The controversy seems to center around what public areas the federal government has “federalized.” The argument that bans all weapons on federal lands is not correct in that weapons can be carried through national parks under regulation so the federal goverment restriction appears to be a “use” issue rather than a boundary issue.
Where concurrent jurisdiction exists between state and federal for unrestricted access, i.e. a highway through a national park, I think there is a strong argument that the feds cannot abrogate state law. As such the public areas of a post office must be considered open for general public access and hence federal property restrictions would only apply where access is restricted, i.e. not open to the gerneral public. The line blurs for example in a building where the Justice Department and private businesses both reside. Is the lobby restricted?…, hallways?… elevator?…
The matter has yet to be decided by a court as to the full application of the statute and CFR’s. Remember, it took until 2008 for the supreme court to explicitly recognize an individual right to bear arms even though such right existed in fact prior. The feds will extend the reach of federal intervention as far as the courts will let them, so it is just to say the “constitutionality” of any such provision is the real crux of the debate.
The pendulum, appears to be swinging now in favor of individual liberty (about time!) given the recent groundswell of opposition by federal judges to interrogation tactics, secret wiretaps, and detention in violation of due process, so some federal judges may be ripe to opine on the side of the public. Add to that that CFR’s, unlike statutes, are not promulgated by the legislature; they are instead purely executive orders simply given the standing of law by incorporation and hence, have no legislative input. Such an abscence of checks and balances often prompts the judicial branch to intercede where the legislative is excluded by design.
All interested in this issue should mark well any judicial opinions of federal courts either acknowledging or abrogating application of the statute; and if you hear of any, please let the rest of us know. Any statute testers out there willing to openly tote in a Post Office, get arrested, and give us some clarity?… )I suspect there is no line forming for that job…)
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