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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/23/2005 4:30:36 AM EDT

August 23, 2005

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
Office of Public and Governmental Affairs
650 Massachusetts Avenue, NW.
Room 8290
Washington, DC 20226


RE: Carrying a concealed firearm into a United States Post Office


Dear Sir or Madam:


I am a resident of Washington State and would like some clarification on the legality of the concealed carry of loaded firearms into Federal facilities other than Federal courthouses. I would like to preface the question by first saying that my ultimate concern is how 18 U.S.C. §930 (or laws cited in response to this letter) affect the concealed carry of a loaded firearm in my local United States Post Office facility. My question is as follows:

Provided that there are no state or local laws explicitly preventing the carry of concealed loaded firearms in Federal Facilities (as outlined in 18 U.S.C. §930(g)):

Are there any other laws or regulations (at a Federal level) preventing an individual, legally obliged under state law to carry a concealed firearm, from carrying out lawful activities in said Federal facility?


Citing 18 U.S.C. §930:

(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.

(d) Subsection (a) shall not apply to—

(3) the lawful carrying of firearms or other dangerous weapons in a Federal facility incident to hunting or other lawful purposes.




Sincerely,
xxxx





Thinking perhaps you guys might help to refine my question, since some of you may have more experience in dealing with the alphabets.

-Rob
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 6:28:22 AM EDT
Quite a few Post Offices are leased from the state. One should question whether federal jurisdiction applies in those instances. Also, the Bureau you've chosen to query will likely send back a response pointing you to some other agency. They might be experts on gun laws but not in this case.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 6:45:17 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/23/2005 6:54:47 AM EDT by CavVet]


It has been gone over on arfcom a number of times.

Dont write the ATF for a letter, you may not get the answer you want, and end up with a decision that fucks it up for everbody.



ETA: I have all the legal guidelines I need in regards to this one already.

As a WA resident, I fully recognize states rights, moreover my rights, as specified under the Tenth Ammendment.


The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.


As such I turn to the RCW for CCW regulations.


RCW 9.41.290
State preemption.

The state of Washington hereby fully occupies and preempts the entire field of firearms regulation within the boundaries of the state, including the registration, licensing, possession, purchase, sale, acquisition, transfer, discharge, and transportation of firearms, or any other element relating to firearms or parts thereof, including ammunition and reloader components. Cities, towns, and counties or other municipalities may enact only those laws and ordinances relating to firearms that are specifically authorized by state law, as in RCW 9.41.300, and are consistent with this chapter. Such local ordinances shall have the same penalty as provided for by state law. Local laws and ordinances that are inconsistent with, more restrictive than, or exceed the requirements of state law shall not be enacted and are preempted and repealed, regardless of the nature of the code, charter, or home rule status of such city, town, county, or municipality.



And as we see........



RCW 9.41.300
Weapons prohibited in certain places -- Local laws and ordinances -- Exceptions -- Penalty.

(1) It is unlawful for any person to enter the following places when he or she knowingly possesses or knowingly has under his or her control a weapon:

(a) The restricted access areas of a jail, or of a law enforcement facility, or any place used for the confinement of a person (i) arrested for, charged with, or convicted of an offense, (ii) held for extradition or as a material witness, or (iii) otherwise confined pursuant to an order of a court, except an order under chapter 13.32A or 13.34 RCW. Restricted access areas do not include common areas of egress or ingress open to the general public;

(b) Those areas in any building which are used in connection with court proceedings, including courtrooms, jury rooms, judge's chambers, offices and areas used to conduct court business, waiting areas, and corridors adjacent to areas used in connection with court proceedings. The restricted areas do not include common areas of ingress and egress to the building that is used in connection with court proceedings, when it is possible to protect court areas without restricting ingress and egress to the building. The restricted areas shall be the minimum necessary to fulfill the objective of this subsection (1)(b).

In addition, the local legislative authority shall provide either a stationary locked box sufficient in size for pistols and key to a weapon owner for weapon storage, or shall designate an official to receive weapons for safekeeping, during the owner's visit to restricted areas of the building. The locked box or designated official shall be located within the same building used in connection with court proceedings. The local legislative authority shall be liable for any negligence causing damage to or loss of a weapon either placed in a locked box or left with an official during the owner's visit to restricted areas of the building.

The local judicial authority shall designate and clearly mark those areas where weapons are prohibited, and shall post notices at each entrance to the building of the prohibition against weapons in the restricted areas;

(c) The restricted access areas of a public mental health facility certified by the department of social and health services for inpatient hospital care and state institutions for the care of the mentally ill, excluding those facilities solely for evaluation and treatment. Restricted access areas do not include common areas of egress and ingress open to the general public;

(d) That portion of an establishment classified by the state liquor control board as off-limits to persons under twenty-one years of age; or

(e) The restricted access areas of a commercial service airport designated in the airport security plan approved by the federal transportation security administration, including passenger screening checkpoints at or beyond the point at which a passenger initiates the screening process. These areas do not include airport drives, general parking areas and walkways, and shops and areas of the terminal that are outside the screening checkpoints and that are normally open to unscreened passengers or visitors to the airport. Any restricted access area shall be clearly indicated by prominent signs indicating that firearms and other weapons are prohibited in the area.

(2) Cities, towns, counties, and other municipalities may enact laws and ordinances:

(a) Restricting the discharge of firearms in any portion of their respective jurisdictions where there is a reasonable likelihood that humans, domestic animals, or property will be jeopardized. Such laws and ordinances shall not abridge the right of the individual guaranteed by Article I, section 24 of the state Constitution to bear arms in defense of self or others; and

(b) Restricting the possession of firearms in any stadium or convention center, operated by a city, town, county, or other municipality, except that such restrictions shall not apply to:

(i) Any pistol in the possession of a person licensed under RCW 9.41.070 or exempt from the licensing requirement by RCW 9.41.060; or

(ii) Any showing, demonstration, or lecture involving the exhibition of firearms.

(3)(a) Cities, towns, and counties may enact ordinances restricting the areas in their respective jurisdictions in which firearms may be sold, but, except as provided in (b) of this subsection, a business selling firearms may not be treated more restrictively than other businesses located within the same zone. An ordinance requiring the cessation of business within a zone shall not have a shorter grandfather period for businesses selling firearms than for any other businesses within the zone.

(b) Cities, towns, and counties may restrict the location of a business selling firearms to not less than five hundred feet from primary or secondary school grounds, if the business has a storefront, has hours during which it is open for business, and posts advertisements or signs observable to passersby that firearms are available for sale. A business selling firearms that exists as of the date a restriction is enacted under this subsection (3)(b) shall be grandfathered according to existing law.

(4) Violations of local ordinances adopted under subsection (2) of this section must have the same penalty as provided for by state law.

(5) The perimeter of the premises of any specific location covered by subsection (1) of this section shall be posted at reasonable intervals to alert the public as to the existence of any law restricting the possession of firearms on the premises.

(6) Subsection (1) of this section does not apply to:

(a) A person engaged in military activities sponsored by the federal or state governments, while engaged in official duties;

(b) Law enforcement personnel, except that subsection (1)(b) of this section does apply to a law enforcement officer who is present at a courthouse building as a party to an action under chapter 10.14, 10.99, or 26.50 RCW, or an action under Title 26 RCW where any party has alleged the existence of domestic violence as defined in RCW 26.50.010; or

(c) Security personnel while engaged in official duties.

(7) Subsection (1)(a) of this section does not apply to a person licensed pursuant to RCW 9.41.070 who, upon entering the place or facility, directly and promptly proceeds to the administrator of the facility or the administrator's designee and obtains written permission to possess the firearm while on the premises or checks his or her firearm. The person may reclaim the firearms upon leaving but must immediately and directly depart from the place or facility.

(8) Subsection (1)(c) of this section does not apply to any administrator or employee of the facility or to any person who, upon entering the place or facility, directly and promptly proceeds to the administrator of the facility or the administrator's designee and obtains written permission to possess the firearm while on the premises.

(9) Subsection (1)(d) of this section does not apply to the proprietor of the premises or his or her employees while engaged in their employment.

(10) Any person violating subsection (1) of this section is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.




I dont see Post offices on that list.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 6:53:16 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/23/2005 6:53:44 AM EDT by RS_Coyote]

Originally Posted By CavVet:


It has been gone over on arfcom a number of times.

Dont write the ATF for a letter, you may not get the answer you want, and end up with a decision that fucks it up for everbody.




It there a decision that does not now???

What about Phil, he may already know???
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 8:48:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/23/2005 8:48:57 AM EDT by Scollins]

Originally Posted By CavVet:


It has been gone over on arfcom a number of times.

Dont write the ATF for a letter, you may not get the answer you want, and end up with a decision that fucks it up for everbody.




BIG +1. Writing to the ATF for clarification rarely leads to a positive result. ATF is an enforcement branch anyway, so it really should be directed to a different office.

To me, the USC is perfectly clear. "Other lawful purposes" is all I need. I've got a CPL, and I carry within the bounds of the law, and thus do so "lawfully." I don't worry about it. I've also carried long enough to know what proper concealed carry is. I've had a CPL for over 12 years, and I've never been "made" or "busted." No one is going to know, so there will be no issue.

It is interesting to note that the signs posted in Post Offices conveniently leave out any mention of subsection (d)......
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 8:52:51 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Scollins:
It is interesting to note that the signs posted in Post Offices conveniently leave out any mention of subsection (d)......





Where are you going to the post office at? Mine has no such signs whatsoever.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 8:57:58 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/23/2005 8:58:38 AM EDT by Scollins]

Originally Posted By CavVet:

Originally Posted By Scollins:
It is interesting to note that the signs posted in Post Offices conveniently leave out any mention of subsection (d)......





Where are you going to the post office at? Mine has no such signs whatsoever.



Renton Highlands Station on 4th Ave. The sign is posted inside on a side wall. It shows a revolver with a red circle/slash over it. I'd snap a pic if it wasn't so conspicuous to do so. Maybe I'll borrow the wife's phone with the built in camera.

I don't ever look for "no guns" signs on any business, but I just happened to notice this one.....
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 8:59:44 AM EDT
Sounds like you need a better class of postal facility.


Link Posted: 8/23/2005 9:12:20 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Scollins:
Renton Highlands Station on 4th Ave. The sign is posted inside on a side wall. It shows a revolver with a red circle/slash over it. I'd snap a pic if it wasn't so conspicuous to do so. Maybe I'll borrow the wife's phone with the built in camera.

I don't ever look for "no guns" signs on any business, but I just happened to notice this one.....



I'll have to look for that. I don't remember seeing it. I do remember seeing the US Code version posted at the downtown Renton location.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 9:23:45 AM EDT
Rule #1 for dealing with the government.

Never ask a question you don't already know the answer to!
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 9:32:17 AM EDT
Your heart is in the right place, but I also advocate the Anti wrighting to the BATFE. First they will most likely point you in a different direction. Second when you write with questions like this, it reenforces their attitude that they somehow are allowed to make their own law.

If you want to ask a legal question, you need to ask a lawyer, or a judge.

Link Posted: 8/23/2005 9:37:18 AM EDT
Which does bring up the obvious next question, or am I off base.....


RCW 9.41.290
State preemption.

The state of Washington hereby fully occupies and preempts the entire field of firearms regulation within the boundaries of the state, including the registration, licensing, possession, purchase, sale, acquisition, transfer, discharge, and transportation of firearms, or any other element relating to firearms or parts thereof, including ammunition and reloader components.



Evidently the "occupation of the entire field" doesnt really mean the entire field, as they do call big brother for 4473 approval.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 11:46:35 AM EDT
+1 on not writing. Your asking an enforcement group to interpret the law. What your gonna' get is somebodies opinion. Remember this are the same folks who brought you this:

ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=5&t=380592

Now ask yourself. Do you really want to ask a group that has over and over shown themselves to be above and outside the law about the law? Kinda like asking the IRS how much tax to pay on the bag of money you just found, isn't it?
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 11:58:42 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 12:13:21 PM EDT
I understand everyone’s concerns.

Well here is what I know based on reading the US Code Title 18 Subsection 930:

It says to me that if you are legally obliged to carry a loaded firearm in your state and there are no laws preventing the carrying of it in federal facilities as outlined in subsection 930, then you have every legal right to carry in "federal facilities" and my belief is strengthened when the law goes on to state:


18 USC Subsection 930 (a):

(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.

(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.





This is because it says in the strictest of terms; you cannot go into a federal court facility with a loaded firearm. However federal facilities as outlined in said subsection permit the carry of loaded firearms provided you are legally able to carry a firearm on your person under state and local law. So I'm thinking, hey, it has got to be that you CAN carry in federal facilities provided certain things are met. However I need clarification for my own piece of mind (a story will follow). I will not send it to the BATFE if you have a body of officials more apt to be reasonable and that are still legally able to give me a response that is legally binding.



Short story:
I went into post office here on the Westside of Olympia, since I frequent this paticular facility on a weekly basis I have become chummy with all of the employees. One day I decided to inquire about the dreaded, and much talked about, poster #158.

Conversation went as follows:
Me: "So what does that sign over there mean exactly?"
Employee: "Civilians are not allowed to bring a gun onto post office property...period"
Me: "Interesting, how then are you supposed to be able to ship firearms?"
Employee: "You cannot ship firearms through the post office"
Me: "My firearm was purchased over the internet and sent through the post office [(to an FFL 01)]"
Employee: "Well thats not right!"
Me: "It used to be you could ship firearms through the mail so long as you put the post office on notice"
Employee: "You'd have to contact the local ATF office for a question like that. I'm certain you cannot though"

My point to this story is that even though he was a postal employee and even though he should know about the laws/policies surrounding firearms shipment/carry on postal property, he didn't. He assumed what others assume...that it's illegal to carry even if you have a state CPL. As I said I go in there often, and often I bring in armfulls of parcels. I don't want my shirt to lift up one day as I place them up and on to the counter and have a postal employee glance over without some sort of protection in the event he/she decides they'd like to make my day difficult.
That is, if the local PD comes I need to have something in my possession that says I'm legal otherwise I'm sure I'd end up in court. Hell, I might end up in court anyway but I want protection.

Postal sign #158:


-Rob
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 12:29:40 PM EDT
Ah yes, one more thing, Code Of Federal Regulations 39 C.F.R. 232.1 Conduct on Postal Property:



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, there is an exception:


(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.



Taken from thegunzone.com:

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.




Boy the fun never stops!
-Rob


http://www.thegunzone.com/rkba/usps39cfr232-1.html#w
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 1:19:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SKSGuy:
Postal sign #158:


-Rob



That's the sign! Notice how it mentions "except for subsection (d) right in first paragraph, but nowhere on the sign is subsection (d)? This tells me that they KNOW it is legal to carry concealed at the Post Office in concealed carry states, but they are trying to skirt around the law. They are only showing the section of law they want you to see.

As I said, it is crystal clear to me that it is fine and legal to do so. Officer Stadanko is probably going to hassle you anyway, with or without a piece of paper. He'll just say "Tell it to the judge."

And, your postal employee friend is ill-informed about the regulations anyway. He has already demonstrated he knows nothing about the legalities of shipping firearms at the Post Office, so what makes you think he would be right about sign #158?

If you MUST send a letter, it should probably go to the Attorney General....

Lastly, if your sidearm is EVER exposed by lifting a box onto a counter, your concealment is not effective enough. You should also be keenly aware of how certain actions can possibly "blow your cover." Every morning, I stand in front of the mirror and check out my cover for the day from various angles and positions (arms, kneeling, bending over, etc.) If lifting my arms way over my head exposes my sidearm, then I need to either change my outfit, or not lift my arms that high unless I can conceal the sidearm from view. Just my opinions....
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 2:28:57 PM EDT

This tells me that they KNOW it is legal to carry concealed at the Post Office in concealed carry states, but they are trying to skirt around the law. They are only showing the section of law they want you to see.


Thats exactly how I felt about the situation. Something wasn't adding up in my head there.


As I said, it is crystal clear to me that it is fine and legal to do so. Officer Stadanko is probably going to hassle you anyway, with or without a piece of paper. He'll just say "Tell it to the judge."


Probably 100% correct on that. I'm willing to risk it though. I will be the guinea pig on this as I was with the glock car holster (as you probably read from a few weeks back).


And, your postal employee friend is ill-informed about the regulations anyway. He has already demonstrated he knows nothing about the legalities of shipping firearms at the Post Office, so what makes you think he would be right about sign #158?


Well there is no harm in getting as much misinformation as possible out of these guys. It helps you to track the specific laws they are citing (or making up)



If you MUST send a letter, it should probably go to the Attorney General....

Of the United States? I wonder how long a response from them would take. What I might do is send the Attorney General a few questions in seperate envelopes so that they don't put two and two together and start getting defensive and overly nervous about their responses.


Lastly, if your sidearm is EVER exposed by lifting a box onto a counter, your concealment is not effective enough. You should also be keenly aware of how certain actions can possibly "blow your cover." Every morning, I stand in front of the mirror and check out my cover for the day from various angles and positions (arms, kneeling, bending over, etc.) If lifting my arms way over my head exposes my sidearm, then I need to either change my outfit, or not lift my arms that high unless I can conceal the sidearm from view. Just my opinions....


Excellent advice! Although I would like to be prepared. Nothing wrong with that I don't think.


-Rob
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 3:06:28 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SKSGuy:


If you MUST send a letter, it should probably go to the Attorney General....

Of the United States? I wonder how long a response from them would take. What I might do is send the Attorney General a few questions in seperate envelopes so that they don't put two and two together and start getting defensive and overly nervous about their responses.
-Rob



Yes, I was thinking the US AG. I'm thinking back to the state AG and the opinion issued on the suppressor law. So I figure the US AG would operate in a similar fashion, issuing opinions on federal laws.

As far as how long it would take, probably quite awhile.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 3:24:30 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Scollins:

Yes, I was thinking the US AG. I'm thinking back to the state AG and the opinion issued on the suppressor law. So I figure the US AG would operate in a similar fashion, issuing opinions on federal laws.

As far as how long it would take, probably quite awhile.



Do you have any links or information from State AG on Suppressors?

-Rob
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 3:31:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SKSGuy:

Do you have any links or information from State AG on Suppressors?

-Rob



VOILA:
www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=8&f=15&t=206996
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 8:24:56 AM EDT
Tag for later
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 12:32:27 PM EDT
Dear Mr. SKSGuy it pays to know your subject before mucking around in the legal arena, a good lawyer never asks a question that he does not already know the answer to.

The problem with your approach is it only shows what an easy target you are to the badguys, learn what the RCW you are citing is based on, here is a hint, they are all bank-ruptcy based, courts are in business to collect money, just listen to the judge as he queries "any more business" there is a clue my friend ! There is no LAW only codes rules regulations and statutes that are applied by the agent of the state for the benefit of the state.

The state is not a benevolent organization here to serve you, it is a voracious predatory leviathan concerned with it's own survival at all costs.


RCW 62A.1-101
Short title.

This Title shall be known and may be cited as Uniform Commercial Code.



There is only one solution.


"Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle! Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will. Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress."
--Frederick Douglass, August 4, 1857



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