Tuesday, March 08, 2016
Suggestion for a Cruz Presidency: Eliminate the Ban on Post Office Carry
Donald Trump is the current front runner in the Republican primaries. He is also the most outspoken about Second Amendment rights, especially if you consider his surrogate, Donald Trump Jr. Ted Cruz is the second most outspoken Second Amendment supporter, and in second place. That is not a coincidence.
The two candidates positions on the Second Amendment are fairly close. Trump's support is the most intense Constitutional issue that he has. Ted Cruz has a longer record of Constitutional clarity, and Cruz submitted an amicus brief on the part of 31 states in the Heller decision.
President Cruz should eliminate the ban on arms (including firearms) in the public areas of the post office.
Elimination of the Post Office ban can solidify his Second Amendment credentials. It is already a popular position in Congress. It could be implemented by executive action, though legislative solidification of the regulation would be more permanent.
The ban makes no sense. Its purposes seem to be to ensnare otherwise law abiding citizens, to make the theft of guns from cars in post office parking lots simpler, and to make life more difficult for people exercising their Second Amendment rights. There is no reason to ban legally armed people from post offices. If they can be trusted everywhere else, why ban them from post offices?
The history of the ban seems to be part of the long, bureaucratic war on the Constitution and the Second Amendment. The first post office ban was on the shipment of pistols through the post office. It was part of the general hysteria against immigrants and minorities in the 1920s, when the Clan was active.
The point was to force pistols to travel through local retailers, where local controls could keep them out of the hands of the groups who were not trusted. If you bothered to obtain a Federal Firearms License for a dollar, they could be sent to you through the mail. Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) can still send pistols through the mail today, to other FFLs.
The second part of the Post office ban came from internal regulation. It stated that firearms could not be carried into the Post Office unless the person was carrying the gun for hunting or other lawful purposes. A general ban on federal employees (or anyone) carrying any weapons in federal buildings completed the ban. It was now applied to everyone and every weapon, except for those expressly allowed.
The Post Office ban was challenged in federal court in 2013, partly struck down, then upheld by the 10th Circuit. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz attempted to force the issue in the Senate in 2014.
A President Cruz could eliminate the ban with an executive finding that the public areas of Post Offices are not "sensitive" parts of government buildings where the Second Amendment can be overridden. Anyone can come and go from the public areas. They are not secretive military reservations or federal prisons. There are no security guards.
Either President Cruz or Trump could make such a move. There are now 14 million or more permit holders in the United States. That does not include the millions without permits that live in the 8-10 states (depending on how you apply the definitions) where no permit is required to carry a weapon for self defense. This is a voting block that is personally affected by this irrational regulation on a regular basis; it include more than just Republicans. These people vote with great regularity.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch