On Wednesday last week, the Tenth Circuit heard oral arguments in federal court in Bonidy v. United States, where a rural Colorado man is calling 2nd Amendment Infringement due to the ban of concealed carry firearms inside US Post Office locations.
Tab Bonidy is a licensed gun owner living in Colorado. He has explained that his local post office in Avon, Colorado not only prohibited him from carrying his concealed firearm into the post office when he picks up his mail, but they also prohibited him from even leaving the gun in his car parked in the parking lot, which he says violated his second amendment.
It was ruled last year by U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch that prohibiting firearms in the parking lots of post offices violated the second amendment. However, it is permitted to ban firearms in the lobbies of post offices.
Because Bonidy lives outside the small town, he doesn’t have mail delivered to his home. This is why he must regularly travel into town to pick up his mail at the post office. William Perry Pendley is the president of Mountain States Legal Foundation and is representing Bonidy. He said that, “he doesn’t want the hassle of having to disarm just to briefly pick up and drop off letters.”
There is a disagreement over what constitutes a “sensitive place,” such as a government building or a school, so it is undetermined whether a post office would be included in this category. In his July 2013 report, Matsch wrote that a post office is a sensitive building and if customers saw a person carrying a firearm inside the establishment, this
“…may excite passions, or excited passions may lead to the use of the firearm. Someone could also attempt to take the firearm from its lawful carrier and use it for criminal purpose.”
But this should not include the parking lot outside the building. Although Bonidy’s argument is that the parking lot and the lobby of the post office are not all that different. They are both unsecured and open all day to the public. Bonidy’s attorneys said,
“Even bans on felons possessing firearms have been subject to more rigorous review than the USPS thinks is necessary for its ban on law-abiding individuals possessing firearms for self-defense.”