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Old March 1, 2005, 02:06 PM   #1
Duxman
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Federal Property - CC OK or NO?

Just walked into a local post office today, and was unsure whether it was OK to CC or not inside, so I left my pistol in the car.

Checked the regs for the state of Virignia, and there is nothing there about carrying inside Federal buildings. Does anyone know if it is OK to carry inside a Federal facility like a post office?
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Old March 1, 2005, 02:45 PM   #2
The Plainsman
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As a federal employee, let me assure you - NO!!! I think it's just as goofy as other off-limits rules, but the feds would have a COW if they even thought you were carrying concealed.
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Old March 1, 2005, 02:49 PM   #3
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That all hinges on whether valid concealed carry falls under the federal exception of "other lawful purposes". Since we have no test cases for this, and unless you want to be one, I would suggest you don't do it.
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Old March 1, 2005, 03:12 PM   #4
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No No No
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Old March 1, 2005, 03:17 PM   #5
Duxman
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Thanks. I will keep my gun in the car while visiting the local Post Office and any other Federal building.

No crooks have been stupid enough to rob a post office anyway. Not that I heard of anyway. Has anyone found the idiot who robbed that semi-truck full of nickles? (From the Treasury?)
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Old March 1, 2005, 03:22 PM   #6
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I stopped at a local Social Security office the other day and it also carries a federal posting here in NYS.

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Old March 1, 2005, 05:18 PM   #7
chris in va
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Hey Duxman, just reading the Virginia Gun Owners Guide, it states...

"You cannot be convicted of this offense unless notice of the law is posted at each public entrance orif you had actual notice of the law (which, it could be argued, you now do)."

Obviously courthouses are off limits, but you'll notice they have a 'no firearms/weapons' sign out front. Next time I go to the PO, I'll check for signs.
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Old March 1, 2005, 06:04 PM   #8
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Chris,

There were no signs posted outside the PO. I specifically looked out for it. But just because VA won't convict means the Federales can't go after you. And last time I checked, the Fed has a lot more $$ than me....

Anybody who is an attorney out there that can answer this question?
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Old March 1, 2005, 06:18 PM   #9
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Federal authority supercedes state law on federal property.
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Old March 1, 2005, 06:33 PM   #10
barnetmill
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POB is in a private store

What about concealed carry for a business that rents out a portion of the store for PO Boxes and has the US postal employees in a closed off room with a counter over which they do business to the public. Where does private end and US Goverment begin? Does anyone know?
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Old March 1, 2005, 06:40 PM   #11
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I've never not carried in my local Post Office under the "other lawful purposes" exemption and the New Hampshire Constitution, though now that we've cancelled our PO Box and have online postage, I never go there anymore.
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Old March 1, 2005, 07:00 PM   #12
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No it's not a good idea. Same goes for any federal buildings or on federal property.

This page resides @ http://www.thegunzone.com/rkba/rtc-1508.html
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Old March 1, 2005, 07:11 PM   #13
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I had to mail something awhile back while working. I am a uniformed deputy sheriff. The postmaster came out from the back and told me that I was not allowed in with my weapon and should have left it in the car. He then told me he would allow it this time but not to do it again. I looked at him with dumbass look on my face until I realized he was serious. I said no thanks I'll go somewhere else and took my package and left. None of the smaller post offices have ever said a thing. I guess it depends on the postmaster.
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Old March 1, 2005, 11:37 PM   #14
Metellus
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I think you can...

I do but I thought it was perfectly legal in Virginia.

The big signs in post offices reference:

a) Title 18, United States Code, Sec. 930. - Possession of firearms and dangerous weapons in Federal facilities
b) Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)

The CFR is not LAW it is a bunch of federal regulations that can not supercede law. (That's like saying your Code of Conduct at work is above the law not true). And the in the big scary sign they show part of the law but don't bother to list the exceptions. One the exceptions happens to be

I live in Virginia and I know of no such virginia law that bans post office carry. If you read after the following section what is VA restriction it seems the post office concealed carry is up to the state. I don't see post office listed below:

=================================================
1) No person shall carry a concealed handgun onto the premises of any restaurant or club as defined in § 4.1-100 for which a license to sell and serve alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption has been granted by the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Board under Title 4.1 of the Code of Virginia, nothing herein shall prohibit any owner or event sponsor or his employees from carrying a concealed handgun while on duty at such restaurant or club if such person has a concealed handgun permit. NOTE: only concealed handguns are prohibited - openly carried handguns are allowed
2) Private property when prohibited by the owner of the property, or where posted as prohibited
3) Carrying dangerous weapon to place of religious worship while a meeting for religious purposes is being held unless you have "good and sufficient reason" [hah I have no idea what that means]
4) Courthouse
5) School property/school functions unless gun is unloaded, in an enclosed container (but NOT in the glove box or console) and in the vehicle. A car's trunk is considered an enclosed container.
6) Virginia Commonwealth University (8VAC90-10-50). Violation is a trespass charge [I guess VCU hates you]
7) Non-secure areas of airport terminals are off limits unless you are a passenger and you have your gun unloaded, in a locked container in your checked luggage, and declare the gun at the check-in counter
=====================================================

A member from Arkansas said he couldn't bring his weapon to the post office but that might be because Arkansas prohibits firearms in "(17) Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law"

The post office law in question seems to say that you can't do it unless the state allows you to. So doesn't look like Arkansas allows it but Virginia does does.

Whoever posted that scary post office sign link should have read further on in the gun zone that explains what that sign means. Then again this is all internet advice so who knows.

SCARY Post office Sign
http://www.thegunzone.com/rkba/rtc-1508.html

ANALYSIS OF Post office sign (copied below)
http://www.thegunzone.com/rkba/rtc-usps.html

----------------------------------------------------------
It is no secret that lots of wrong information on firearms laws is propagated by the Internet and by word of mouth. In my experience, one of the most prevalent myths is that it is a federal offense to carry a firearm in a United States Post Office even if you have a permit or license to carry. As a general proposition, this is simply not the case. While state law or carry permit restrictions may prohibit carry in a Post Office, I have yet to locate a federal law that actually criminalizes such conduct where state law and permit regulations allow it.

The statute tossed out in support of the proposition that carry in a post office is illegal is 18 U.S.C. § 930. This statute is also cited in posters typically displayed in federal facilities giving notice that carrying firearms in the facility is a crime. The posters do not even mention the exception to the law that applies to those private citizens who lawfully carry handguns.

Here are the relevant sections of the law:

Title 18, United States Code, Sec. 930. - Possession of firearms and dangerous weapons in Federal facilities


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.

Subsection (a) shall not apply to -


the lawful carrying of firearms or other dangerous weapons in a Federal facility incident to hunting or other lawful purposes.
In order to fall within the exception to the law, two conditions have to be met. First, one has to be engaged in the "lawful carrying of firearms." This means you cannot be a "prohibited person" such as a convicted felon, a fugitive from justice, or fall within any of the other categories that would prohibit one from lawfully purchasing or owning a firearm under federal law.

It also means that it must be legal for you to carry the firearm under any applicable federal, state, and local laws. If, for example, it is illegal under state law to carry a firearm in a post office, the exception in section (d) (3) of 18 U.S.C. § 930 offers you no protection. The same is true about any local regulations or restrictions on the terms of your carry permit. In other words, if state or local law, or the terms of your carry permit, prohibit carry in a post office, then such carry is not "lawful," and the exception to the ban on carrying in federal facilities does not apply to you.

The second condition that has to be met for one to fall within the exception to the ban on carrying a firearm in a federal facility is that one must be carrying in the facility "incident to hunting or other lawful purposes." One cannot be in the facility with intent to commit a crime, or while committing a crime, and fall within the exception.

A simple test of whether one may legally carry in a post office could involve answering four questions:


Is it illegal for me to carry a handgun on the street outside the post office?
Is there a state or local law prohibiting carry in a post office?
Am I violating the terms of my CCW permit by carrying inside a post office?
Am I going to commit a crime or engage in some unlawful activity once inside the facility?
If one answers "no" to all four questions, it seems that one falls within the exception to the federal ban on carrying in a federal facility. The answer to the first three questions seeks to resolve whether one is engaged in the "lawful carrying" of a firearm. The answer to the final question seeks to resolve whether one is carrying "incident to ... lawful purposes."

It is important to note that the term "Federal facility" does not include a federal court facility. Even with a valid concealed weapon or handgun license, it is a federal offense to bring a firearm into a federal court facility. Under this statute, the only persons who may lawfully carry in a federal court facility are federal, state, or local law enforcement officers on official duty, or a Federal official or a member of the Armed Forces if authorized to possess the firearm.

Anyone with verifiable information about a CCW permit holder who was prosecuted for violation of 18 U.S.C. § 930 (or any other federal law), and who was also not allegedly committing, or attempting to commit, a crime (other than illegal firearm possession), should contact The Gun Zone or the author and provide details.


Addendum
The Code of Federal Regulations contains the following regulation (excerpted in pertinent part; full text from link):


39 C.F.R. 232.1 Conduct on Postal Property:

(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.
However, looking further down the regulation, we see the following:

(p) Penalties and other law.

(2) Whoever shall be found guilty of violating the rules and regulations in this section while on property under the charge and control of the Postal Service is subject to fine of not more than $50 or imprisonment of not more than 30 days, or both. Nothing contained in these rules and regulations shall be construed to abrogate any other Federal laws or regulations of any State and local laws and regulations applicable to any area in which the property is situated.
Regulations in the CFR have to be based on laws in the United States Code, must be consistent with them, and cannot supercede them. Section (p)(2) of the 39 CFR 232.1 recognizes this fact. That is, the CFR cannot abrogate applicable Federal law.

In so far as firearms are concerned, 18 U.S.C. § 930 (a) is essentially the same as 39 CFR 232.1 (l), except that the regulations do not contain the exception for lawful concealed carry contained in 18 U.S.C. § 930 (d) (3). But by its own terms, the regulations do not override the United States Code ("Federal law)", which does allows carrying a firearm in federal facility.

In other words, the CFR cannot trump the U.S.C., and the U.S.C. allows lawful concealed carry in a federal facility.

Disclaimer: The discussion above is not legal advice. It cannot, and does not purport to, apply to any individual's specific situation. If you have questions about whether your specific conduct is legal, consult a qualified, local attorney familiar with laws regulating firearms. You should also obtain specific information from the government agencies responsible for issuing firearm licenses and/or regulating firearm possession in your location. The author and The Gun Zone assume no responsibility for any actions taken in reliance on the information in this discussion.

Last edited by Metellus; March 2, 2005 at 12:15 AM.
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Old March 2, 2005, 01:11 PM   #15
20cows
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CCL in PO

Where I used to live there was a sign that said NO WEAPONS on federal property all the way to the curb. It indicated locked in your car was still a violation and there was a posted reward for anyone reporting a violation.

Where I live now the only sign is on the door coming in to counter area (separate from the PO Box area). This sign does not prohibit weapons, but warns that there is a serious consequence for using a firearm in the commission of a crime.

Both places are small towns in West Texas. I believe I heard the postmaster in the latter has a CCL.
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Old March 2, 2005, 01:33 PM   #16
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I am writing the ATF to see if they will clarify this issue once and for all.
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Old March 2, 2005, 01:52 PM   #17
Maxprime
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The laws are interesting in this case, but I have been told and will continue to NOT carry on federal property.
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Old March 2, 2005, 01:53 PM   #18
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Oh and to add, although in Texas they ruled that driveways and such don't count as the property (dropping your kid off at school for example). I do believe that they DO count for federal property. You don't want to get a federal indictment . . .
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Old March 2, 2005, 02:29 PM   #19
Duxman
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I guess my post office visiting days are effectively over. Thank you Federal Government.

Interesting quote from a conservatie liberal:

"This year* - will go down in history! For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration! Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future!"
Adolf Hitler - 1935
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Old March 2, 2005, 02:37 PM   #20
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There is a sign on our town PO to the effect that "armed robbery of a postal employee is a felony". The smart-aleck part of me wants to ask the postmaster if unarmed robery is allowed. The wuss side of me has prevented this question from being asked so far.
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Old March 2, 2005, 03:06 PM   #21
bci4usa
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I know federal employees are unstable and have a tendency to go postal every now and then, if I am at the post officer at that point I want to even the odds.
Seriously, don’t mess with the federal government you can’t win that one.

Police officers are not allowed to carry in any federal building’s, federal court houses or on any other federal property in uniform or out so what makes you think you can.
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Old March 2, 2005, 04:05 PM   #22
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Quote:
Police officers are not allowed to carry in any federal building’s, federal court houses or on any other federal property in uniform or out so what makes you think you can.
I'm not buying that assertion until I see it in writing. Good luck.
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Old March 2, 2005, 05:39 PM   #23
bci4usa
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ok fine with me, if you was a cop or know a cop you would know that.

Last if you are a cop do me a favor and go to a Federal court house and try it and see what happpens to you.

call you local federal court house andthey will tell you.
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Old March 2, 2005, 06:24 PM   #24
seb5
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Well I am a cop and have been for 15 years. As far as federal court, you are correct. As far as everything else, you are not. I've been in many federal offices for various things over the years and other than federal court have never had it questioned.
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Old March 2, 2005, 08:10 PM   #25
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For what its worth someone else brought this up in another forum and the replies were all about the same. Someone finally contacted the BATFE and the guy posted the reply from them stating that it was illegal to carry in a post office.

Like I said take it for what it is worth I don't have any first hand knowledge.
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