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


Cadeyrn said...

Well, let's add a few to the list:

1) Pass the Hearing Protection Act taking suppressors off of the restricted list and allowing their unlimited sale without going through BATF.

2) Remove SBRs from the restricted list. The distinction is pointless in this day and age and does nothing other than ensnare shooters in irrelevant and ineffective bureaucratic regulations.

3) Revoke the 1989 Presidential Executive Order prohibiting import of "assault rifles." While this is surely a boon to the domestic manufacturers who have flourished, some of us are partial to other manufacturers around the world too (H&K, Steyr, FN etc.)

4) Eliminate the "sporting purposes" test for whether a rifle is "acceptable" to BATF.

Now, with all of the foregoing removed, whatever will BATF do with all the spare time? I think they should allow manufacture, import, and sale of Class III fully-automatic weapons using the restrictive requirements they developed for suppressors and SBRs. So, everyone (finally) wins!

Dean Weingarten said...

Each one is worthy of a separate article.

Each one should be used to advantage in the primaries and the general election.

I have found that 20 page position papers do not get read.

600 word articles often do.

Anonymous said...

Also repeal the Hughes Amendment to FOPA.

Henry said...

As I recall the history of the Post Office ban from personal life experience (and I'll admit I was young at the time), the major portion of the ban came about after several postal EMPLOYEES "went postal" [thus the term] on their supervisors within the space of a year or two. As is typical of the government, it reacted by forbidding possession of firearms by the CUSTOMERS, who weren't even the problem.

Anonymous said...

Donald Trumps Second Amendment position paper is the most ridiculous piece of garbage I have read in quite some time. To say that he is the most outspoken, putting him ahead of the man who argued HELLER is really quite pathetic.

Trump believes government is empowered to force upon us permission slips. That means trump disregards RIGHTS, enumerated rights, relegating them to just permissions.

He clearly has a very limited understanding of the Second Amendment, especially where jurisprudence is concerned. Ironic as it is, he has now understanding of Incorporation.

Read his policy paper! He clearly does not understand what privileges and imunities means. He is diametrically opposed to Justice Thomas concurrence in McDonald and the history of the 14th he so elegantly lays out for people to read and understand. That means Trump has it wrong. According to SCOTUS, Trump has it wrong. Heck, according to the Second Trump is wrong.

The nation, and apparently the author, is being conned.

Anonymous said...

Frankly I see Trump as a lame duck president. If congress does not like him he is not going to accomplish much. If we elect a very conservative congress he is not going to get away with much or we can pick one of the two illegal aliens and the immigration problem will get worse. I would be willing to settle for a lame duck president for four years. to give the country time to get past the Obama years. once Trump is elected then we can start working on getting him replaced with a real conservative.