January 18, 2024
A federal judge over the weekend ruled the law prohibiting firearms inside post offices to be unconstitutional. In the case United States v. Ayala, Trump-appointed U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle on Saturday dismissed charges of a postal employee arrested for carrying a firearm in a post office, saying the ban violated his Second Amendment rights. Citing the 2022 Supreme Court ruling in Bruen, Judge Mizelle said the post office gun ban, which took effect in 1972, doesn’t meet the requirements to be considered constitutional.
“Post offices have existed since the founding, as have threats to the safety of postal workers and the public entering those locations,” she wrote in the decision. “Yet the historical record yields no ‘distinctly similar historical regulation addressing’ those safety problems by regulating firearms in post offices.”
Judge Mizelle further wrote: “At some point, when 28% of land in the United States is owned by the federal government and many ordinary activities require frequenting a ‘federal facility,’ the government’s theory would amount to a nullification of the Second Amendment right altogether.” While the judge tossed the charge for having a gun in a postal facility, she declined to dismiss a separate charge against the defendant of forcibly resisting arrest. Prosecutors say the employee fled from federal postal agents who attempted to detain him. Does this latest court decision mean you can now tote your favorite carry pistol into your local post office with no fear of being arrested? Absolutely not!
The ruling only applies to the defendant in the case, and did not include an injunction against enforcement of the law against other Americans. Given the federal government’s propensity to infringe upon the Constitutional rights of Americans at nearly every turn, it’s likely the decision won’t change things much—at least at this time.
About the Author
Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for nearly 25 years.
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