Most of us believe we understand concealed carry laws reasonably well. After all, we know we cannot carry concealed in a courthouse, we know we cannot carry concealed passed the TSA checkpoint in an airport, and in the vast majority of states, we’re not allowed to carry concealed inside a school.
But when it comes to the Post Office, many people unknowingly violate the law, and I’d be willing to bet you’ve done it once or twice or you know someone who has. And guess what? What I’m talking about has nothing to do with carrying concealed INSIDE the post office.
Most people can agree it’s illegal to carry concealed inside a Post Office.
I say “most,” because there are a good number of people who think it is legal. You see, the United States Code (18 U.S.C. 930) that deals with firearms in federal buildings has a section that says there are certain times you can carry concealed in a federal building… “The lawful carrying of firearms or other dangerous weapons in a Federal facility incident to hunting or other lawful purposes.”
People argue that “other lawful purposes” means we can carry for personal protection because we have a valid concealed carry permit. From what my lawyer has told me and from all of the research I have done this is NOT true.
In fact, the Code of Federal Regulations – Title 39 – which is named “Conduct on Postal Property” says “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 hopefully you understand that you cannot carry concealed inside the Post Office…
But that’s not my main concern and not why I wrote this today. The reason I wrote this and the big mistake people make is that you’re not even allowed to have your gun on Post Office Property. In other words, when you pull into the parking lot and toss your gun into the glove compartment while you go mail a letter, you are breaking the law.
I realize that may sound “dumb” and hard to believe, but the above Title 39 paragraph clearly states “on postal property, except for official purposes.” Now, I had a student who told me that a friend of theirs got arrested in the Post Office parking lot when a police officer watched him put his gun in his glove box…
But the most significant proof I found is what actually happened to a postal employee. A fellow named Clarence Dorosan used to store his gun in his car while he went to work each day. Somehow, one of this supervisors found out he had a gun in his car, and he was arrested and fired for having a gun on the property. I’ve added appellate ruling where the judges upheld his original conviction below this article.
So since you cannot even carry onto the Post Office parking lot, what should you do? Obviously, one option is to leave your gun at home if you know you’ve got to stop by the Post Office. But where I live there is a restaurant next to the Post Office, so I always park in the restaurant parking lot and stash my gun in the glove box and then walk over when I need to send a package or mail a letter. Yes, it’s nonsense, but unfortunately, many laws are.