Sunday, October 05, 2014

Post Office Carry Before the 10th Circuit

The 10 Circuit heard oral arguments last Monday on whether an unsecured, unmanned post office was a "sensitive place" where the U.S. Government could ban  people from exercising their second amendment rights, under the Heller decision.

A district judge had awarded a partial victory to the 56 year old architect when it declared that the particular post office parking lot was not a "sensitive place" where weapons could be banned.   Both Bonidy and the Federal government appealed the decision.   From the AP story:
Bonidy's attorney Steven Lechner of the Mountain States Legal Foundation told the judges the lobby is not such a place, as there are no security guards checking patrons, who come at all hours.

"Not every government building is sensitive. There has to be some criteria or the government gets a free pass," he said. "If the government prevents someone from defending themselves, there has to be some security. You can't disarm a citizen if he wants to pick up his mail."
Eric Holder's Department of Justice argued that the post office needed a blanket ban for the convenience of the government:
Deciding which buildings - and which people - should be exempt from the rules would be a strain on resources, he said.
 That makes no sense to me.   If there are less buildings where the ban is in place, there are less places to enforce the ban.   As the ban has no practical effect of preventing crime, less buildings to enforce requires *less* resources, not more.

As the law stands, with nearly 12 million concealed carry permits in the United States, 44 states that have some type of open carry, and five states that do not require a permit for concealed carry, the ban is a legal trap waiting to snap shut on unsuspecting, but otherwise law abiding, citizens.

Senator Rand Paul, R-KY, introduced an amendment that would have removed the ban entirely.  There was considerable support for the amendment, with Democrat senators complaining that it was designed to force them to a vote on second amendment issues before the 2014 elections

That choice irked several Democrats on the committee who ended up voting on the parking lot carve-out but didn't want to vote on allowing guns to be carried inside buildings.

"There's no question on the issue of where I stand on Second Amendment rights," Mr. Begich said. "You want to vote on the parking lot issue? Let's vote on that right now."

Sen. Jon Tester, Montana Democrat, said the initial amendment was purely political and designed to provide fodder for attack ads opposing pro-gun senators who opted to vote against the broader lifting of the ban.
I have yet to see any rational reason for the ban, other than to demonstrate the Federal Government's ability to infringe on second amendment rights.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

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