I have yet to hear a good answer to what to do when going to the Post Office. Per my understanding, the Federal law states that even possessing a firearm, on my person or in my vehicle, while on Federal property, is a felony. How in the world are we supposed to handle this situation? If I am out, running errands, and I have to stop by the Post Office to pick up stamps, what am I supposed to do with my firearm? It’s just as illegal in my car console or glove compartment as it is on my person.
Sadly, your post demonstrates you have significant knowledge of the situation of carrying/have a weapon in vehicle after passing the border of the federal properties known as post offices. In a way, it’s a good thing when you think about it… remember the term ‘going postal?’ (and news stories which came about because of…?..)
I agree it is a frustrating, discomfiting circumstance. But, if there were any place you’d want to demonstrate you ARE a law-abiding citizen Federal Installations would be the definition of I can choose to go there or not!
And ya, recently my carrier hasn’t been the most dependable in making package drop-offs; I’m thinking I’ve got a temp covering vacationing the great lady carrier I’m used to.
You are right, it is illegal to go on post office property with a firearm. You cannot even bring it on the property. Here’s a link to an article on this site.
Hi @Rabbi_Michael, welcome to the group!
What we do is:
- Try to only go to the post office when it’s not crowded and get in and out as quickly as possible
- Park on the street, not in the post office parking lot (this is how we avoid federal issues in the vehicle - the street parking is NOT part of the federally controlled space)
- If I’m alone, lock the firearm in the car lockbox or in my permanently mounted locking holster - what condition the firearm is in (loaded, unloaded, ammo locked separately, in the locked holster or in an enclosed lockbox) depends on which state I’m in.
- If I’m there with a family member, one of us stays in the car and holds or holsters the firearm until the other returns.
IMHO, going anywhere without my firearm is never a “good thing”. The term “going postal” has no association to law-abiding citizens going to the Post Office to do business. The situation in question was a disgruntled, former, Federal employee of the Post Office, who opened fire on his colleagues. To my knowledge, there have been no incidents involving citizens coming to do business with the Post Office (although there have been some attempted Post Office robberies throughout history). As we all know, law-abiding citizens would never misuse their firearm and non-law-abiding citizens don’t care about the law. They’re going to commit their crime despite the law. If the Federal government doesn’t want their postal employees to be armed, that’s their business. However, I don’t think we, the law-abiding citizens should be penalized for being good citizens.
Hi ‘Zee’! The city of 125,000 that I live in has three post offices, all of which are on busy, main thoroughfares, where parking on the street is not permitted. They also exist in locations where there is no place to park on either side of them, as they have undeveloped lots on either side. I would have a long walk, indeed, if I parked elsewhere and walked to the post office. The only real option is to park in the parking lot. This creates a conundrum. I don’t want to violate the law, but I am being given no viable option. I am a very busy man, all the post offices are far from me and when I go into town, I am trying to accomplish multiple things in one trip. It would be rare that I would have the luxury of making a trip to the post office by itself. Personally, I believe the law needs to be changed to allow firearms to legally be left in the vehicle.
100% agree with you on that.
In service of having you not forced to break laws in the mean time, is there an alternative postal solution? can you use one of the Postal Box businesses? or FedEx or UPS? Some things can be done on-line.
When I lived in So Cal, I used a postal box company in lieu of the USPS. I didn’t carry at the time, but I"m guessing it wouldn’t hae been an issue (provided I could even have gotten a permit )
I don’t disagree with you! Technically, even a police officer, in uniform and in a police vehicle, who is not there in his/her official capacity, is violating the law if they drive through the lot to drop a letter in the mailbox.
The absurdity of the law is ridiculous but has been upheld by multiple circuits across the country.
This has only recently become a problem for me. For years I did business with a UPS Store that was close to me, but about two months ago they shut that store down, without notice. I arrived there one day, to ship a package, and the lights were out, the door was locked and the place was empty, with signs on the door stating they had closed that location. There are two other UPS Stores in town, but they are further away than the post offices. I guess, if it’s a real issue for me, I may have to start doing business with USPS online.
Here’s what I’m proposing, folks: I don’t know if USSCA staff reads these posts, but if we all (staff and members alike) were to join with the likes of the NRA and others, we might be able to push hard enough to get the law changed. I can understand the desire of the Federal Government to prohibit all people from carrying a firearm into any of their facilities (I don’t agree, but I understand), I don’t, however, understand why driving onto their property with a firearm is illegal. That should change!
Hi Mike! What is it that you do not agree with?
Oh, sorry! I misread your post. You’re saying that you DON’T disagree.
Thanks for tagging me, @Zee. That’s definitely the fastest way to get my attention outside of sending me a private message.
You all have covered it pretty well. I’d say check out the online Post Office and you can take care of most of it from your home.
Parking on the street or in another public parking lot that is not a federal parking lot is another option.
The last time I had to send something “official” that needed a return receipt, I went to the Post Office in West Bend where the USCCA Headquarters is located. I was able to park in the road across the street from the Post Office. That was the first and last time I’ve been to the Post Office in 2 years.
Is this something worth pushing to change (allowing people to legally leave their firearm locked in their vehicle), as far as USCCA is concerned? I think it is. Is this something that we could all push together to see changed?
Are you referring to in Federal Building parking lots, @Rabbi_Michael?
With all of the different firearm issues in the news and drawing lawmakers attention, I don’t know how much attention or effort this issue would get.
Yes, I am referring to Federal Building parking lots, but most specifically Post Office parking lots (even if they didn’t allow it in other Federal parking lots).
I do not have the choice of not going to my post office. I live on the main drag of a small village with a little over a thousand people. They do not do mail deliver to my address so I get a PO Box for free. Hence if I ever want to get my mail I have to go there and get it leaving my protection at home.
That’s exactly why we park on the street… PO Box.
@Zee @Rabbi_Michael , honestly? These laws are outdated because as we all know law abiding citizens won’t use a firearm in a negative way and people who intend to do harm don’t care what the law is. The law SHOULD be "the possession of a firearm in the commission of a crime is a felony (such as when assaulting someone while in possession of a firearm automatically bumps it up to an “aggravated assault” charge), and the misuse of a firearm SHOULD be a misdemeanor (such as neglectfully brandishing or dropping due to neglectful storage on persons). But that would only be common sense so I doubt they will change the law anytime soon.