June 20, 2024

Ban on Firearms at Post Office Facing Constitutional Challenges

Does banning the carrying and/or storing of firearms at the post office represent a constitutional challenge?

We are going to have that answer soon enough.

Gavin Pate and George Mandry have filed suit against the Department of Justice to test the ban.

Let’s Go to Court

Mandry is a U.S. Navy veteran and Pate is an Anglican priest in Arlington, TX.

Both men believe they should be able to carry their personal firearms inside the post office for personal protection, but there is a federal ban on carrying firearms inside a USPS facility.

Pate’s complaint states, "Plaintiff Pate carries, and intends to continue carrying, his personal handgun during his daily activities, which include running errands.

"He is particularly concerned about rising crime in his area. Plaintiff Pate goes to his local United States Post Office in Tarrant County, Texas, once or twice a month. He disarms before entering for fear of arrest and prosecution.

"Because Plaintiff Pate does not like to disarm and lose the ability to defend himself, he mostly uses a local private post office. If he did not have to disarm, Plaintiff Pate would go to his local United States Post Office once or twice a week."

Mandry’s complaint is similar, stating, "Plaintiff Mandry's customers sometimes pay him in cash or in money orders that he cashes at the post office.

"Because he often carries large amounts of cash, Plaintiff Mandry does not like having to disarm when entering the United States Post Office.

“Plaintiff Mandry would go to his local United States Post Office once a week if he did not have to disarm and lose the ability to defend himself."

U.S. law, 18 U.S.C. § 930(a), prohibits carrying weapons at "federal facilities." However, unlike courthouses and the Capitol, where security is in place, most post offices do not have security to protect patrons, hence the complaint and challenge to the law on its constitutionality.

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