public parking lot it
12 doesn’t seem narrow to me.
Quote:
And finally, this exchange:
THE COURT: Why would it make a difference whether
8 they’ve ever--I mean, it’s--you said common sense. Common
9 sense is that when there’s an ordinance that says you can’t
10 park here when there’s two inches of snow, and you’re in
11 Avon, Colorado, they’ve had days when they can’t park there.
12 That’s common sense, agreed?
13 MS. FARBY: I agree with that, Your Honor, but in order
14 for the Court to even look at whether this regulation
15 infringes a constitutional right, there must be a substantial
16 infringement, and they have not alleged a substantial
17 infringement. That’s--
18 THE COURT: What constitutes a substantial infringement,
19 more than one day? Does it have to be more than ten days?
20 What are you talking about?
21 MS. FARBY: I don’t know, Your Honor.
22 THE COURT: Exactly.
I like the smell of this one.

Last edited by maestro pistolero; December 21, 2011 at 12:32 AM.
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Old December 20, 2011, 05:36 PM   #2
silentargus
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Those last three lines there put a big shiny grin on my face. I don't agree with the judge's opinion of what constitutes a 'reasonable' restriction, but overall he seems to be one of the good guys.


This sort of backwards reasoning, however...

Quote:
MS. FARBY: Okay. The Postal Service is not required to enact the most reasonable, or the only reasonable, regulation, so just because the Postal Service could have imposed a standard that was less stringent than the one it has imposed, does not mean that the standard it did impose is unreasonable
Am I reading something wrong or did that lady argue that the Postal Service's restrictions aren't unreasonable because they're not required to be reasonable? If A then B. A therefore... C? "We don't have to be reasonable therefore we aren't being unreasonable?" Total logic disconnect. What is she smoking and who gave her a law degree?
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Old December 20, 2011, 09:47 PM   #3
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Thanks for starting this thread, Maestro. It'll get linked in the 2A cases thread.

The overall tenor of this hearing seems to indicate that Judge Matsch wants to hear this case develop.
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Old December 21, 2011, 02:05 AM   #4
maestro pistolero
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There is a US postal office in Las Vegas that shares a parking lot with approximately twenty stores, including a bank, a Trader Joe's, a Big 5, and several other independent businesses. The USPO leases one of the smaller spaces just as the other businesses do. There is absolutely no indication from the street that there is a post office in this center. No signage whatsoever. If you didn't know it was there, you wouldn't even look for it.

According to the defendant's argument in Bonidy lots of people would be in violation of USPO policy in this shall-issue, open carry state.
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Old December 21, 2011, 08:34 AM   #5
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It would be all more simple if the law regarding the PO was the same as local, state, and federal. No carry inside buildings but parking lots are OK. Really crazy that you can't drive into PO parking lots to drop a letter in the old blue box.
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Old December 27, 2011, 06:41 PM   #6
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You have the same problem with the VA Hospitals. They have posted their parking lot prohibiting guns knives and any dangerous weapons.

To me that seems to prohibit the majority of their clients. Most of us could be considered dangerous weapons based on our training.

How I long for the days when I could drive to the post office, bank, county court house and the police department with my rifle shotgun and fishing road.
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Old December 27, 2011, 07:04 PM   #7
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There should be no restriction on legal carry, for a Law abiding citizen, in any federal, state or local government facility or grounds except where no-one (even general Law Enforcement) can carry. This would be inside the confinement area of a jail, mental hospital, or inside a courtroom whle it is in session. Those places have a reason to restrict carry, the rest don't.

The PO is the PO, and should be like any other place that you do business. If someone has a property that does not recognize my right to carry, I just do not do business with that person/company. Unfortunately, with the government there are few alternatives for what they offer.

How long is it going to take for the PO and all the other government facilities that legal carry is not a threat. Criminals intent on mayhem do not care what the laws are, they will do what they want regardless of the law.
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Old December 27, 2011, 07:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ltc444
You have the same problem with the VA Hospitals. They have posted their parking lot prohibiting guns knives and any dangerous weapons.
Actually, in a way the VA hospitals are worse.

The USPS has a section of Federal law that specifically applies to them and allows them to ban firearms with no exceptions. I don't agree that this is right, but they DO have the law backing them to do it.

The VA hospitals, on the other hand, are using 18 USC 930. That happens to be the section of the U.S. Code that includes an exemption for "the lawful carrying of firearms or other dangerous weapons in a Federal facility incident to hunting or other lawful purposes."

However, the VA Police (yes, they all have their own police departments) do NOT recognize the exemption. I tried to discuss it with a shift supervisor at my VA hospital, and he falt out refused to even consider reading the law. In their minds, the law says "No weapons ... period" and that's the way they'll treat it.

There didn't used to be signs on the property at the VA where I go, and I had spoken with a captain on their force about being able to leave a range bag in the car while inside, so I could then continue across town to the range after an appointment. That was fine then, as long as I didn't bring any guns inside the building. About a year or eighteen months ago, signs went up at ALL the driveway entrances, and now it is very much NOT allowed to have a firearm anywhere on the property.

There are similar signs at the Social Security office ... also citing 18 USC 930. The guard there won't discuss the exemption, either. (In that case, I'm sure he's following instructions and thinking is above his pay grade, so I'm not blaming him.)

Obviously, someone, somewhere, somehow has to get our gummint to start following the laws IT enacted. If carrying a firearm for self-defense with a license/permit issued by your state to do so isn't a "lawful purpose," I'd really REALLY like to know why not.

Link to the law, for those who have not read it: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/us...0----000-.html See (d)(3)
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Old December 27, 2011, 10:08 PM   #9
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The part that bugs me, and maybe someone can explain or point me to some authority, is how can US 930 be used to prevent all weapons on gov property? There is a definition of what a "Federal Facility" is just a few paragraphs down at 930 (g)(1):

(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.

Maybe I'm missing something someplace, but seems a bit odd that an entire paragraph seems to be missing from the interpretation?
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Old December 27, 2011, 11:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marion McGee
The part that bugs me, and maybe someone can explain or point me to some authority, is how can US 930 be used to prevent all weapons on gov property? There is a definition of what a "Federal Facility" is just a few paragraphs down at 930 (g)(1):
Tat's the second reason the VA hospitals are off base. First, they are ignoring the very explicit exemption in the law they cite that allows for firearms to be carried for "other lawful purposes." Since "other lawful purposes" is not defined in the statute, it follows that the words mean what they say --- any purpose that is not UNlawful.

And then there's the fact, as you point out, that the driveways and parking lots do not meet the definition in the law they cite for what constitutes a 'Federal facility."

I would LOVE to test it, but I don't have enough money to pay the lawyers, and I'm not in a position to be able to risk losing my RKBA if the gummint's lawyers are smarter than my lawyer.
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Old September 18, 2012, 09:06 PM   #11
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So anyone know where this lawsuit stands?
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Old September 18, 2012, 09:21 PM   #12
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I did a quick Google of the case name and didn't come up with anything more recent than April of 2011, well before even the OP.
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Old September 20, 2012, 09:54 PM   #13
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In order to believe that such a prohibition on firearms enhances public safety you have to believe that someone intent on committing a violent act would not do so because of the prohibition.

The government must prove that the regulation in question furthers a governmental interest. If public safety is the interest they are using then they must prove that it is furthered.

If a place is so sensitive that the government may ban all firearms shouldn't that place be protected by some type of security force?

I've never seen a guard at my local post office.
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Old September 20, 2012, 10:18 PM   #14
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It was on or about the 2nd of Sept. that I last checked the docket. There was nothing since last April.

Upon review, a few minuted ago, it appears that Mrs. Bonidy has had a change of heart and has asked to be dropped from the case.

That stipulation, by all parties, was made on the 5th. The Court agreed, and ordered the plaintiff severed on the 6th.
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Old December 4, 2012, 11:36 PM   #15
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So... Failure to check this case has resulted in not seeing the latest movement. An MSJ by the defendants and cross-MSJ by the plaintiffs. Thanks to Krucam at MDShooters for the heads-up (and RECAP is still not working on this particular case).

Quote:
09/04/2012 29 STIPULATION of Dismissal of Party Debbie Bonidy by Plaintiff Debbie Bonidy. (Manley, James) (Entered: 09/04/2012)

09/05/2012 30 ORDER DISMISSING PLAINTIFF DEBBIE BONIDY'S CLAIMS AGAINST ALL DEFENDANTS WITH PREJUDICE and each party will bear its own costs and attorney's fees with respect to Ms. Bonidys claims re: 29 Stipulation, by Judge Richard P. Matsch on 9/5/2012. (Debbie Bonidy terminated), (rpmcd) (Entered: 09/05/2012)

09/28/2012 31 DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT by Defendants Patrick Donahoe, Steve Ruehle, United States Postal Service.. (Attachments: # 1 Index of Exhibits, # 2 Exhibit A-1 (part 1 of 4), # 3 Exhibit A-1 (part 2 of 4), # 4 Exhibit A-1 (part 3 of 4), # 5 Exhibit A-1 (part 4 of 4), # 6 Exhibit A-2, # 7 Exhibit A-3 (part 1 of 2), # 8 Exhibit A-3 (part 2 of 2), # 9 Exhibit A-4, # 10 Exhibit A-5, # 11 Exhibit A-6, # 12 Exhibit A-7, # 13 Exhibit A-8, # 14 Exhibit A-9, # 15 Exhibit A-10, # 16 Exhibit A-11, # 17 Exhibit A-12, # 18 Exhibit A-13, # 19 Exhibit A-14, # 20 Exhibit A-15, # 21 Exhibit A-16 (part 1 of 2), # 22 Exhibit A-16 (part 2 of 2))(Farby, Lesley) Modified on 10/16/2012 to remove Level 1 Restriction pursuant to Local Civil Rule 7.2(D) (rpmcd}. (Entered: 09/28/2012)

09/28/2012 32 MOTION for Summary Judgment by Defendants (Public and Text Only Entry re 31 ). (rpmcd) (Entered: 09/28/2012)

10/29/2012 33 Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment AND RESPONSE 32 IN OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT by Plaintiffs Tab Bonidy, National Association for Gun Rights. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1, # 2 Exhibit 2, # 3 Exhibit 3, # 4 Exhibit 4, # 5 Exhibit 5)(Manley, James) Modified on 10/30/2012 (rpmcd). (Entered: 10/29/2012)

11/28/2012 34 BRIEF in Opposition to 33 Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment AND RESPONSE IN OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT and Reply in Support of Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Defendants Patrick Donahoe, Steve Ruehle, United States Postal Service. (Attachments: # 1 Index of Exhibits, # 2 Exhibit A-17, # 3 Exhibit Padilla-1, # 4 Exhibit A-18, # 5 Exhibit A-19, # 6 Exhibit A-20, # 7 Exhibit A-21)(Farby, Lesley) (Entered: 11/28/2012)
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Bonidy Def MSJ.pdf (321.1 KB, 10 views)
File Type: pdf Bonidy Pltf Crossf MSJ.pdf (328.6 KB, 4 views)
File Type: pdf Bonidy Def Opp to Pltf Cross MSJ.pdf (270.0 KB, 3 views)
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Old December 6, 2012, 01:26 PM   #16
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Can you translate that?
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Old May 12, 2013, 12:07 AM   #17
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Stumbled on this thread looking for an update on the case. Man, reading those motions from the gun-grabbing USPS makes my stomach turn into knots. They are just outright LIARS.

Especially when compared to the TRUTHFUL motions made by the Bonidy's legal team.

Any further updates?

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Old May 12, 2013, 12:57 AM   #18
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My complaining to the RECAP folks have finally worked! The full docket is now available at the Internet Archive link. So here is what has happened since early December:

Quote:
12/10/2012 35 Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 33 Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment AND RESPONSE IN OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT by Plaintiffs Tab Bonidy, National Association for Gun Rights. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order (PDF Only))(Manley, James) (Entered: 12/10/2012)

12/11/2012 36 ORDER granting 35 Motion for Extension of Time to File Reply by 12/27/12 by Judge Richard P. Matsch on 12/11/12.(jjhsl, ) (Entered: 12/11/2012)

12/27/2012 37 REPLY to Response to 33 Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment AND RESPONSE IN OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT filed by Plaintiffs Tab Bonidy, National Association for Gun Rights. (Manley, James) (Entered: 12/27/2012)

02/28/2013 38 NOTICE of Supplemental Authorities by Defendants Patrick Donahoe, Steve Ruehle, United States Postal Service (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1 (Peterson Decision))(Farby, Lesley) (Entered: 02/28/2013)

03/04/2013 39 RESPONSE to 38 Notice of Supplemental Authorities by Plaintiffs Tab Bonidy, National Association for Gun Rights. (Manley, James) (Entered: 03/04/2013)

04/09/2013 40 Minute ORDER Setting Hearing on Motions 32 and 33 for Summary Judgment for 6/18/2013 at 10:00 AM in Courtroom A, by Judge Richard P. Matsch on 4/9/2013. (rpmcd) Modified on 4/9/2013 (rpmcd). (Entered: 04/09/2013)

04/10/2013 41 NOTICE of Appearance by Defendants Patrick Donahoe, John Potter, Steve Ruehle, United States Postal Service (Olson, Lisa) (Entered: 04/10/2013)
Notice I don't have to upload the briefs? They are linked to the quoted docket, above.

Suffice it to say that there will be a motions hearing (for the "dueling" MSJ's) on June 18, 2013. Then we will wait.

Jim? Sorry I didn't see your response. Do you remember what part you wanted translated?
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Old May 12, 2013, 11:08 AM   #19
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Nope. I can't sorry. Maybe I've read enough of this strange language called legalese to follow it better, or maybe I don't know where I got lost anymore
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Old May 12, 2013, 01:23 PM   #20
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Ah well... Not too sure I'd help much, though. Remember, I'm a rank amateur!
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Old May 13, 2013, 08:27 AM   #21
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Quote:
Remember, I'm a rank amateur!
Maybe, but a high ranking amateur IMHO!
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Old July 10, 2013, 06:51 PM   #22
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Federal judge: Post Office violated man's rights by banning gun from parking lot

The Denver Post reports a favorable ruling in Bonidy v USPS.
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Old July 10, 2013, 07:19 PM   #23
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Yeah, of a sort.

Quote:
""The public interest in safety and Mr. Bonidy's liberty can be accommodated by modifying the regulation to permit Mr. Bonidy to "have ready access to essential postal services" provided by the Avon Post Office while also exercising his right to self-defense."
His right to self-defense which, apparently, doesn't exist inside a USPS facility.
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Old July 10, 2013, 09:18 PM   #24
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This is a "half-win" for the case. More importantly, the Judge has allowed for Sec. 1988 costs.

Frankly, I think we should take the win and move on. We'll see what the Government will do, within 45 days.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Bonidy Opinion.pdf (53.9 KB, 32 views)
File Type: pdf Bonidy Judgment.pdf (21.5 KB, 16 views)
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Old July 11, 2013, 06:16 AM   #25
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It will take a few more cases to get parking lot carry at post offices the general rule or an appeal of this case to a higher level, as this decision only applies to one person at one post office.
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