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Why Are Guns Banned in Post Offices, Anyway?



If the answer to that question is, “Well, that’s just how it is,” then we should ask again, more loudly.

For decades, we gun owners have simply accepted that if we’re going to carry concealed, we can’t go to the post office. It’s been illegal to bring a firearm into a post office since 1972, but, like all “gun free zones,” criminals feel completely free to ignore it. There was a highly publicized post-office mass shooting in 1986, 14 years after the ban, and carried out by a disgruntled employee, not a citizen customer. (For you whippersnappers, the Edmond, Oklahoma massacre is where we got the phrase “going postal.”)

So here’s the real question: If the Second Amendment specifically says that the government cannot infringe upon our right to keep and bear arms, then why are government-owned facilities allowed to ban guns? That’s the question the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) is asking right now, and they’re doing it in a Texas federal court. Here’s what SAF has to say about it:

“The Second Amendment Foundation has filed a federal lawsuit in Texas challenging the ban on firearms carry in U.S. Post Offices and on postal property as violations of the Second Amendment, and is seeking declaratory and injunctive relief.

Joining SAF is the Firearms Policy Coalition and two private citizens, Gavin Pate and George Mandry, both Texas residents. Named as the sole defendant is Attorney General Merrick Garland, in his official capacity. The complaint was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division.

Plaintiffs are represented by attorneys R. Brent Cooper and S. Hunter Walton at Cooper & Scully, P.C. in Dallas, and David H. Thompson and Peter A. Patterson at Cooper & Kirk in Washington, D.C.

“Under the Bruen ruling of June 2022,” noted SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, “if the government seeks to restrict firearms in a particular location as a ‘sensitive place,’ it must prove that its current restriction is sufficiently analogous to a well-established and representative historical analogue.”

“Current federal law bars the ‘knowing possession’ of firearms in federal facilities, which includes post offices,” said SAF Executive Director Adam Kraut. “Millions of legally armed private citizens, whose daily routines may include visits to post offices to pick up or drop off mail, are directly impacted by this infringement. There is no well-established, representative historical analogue to justify this regulation, which violates the Second Amendment.”




  1. John

    June 26, 2024 at 12:24 pm

    Most post offices here are private property that are being leased by the USPS so the USPS does not own the buildings therefore not postal property. Most of the post offices I’ve been to have signage that does not comply with state law.
    I was a rural route relief carrier for the USPS in 2017 and I had to travel 80 miles round trip to the post office to go to work so I had to leave my defensive firearm at home!
    I hope somebody starts a class action lawsuit over that. I could use the $$$

  2. Mr Bagworm

    June 21, 2024 at 9:38 pm

    I remember hearing about postal employees “going postal” way before 1986 – like back in the 60’s and perhaps earlier. It was because of those that the gun ban came about. Obviously, it wasn’t thought through very well – much as the “gun bans” now, because that prevented people from defending themselves.

    • Mike

      June 24, 2024 at 5:19 pm


      Mr. Bagworm, I beg to differ with you. Here is an article I found that disputes your assertion.

      “The first known publication of the term “Going Postal” was in the St. Petersburg Times on December 17, 1993. In his article Violence at work tied to loss of esteem, Karl Vick stated; “The symposium was sponsored by the U.S. Postal Service, which has seen so many outbursts that in some circles excessive stress is known as ‘going postal…”

      If post offices have the unfortunate reputation for violence, perhaps one of the reasons is customers have no means to defend themselves due to the ban on guns. If someone has an issue against the government and wished to commit violence, they would go to benign and defenseless locations like post offices where no one is armed. Safe Zones are clearly not safe at all!!

  3. Erik Tidstrom

    June 21, 2024 at 4:14 pm

    Military members were/are spotted something like 5 to 10 points on the test application. Lots of guys came back from the’Nam and went to work for the post office. Some of them had severe PTSD. Their fall back was the same as in combat. Kill ‘em all and let God sort them out. To try to stem the carnage in the Post Office they came up with the gun ban. Did anyone think thru that? No. But we still have the 70’s era bad law.

  4. steve kassa

    June 21, 2024 at 3:16 pm

    I would just ask how hard is it to define, shall not be infringed! Secondly, is the first 10 amendments is governments forbidden grounds but because lawyers write these laws is why we’re in the mess. We’re now because they became a tentacle of the communist party. Why because we’re allowing it

  5. Jay

    June 21, 2024 at 2:05 pm

    As a retired Letter Carrier, we weren’t even allowed to have a gun in our personal vehicles (parked on property). We argued that we should be allowed to keep them in our cars to at least be able to defend ourselves going to and from work. Their response was, “park off property if you want to”. The problem with that was we knew our cars would be targeted for break-ins. Needless to say, some took the risk of having them in their cars, but all management needed to do was have a Postal Inspector(s) come and go through our cars and they’d have the legal right to do that to us when we were parked on govt property. There are many postal employees who would be ecstatic if the law was changed.

  6. fox

    June 21, 2024 at 2:03 pm

    Actually, the US Senate has long passed legislation that allows firearm carry in the post offices because any government facility regulating the demanding of firearm free zones must therefore then provide security to the public BUT, it is the postmaster general that has declared the facilities firearm free and therefore going against the Senate passed legislation, so as usual, it’s ALWAYS SOME government official that screws things up that should otherwise be simple and normal. Mountains out of molehills.

    • Ted Stevens

      June 25, 2024 at 1:56 pm

      Citation please?


    June 21, 2024 at 1:02 pm

    When last I looked there were no metal detectors at the entrances to the Post Offices that I use. The whole idea of “concealed” carry is that no one ever knows you have one on.

    • Old Grouch

      June 21, 2024 at 3:20 pm

      The Post Office in Falmouth, VA has metal detectors in the access passage to the business area.

  8. Brian

    June 21, 2024 at 12:02 pm

    Quietly taking away rights is as wrong as just outright denying them. Criminals do not pay attention to any laws or rules and regulations, so why should any law-abiding citizen be punished for a criminal’s wrongdoing? The banning of carrying of firearms of honest citizens into a building because “something” might happen is as illegal as a criminal breaking into your home. This needs corrected now.

    • Richard McKinney

      June 21, 2024 at 4:16 pm

      It’s going to take a revolution in our so called free United States to secure our freedom again . Our Country has been taken over by a tyrannical Government and until we the people stand up and oust them things will continue a downward spiral!!!! MAGA 2024 !!!!

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