Tag Archives: Concealed Weapon

Question about concealed carry in a Post Office

Recently I’ve been asked about carrying a firearm into a Post Office.  Most people think this is illegal because most Postal facilities have a “No Guns Allowed” sign on the front entrance.  I did some research on this, and found that it is in fact, NOT illegal to carry a firearm into a Post Office as long as certain conditions are met.

The statute in questions is 18 U.S.C. 930 – Possession of firearms and dangerous weapons in Federal Facilities.

(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.

However, if we look further down to the exceptions under (d), we find:

(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.

As you can see in (d)(3), it is lawful to carry a firearm into a Federal facility incident to hunting or “other lawful purposes.”  Just what are “other lawful purposes” though?  If you carry a gun into a Federal facility with the intent to commit a crime therein, then it would seem pretty obvious that you are not engaged in “lawful purposes.”  However, if you carry a concealed weapon, with a valid concealed weapons permit, and you are not intending to commit any crimes therein, you should be well within the meaning of “lawful purposes.”

This does not mean that you won’t be harassed or even arrested for carrying a concealed weapon or other dangerous weapon in a Post Office.  We often tell people that law enforcement can do anything they want until you can have a Judge tell them they can’t.  Some law enforcement officers do not know the full scope of where citizens can legally carry firearms, and thus it leaves room for error.

This “lawful purpose” exception does not apply to Federal Court facilities though and you are prohibited from carrying there, even with a valid permit.

18 U.S.C. 930(g)(3) – The term “Federal court facility” means the courtroom, judges’ chambers, witness rooms, jury deliberation rooms, attorney conference rooms, prisoner holding cells, offices of the court clerks, the United States attorney, and the United States marshal, probation and parole offices, and adjoining corridors of any court of the United States.

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Where may one not legally carry a firearm?

Last Friday on Kim Wade’s show, we were asked where people are not allowed to carry concealed firearms.  Section 45-9-101 of the Mississippi Code specifies the places that are off-limits.

1. Any place of Nuisance (“Nuisance” shall mean any place as above defined in or upon which lewdness, assignation or prostitution is conducted, permitted, continued or exists or any other place as above defined in or upon which a controlled substance as defined in Section 41-29-105, Mississippi Code of 1972, is unlawfully used, possessed, sold or delivered and the personal property and contents used in conducting or maintaining any such place for any such purpose. One single act of unlawful cohabitation, lewdness or possession, use, sale or delivery of a controlled substance about such property shall not come within the terms hereof.)

2. Any police, sheriff or highway patrol station;

3. Any detention facility, prison or jail;

4. Any courthouse, and any courtroom, except that nothing in this section shall preclude a judge from carrying a concealed weapon or determining who will carry a concealed weapon in his courtroom;

5. Any polling place;

6. Any meeting place of the governing body of any governmental entity;

7. Any meeting of the Legislature or a committee thereof;

8. Any public park unless for the purpose of participating in any authorized firearms-related activity;

9. Any school, college or professional athletic event not related to firearms;

10. Any portion of an establishment, licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises, that is primarily devoted to dispensing alcoholic beverages;

11. Any portion of an establishment in which beer or light wine is consumed on the premises, that is primarily devoted to such purpose;

12. Any elementary or secondary school facility;

13. Any junior college, community college, college or university facility unless for the purpose of participating in any authorized firearms-related activity;

14. Inside the passenger terminal of any airport, except that no person shall be prohibited from carrying any legal firearm into the terminal if the firearm is encased for shipment, for purposes of checking such firearm as baggage to be lawfully transported on any aircraft;

15. Any church or other place of worship; or any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law.

16. In addition to the places enumerated in this subsection, the carrying of a stun gun, concealed pistol or revolver may be disallowed in any place in the discretion of the person or entity exercising control over the physical location of such place by the placing of a written notice clearly readable at a distance of not less than ten (10) feet that the “carrying of a pistol or revolver is prohibited.”

17. No license issued pursuant to this section shall authorize the participants in a parade or demonstration for which a permit is required to carry a stun gun, concealed pistol or revolver.

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