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Federal judge: USPS gun ban in parking lot unconstitutional

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The Constitution applies to the U.S. Postal Service, too.

At least in the parking lot.

postofficeA U.S. District Judge in Denver has ruled the USPS has no right to bar firearms from private vehicles on its property. The ruling came in the case of a Colorado man who sued because his Second Amendment rights were being violated every time he went to pick up his mail.

Tab Bonidy of Avon, Col., was enlisted by the National Association for Gun Rights to sue the postal service on behalf of himself and others who live in rural areas and must go to the post office to pick up their mail, according to a November 2011 article in the Vail Dail.

Because of postal regulations banning weapons on USPS property – including in vehicles – such people would have to decide whether to leave their homes unarmed when making mail trips. In a rural area, that could mean a law-abiding gun-owner could have to go all day without a weapon.

With the help of the national group, Bonidy and his wife, Debbie, won a partial victory in court.

In his ruling, according to the Denver Post, Senior U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch wrote that the postal service is within its rights to prohibit weapons inside a post office, but  that the ban on weapons in private vehicles on its property was going too far.

“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,” he wrote.

In justifying the ban on weapons in post office buildings, Matsch wrote that just the presence of guns could lead to problems from others, regardless of their owners.

“An individual openly carrying a firearm may excite passions, or excited passions may lead to the use of the firearm,” he wrote. “Someone could also attempt to take the firearm from its lawful carrier and use it for criminal purpose.”

What he didn’t note, though, was that attempts “to take the firearm from its lawful carrier” tend to end badly.

For the attempter.

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