Federal judge: Gun bans in post offices are unconstitutional

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A federal judge in Florida has ruled that a federal law banning the possession of guns in post offices is unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle cited a 2022 ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court that reinstated Second Amendment rights. Mizelle dismissed part of a charge against Emmanuel Ayala, a postal worker who brought a gun to work.

Ayala was a Postal Service semi-truck driver hauling packages out of a facility located in Tampa, Florida, and had a concealed weapons permit. He carried a Smith & Wesson 9mm firearm in his fanny pack for self-defense while on the job. From time to time, he wore that fanny pack onto Post Office property when retrieving his semi-truck from work “for extra protection on the short walk” to and from the employee parking lot.

On Sept. 14, 2022, Ayala wore his fanny pack, with the gun inside, as he walked from the employee parking lot through the metal turnstiles and into the post office. Federal agents from the U.S. Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General stopped him and tried to detain him. He was later indicted by a grand jury.

Mizelle said the charge against Ayala violated his Second Amendment rights , adding “a blanket restriction on firearms possession in post offices is incongruent with the American tradition of firearms regulation.”

Additionally, “nothing in Supreme Court dicta establishes that the United States may ban firearms in all government buildings. Second, the scope of the Second Amendment right is a legal question, not a factual one, and I need not hold an evidentiary hearing to resolve it. Instead, the government bears the burden to identify historical evidence supporting its challenged regulation.”

She said that post offices existed since the nation’s founding, but federal law didn’t ban guns in government buildings until 1964 and didn’t add post offices to the ban until 1972. No tradition dating back to the 1700s justified such a ban, she said.

“But the Supreme Court has been clear: the government must point to historical principles that would permit it to prohibit firearms possession in post offices,” Mizelle wrote.

In fact, she wrote, “Since the Post Office’s creation, mail carriers have faced the risk of violence. Passengers of nineteenth-century stagecoaches, which carried mail, ‘risked death or injury if coaches were attacked by robbers or Indians.'”

Mizelle has a record of protecting constitutional rights. She is the same judge who ruled in 2022 that the federal government could not force airlines and public transportation to require passengers to mask up when on transportation premises, aircraft, trains, buses, and the like.

The judge declined to dismiss a separate charge for Ayala resisting arrest.

17 COMMENTS

  1. If you want to “follow the tradition” of guns in the US, fine, but then you’d better be prepared to throw away your AR-15s, your semi-automatics, your multiple-round clips and revert back to single-shot black powder muskets. Fair is fair, after all.

    • What a ridiculous comment.
      The second amendment doesn’t pick and chose which firearm is okay under the second amendment and which one isn’t. It simply asserts that gun ownership by each American is an intrinsic right. That’s the tradition.
      The founders weren’t idiots. They, unlike you apparently, learned from their history. They believed in science and progress and understood that citizens should have the right to defend themselves and the means to do so.
      BTW following your logic, why are you not upholding “tradition” only utilizing items available at the time, getting rid of your computer, TV or cellphone and pick up pen, inkwell and paper to write to your government or communicate via letter with your fellow Americans to assert your first amendment rights?

    • Cute, Hans, but childish reasoning. Freedom of the press doesn’t apply to radio, TV, the internet…? If you don’t appreciate the 2nd Amendment, then maybe you will prefer to live under the progressive rule of Cuba or Zimbabwe.

    • OK. We will do that.
      Under the condition your freedom of speech is then limited to verbal interpersonal communication. No electronic methods at all. Some printed material, but nothing else. Want to write snarky comments to someone, better use pen and paper and send it through the mail. After all, using electronic communication methods is not any assurance that you cannot be stifled.
      .
      Want to express yourself on MRAK freely? Nope. Not an option anymore because the internet did not exist when the 1st was written.
      .
      Oh… and I guess you are totally clueless about guns throughout history as well because there were plenty of repeating firearms in 1791. But, why let reality interfere with your desire to destroy freedom for all.
      .
      Please continue worshiping at the altar of the All-Powerful-State. They need their sheep.

  2. To achieve the highest body count possible you need to make sure that there isn’t a good guy with a means of stopping the terrorist. When this does happen, it very rarely makes the fake news super spreaders cycle.

  3. Perhaps we will eventually see that the republic still stands from sea to shining sea after all regardless of various corporate structures mismanaged themselves out of functionality.

  4. Our government needs to go on the Autism Diet to decrease their heads from swelling

    This is Alaska and u never know when u will run into a bear
    Could even be in a post office

  5. Give up the voting machines for the pen

    And put our government on the Autism Diet

    You never know when or wear u will run into a bear

  6. Justice Clarence Thomas and other people have said that no right recognized in the Bill of Rights is a weak sister to any of the others. (Note that the Bill of Rights doesn’t grant rights, it recognizes inherent rights of citizens – granted by God, if you like.) There is no waiting period and no permit required for the exercise of free speech for example, nor would citizens tolerate those requirements. All of the rights in the Bill of Rights are equal.

    There are signs prohibiting bearing arms in lots of places here in Juneau. Last I looked there were signs prohibiting arms in the city owned hospital. The city is a political subdivision of the state, and our Alaska constitution guaranties the individual’s right to keep and bear arms. Also, so far as I have observed there are similar signs outside a low-income senior housing facility that I think is owned by AHFC. AHFC is a state agency of course.

    On a practical level, mass shootings are far more likely to take place in so-called gun-free zones than within any other type of facility. So why state and municipal bureaucrats want to put up these signs is a mystery to me! The University of Alaska routinely bans firearms on campuses even as it acknowledges it has no right to do so. And thank you to Must Read and its unique reliability, among all Alaska media, in bringing news of interest to Alaskans.

    • “(Note that the Bill of Rights doesn’t grant rights, it recognizes inherent rights of citizens – granted by God, if you like.) ”
      It is stronger than that.
      Not only does it recognize fundamental human rights, it also restricts the government from doing anything to stop the free exercise of those rights. Read the Bill of Rights, and realize every one of them is negative. Negative against the government.

  7. I love the people who agree that the 2nd Amendment only applies to the period of time guns at the creation of the Bill of Rights. Meanwhile, they want to use the same Bill of Rights to protect modern media, DEI and gay rights. We all know the US constitution was meant to be a living, breathing document.

    For the record, they had rapid fire guns in 1780s….and cannons. I would take a few 1780s time period weapons on my house! Google Puckle Gun!!!

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