Post Office Law Suit to Repeal Carry Rule

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RossA
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Re: Post Office Law Suit to Repeal Carry Rule

#166

Post by RossA » Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:55 pm

Please go back and read what I was responding to.
According to the post, [pre-paid legal] is apparently telling people NOT to park at the PO and leave their guns in the car while they go in (which would be perfectly legal), but to park somewhere else and walk a longer distance (unarmed) to the PO.
If that's really what they are teaching, they are NOT teaching people to simply obey the law, because the law never prevented anyone from parking right outside the front door of the PO and leaving their gun in the car.
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Re: Post Office Law Suit to Repeal Carry Rule

#167

Post by ATDM » Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:05 pm

RossA wrote:Please go back and read what I was responding to.
According to the post, [pre-paid legal] is apparently telling people NOT to park at the PO and leave their guns in the car while they go in (which would be perfectly legal), but to park somewhere else and walk a longer distance (unarmed) to the PO.
If that's really what they are teaching, they are NOT teaching people to simply obey the law, because the law never prevented anyone from parking right outside the front door of the PO and leaving their gun in the car.
I realize that. However, in this case [pre-paid legal] is right. Post Office parking lot is fairly unique in that regard, and we are prohibited to leave our guns in the car even in a parking lot. You can check with any reliable source, and you will see that it is the law. That's one of the main reasons I do not use Post Office anymore. I don't want to have to walk from another property to get to the Post Office. That law hasn't changed in years, and the case this summer, that many assume cancelled that law, is very nuanced and with details very specific to that case.

If someone ever gets arrested for having their gun in the car in the parking lot of a PO, I am sure, this summer's case can be used as a precedent. I just don't want to be the test case.

Unfortunately for all of us, the PO parking lot law still stands.
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Re: Post Office Law Suit to Repeal Carry Rule

#168

Post by Richard_B » Tue Jan 07, 2014 7:58 pm

It is not just the parking and going in the post office that is the problem. It is being on the post office property at all with your handgun, CHL or not. You are not supposed to go through the drive through. Park across the street and walk in or don't carry at all is the present state of things.

If you haven't written the NRA-ILA about this recently, you might consider doing so. The last I spoke with them about trying to get a repeal of this provision included in an appropriation bill for the post office they did not seem overly motivated. Letters to your Congressman & Senator might not do much good, but couldn't hurt.


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Re: Post Office Law Suit to Repeal Carry Rule

#169

Post by HoosierTexan » Fri Jan 10, 2014 1:51 am

There are anywhere from 25-50 semi trailers in the back of bulk mail units and I bet most of those guys are packing guns as they are hauling freight long distances.

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Re: Post Office Law Suit to Repeal Carry Rule

#170

Post by RX8er » Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:18 pm

I use the post office on a regular business to ship handguns and long guns. It drives me nuts that as a CHL, I can't have a gun on me or in my car but yet I can as an FFL/SOT bring in a gun in a box. :rules:
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Re: Post Office Law Suit to Repeal Carry Rule

#171

Post by DaveT » Sat Feb 15, 2014 3:34 pm

http://www.nraila.org/legislation/feder ... pdate.aspx" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Post Office Law Suit to Repeal Carry Rule

#172

Post by ELB » Sat Feb 15, 2014 3:47 pm

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Re: Post Office Law Suit to Repeal Carry Rule

#173

Post by rp_photo » Sat Apr 26, 2014 8:08 pm

My local Ace Hardware has a staffed contract Post Office. The store itself is not 30.06 posted, and there was no signage at the contract Post Office window.

These contract offices might be a good workaround assuming they can handle the services needed.
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Re: Post Office Law Suit to Repeal Carry Rule

#174

Post by HoosierTexan » Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:43 pm

rp_photo wrote:My local Ace Hardware has a staffed contract Post Office. The store itself is not 30.06 posted, and there was no signage at the contract Post Office window.

These contract offices might be a good workaround assuming they can handle the services needed.
Not entering 100,000 presorted & barcoded advertising postcards eh?


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Re: Post Office Law Suit to Repeal Carry Rule

#175

Post by thetexan » Thu Jul 17, 2014 1:35 pm

Charles L. Cotton wrote: ... The subpart (c) exception to the general rule against carrying firearms in federal facilities applies to firearms that are "incident to" lawful hunting or other lawful purposes. We can replace the words "incident to" with "necessary for" and you get a clearer picture.

Firearms are required for hunting (except bow season) unless you are really really fast and can run down your prey and stab it, so they are "incident to" lawful hunting. The same cannot be said for a CHL carrying in a post office. Having a gun on your side is not "incident to" any other lawful purpose such as buying stamps, shipping a package, checking a PO box, or anything else you're going to do in a post office. Some have argued that you are carrying it "incident to" lawful self-defense, but this argument fails because you are not engaged in self-defense when you walk into a Post Office. You are prepared to engage in self-defense if attacked, but you are not engaged in the act of self-defense when you enter the post office. The only way 18 U.S.C. 930(c) would apply is if you are attacked and flee into a PO with your handgun. Then you are actively engaged in the lawful act of self-defense.

The best argument will be Heller's recognition of the Second Amendment as an individual right and its dicta noting that self-defense is a natural and constitutionally protected right.

There is a great lesson for all activists; don't overstate our case and don't exaggerate the opposition's position. Doing so not only deceives "our people," it hurts our credibility to the vast majority of Americans who are not members of the NRA or the Brady Campaign. I have won a lot of trials because I caught a witness in a lie or an exaggeration. Once you show a jury they can't be trusted, you've taken a giant step toward winning the case, even if the facts are less than favorable for your client.

Chas.

18 U.S.C. 930(c) wrote:(d) Subsection (a) shall not apply to—
(1) the lawful performance of official duties by an officer, agent, or employee of the United States, a State, or a political subdivision thereof, who is authorized by law to engage in or supervise the prevention, detection, investigation, or prosecution of any violation of law;
(2) the possession of a firearm or other dangerous weapon by a Federal official or a member of the Armed Forces if such possession is authorized by law; or
(3) the lawful carrying of firearms or other dangerous weapons in a Federal facility incident to hunting or other lawful purposes

(Emphasis added).
My reading of the statute is this...

I agree with your translation of 'incident to' into 'necessary for'. The disjunctive use of the word or implies that there are other lawful purposes for which the carrying of a dangerous weapon in a Federal facility is possible. If one carries his rifle or hunting pistol into the post office or other federal facility the gun is certainly not necessary for the purchase of stamps or any other imaginable act! Therefore, by what reasoning does one has permission to carry a dangerous weapon by walking into a post office to buy stamps while holding his rifle which is used for hunting? What if that rifle is a target .22 not used for hunting but rather used for the lawful purpose of target shooting at the local range? Does that dangerous rifle weapon qualify under the 'other lawful purpose' exception? Because of the word 'hunting' we think of rifle, and because we think of rifle we think we need to categorize a handgun as a different 'dangerous weapon' and then we feel we are straining to find how the exception applies to the handgun.

At trial, and with particularly attention at appeal, there are, as I count, 5 elements of the exception that must be met for one to be guilty of an offense.

1. the lawful carrying of... one must know the legal definition of lawful carry, which may itself have several elements
2. firearms or other dangerous weapons...must be a firearm or dangerous weapon as defined
3. Federal facility...the act must occur at a federal facility as federal facility is defined by statute
4. the firearm or dangerous weapon in question must be incident to hunting or (disjunctive)
5. or other lawful purposes...what constitutes other lawful purposes.

My analysis is this...

It seems that the most important element requiring the most attention is the 'hunting or other lawful purposes' phrase. The disjunctive use of the word 'or' clearly, by context, separates the two types of 'purposes'. When interpreting statutes one principle is the (ejusdem generis) 'of the same class or nature' rule. For example, what if I say "only pastry chefs, candy makers, sweet roll bakers, cookie bakers, or other persons involved in the preparation of food may attend the conference." And a grill cook wants to attend but is turned away and wants to know why. The statutory interpretation would be that the enumeration of 'pastry chefs, candy makers, sweet roll bakers, cookie bakers' establish a class or acceptable nature which is common to the enumerated list. A grill cook is not among that class and even though he is involved in the preparation of food he is not invited because a class of acceptable attendees has been established and a grill cook in not one of those.

But we dont have that here. We have only one enumerated item prior to the disjunctive 'or'. That could not be thought of as being establishing a class or nature alone. It would be most likely interpreted as being 'either this or that'. However, the two work together in harmony to establish and then reinforce an acceptable class. The key word is 'other'. 'Other' implies a reference to another item. The sentence would not make sense of it read '...incident to other lawful purposes' and left out 'hunting'. 'Other' points to and gets is meaning from some other item and that item is hunting' The phrase, therefore, connects the words 'lawful purpose' with the word 'hunting' with the word 'other'. The sentence could just as easily read, '...incident to hunting or incident to other lawful purposes'.

So clearly there are other lawful purposes in existence that the carrying of firearms or dangerous weapons is incident to that would allow them in a federal facility under the exception.

Because of the 'this or that' nature of the phrase 'hunting or other lawful purposes'. What if the sentence read, 'hunting or other purposes'? It could further be expanded to read, 'hunting purposes or other purposes.' But we have the adjective 'lawful' modifying the word purpose. The connector 'other' attributes whatever characteristic is meant by the word 'lawful' to the word 'hunting'. In other words, there must be some characteristic of 'hunting' that is and can be described as 'lawful' that can be equally attributed to the word 'purposes' by the connecting word 'other'. We could further expand the phrase to read 'incident to lawful hunting purposes, or other lawful purposes.' The same can be applied to the word 'incident'. We can further expand the sentence to read, 'incident to lawful hunting purposes or incident to other lawful purposes.'

Why is the carriage of a hunting rifle in a federal facility permissible? By definition, because it is incident to hunting, not to buying stamps or mailing a package. In fact the 'hunting' to which the gun is incident to is a future event and will not be carried out (hopefully) at the federal facility. Sometime in the future there will be a hunting event for which the firearm or dangerous weapon is excepted. Now, any other lawful purpose could be defended on the idea that for whatever purpose IT is incident to is also a future event. In analyzing the situation we must ask this question...

1. Must the man carrying the hunting rifle be purposefully on his way to a hunt for the rifle to meet the element of 'incident to' in the statute? A spoon is a utensil incident to the eating of a meal, a hairbrush is an item incident to combing one's hair, a basketball if a piece of equipment incident to playing a game of basketball. Certainly, if the definition of 'incident to' can be translated to 'necessary for'. The purpose of a seat belt is to protect the driver but only in one situation...when the driver, for some reason, is caused to leave his position in the driver's seat due to adverse physical forces. The seat belt retains the driver in the seat and thus protects him. The seat belt can thus be said to be 'incident to' or 'necessary for' the protection of the driver in a crash. In this case the seat belt's purpose is for some future event and will be incident to that future event. Must the seat belt be presently engaged in the protection of the driver to be serving its purpose? What is the seat belt doing during the rest of the time as it lays fastened around your lap. It is not protecting you until the dreaded crash. What do we call what it is doing now? It is serving as prophylactic capacity against some possible future need.
It is no more protecting NOW than a hunting rifle is hunting NOW.

Nor, I might add, is a legally concealed handgun protecting NOW.

What is the purpose of the hunting rifle? To be used in a future hunt. If we try to say that carrying a handgun is also excepted then what is its future, lawful purpose? The answer is to legally defend against a qualified future threat as legally authorized by Texas statute. So does this act qualify as a lawful purpose? The use of the handgun to defend will either be....lawful.....or unlawful. There will be no other possibility. It's use will either be statutorily lawful or statutorily unlawful. If statutorily lawful, then what more must an act do to qualify as a lawful purpose, to satisfy the 'lawful purpose' element in the statute? What all must the hunter carrying his rifle do to qualify for the exception that to carry a firearm or dangerous weapon that is incident to hunting. Must he also carry a hunting license? Must he have on his person a reservation receipt to a hunting lease? Must he be dressed for and prepared for the hunt? Must he answer the question "are you on your way to or from a hunting trip" in the affirmative? Or can he simply state that he carries it in case he runs across a deer somewhere?

Under the statutory interpretation canon the legislature means what it says and says what it means my reading of this is that the 20 words in the exception are clear and easily interpreted.

As it pertains to 18USC 930, federal facilities.

The statute covering post offices is separate, pertains uniquely to post offices and states in 39USC 410...
§ 410. Application of other laws
Release date: 2003-06-24
(a) Except as provided by subsection (b) of this section, and except as otherwise provided in this title or insofar as such laws remain in force as rules or regulations of the Postal Service, no Federal law dealing with public or Federal contracts, property, works, officers, employees, budgets, or funds, including the provisions of chapters 5 and 7 of title 5, shall apply to the exercise of the powers of the Postal Service.

So while an argument can be made for generic federal facilities, my feeling is that the post office statute is clear in its prohibition of firearms at postal facilities. We can only hope that the 10th circuit upholds the decision against the Avon Post office in Colorado and then it will apply in the 10th district. It will be a short course to the SCOTUS to apply it nationwide.

As sure of myself in my interpretation as I am, I would not try this simply because it would bankrupt me to prove the point at the appeals level. And I have other fish to fry.

That's the way I see it, for what it's worth,
tex
Last edited by thetexan on Fri Jul 18, 2014 12:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Post Office Law Suit to Repeal Carry Rule

#176

Post by Jason K » Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:43 pm

18 U.S.C. 930(c) wrote:
(d) Subsection (a) shall not apply to—
(1) the lawful performance of official duties by an officer, agent, or employee of the United States, a State, or a political subdivision thereof, who is authorized by law to engage in or supervise the prevention, detection, investigation, or prosecution of any violation of law;
(2) the possession of a firearm or other dangerous weapon by a Federal official or a member of the Armed Forces if such possession is authorized by law; or
(3) the lawful carrying of firearms or other dangerous weapons in a Federal facility incident to hunting or other lawful purposes
Could the "other lawful purpose" be used to describe carrying a concealed handgun under a Texas CHL as the Texas CHL law outlines? It would be hard to comply with the entirety of the CHL law without carrying a concealed handgun.


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Re: Post Office Law Suit to Repeal Carry Rule

#177

Post by switch » Fri Jul 18, 2014 6:08 am

That seems to be plain english. "other legal purpose" would included CC w/CHL. However, current interpretation ties it to hunting. I do not agree w/that interpretation. I think a law should be clear and any ambiguity should be decided in favor of the defendant. ( I always heard that a tie goes to the runner in baseball.) However, I do not have the resource to contest this and do not like the consequences if I lose.

I feel the same way about the discussion where carrying concealed w/a CHL also means you can carry an 'illegal' knife'.


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Re: Post Office Law Suit to Repeal Carry Rule

#178

Post by thetexan » Fri Jul 18, 2014 12:29 pm

switch wrote:That seems to be plain english. "other legal purpose" would included CC w/CHL. However, current interpretation ties it to hunting. I do not agree w/that interpretation. I think a law should be clear and any ambiguity should be decided in favor of the defendant. ( I always heard that a tie goes to the runner in baseball.) However, I do not have the resource to contest this and do not like the consequences if I lose.

I feel the same way about the discussion where carrying concealed w/a CHL also means you can carry an 'illegal' knife'.
When you say the current interpretation ties it to hunting; what do you mean? Who's interpretation? This forum's?
Here is what I would do if I wanted to research it further...
1. Look for case law (appellate rulings) on cases where this statute was challenged or was a part of a trial.
2. Look for any other type of statute where 'other lawful purpose' or 'lawful purpose' is used, particularly written by the same legislative body and subject to a common appellate review, then apply #1 above to that.

An appellate court has no choice but to rule on the application of the law to the elements of the statute. That is where 'other lawful purposes' will be determined.

I just thought of another example. What if I use my CHL conceal carry priveleges to carry my gun to a legal target sporting match. The concealed carriage of a handgun does not have to be for the purpose of self-defense. I can use the privilege to simply transport my gun to a gun auction, or a gunsmith, or a target match. I can even carry a gun and be against using a gun in self-defense. The CHL simply allows the licensee to carry a pistol on his person in a concealed manner for whatever 'lawful purpose'.

And that is the logic that one would have to overcome to prove that 'other lawful purpose' DOES NOT apply to CHL carriage. What if the rule stated...'(3) the lawful carrying of paint brushes in a Federal facility incident to painting a home or other lawful purposes'

Would anyone with reasonable logical analytical ability not conclude that 'other lawful purposes' refers to any lawful purpose to which a paint brush can be used other than painting a house...nevermind the interpretive analysis I gave in my long response?

Let's take a test. Which of the following rules is not the same as the rest?

1. '(3) the lawful carrying of paint brushes in a Federal facility incident to painting a home or other lawful purposes'
2. '(3) the lawful carrying of ball point pens in a Federal facility incident to writing a novel or other lawful purposes'
3. '(3) the lawful carrying of cell phones in a Federal facility incident to making phone calls or other lawful purposes'
4. '(3) the lawful carrying of credit cards in a Federal facility incident to buying lunches or other lawful purposes'
5. (3) the lawful carrying of firearms or other dangerous weapons in a Federal facility incident to hunting or other lawful purposes
6. '(3) the lawful carrying of briefcases in a Federal facility incident to carrying legal briefs or other lawful purposes'

In each of these the usage referred to as 'incident to' is only one of many possible lawful usages. Would anyone conclude that in (2) above that any ball point pen carried into a federal facility would only qualify if it somehow was only involved in some form or novel writing???

What about (6) above? Would a man be arrested for having a peanut butter sandwich in his briefcase?

Let's look at it from the other direction. Suppose I gave you a legal dictionary and could pour 20 years of legislative statute writing and experience into your brain and gave you this task...write a statute that prohibits the carrying of a firearm or dangerous weapon into a federal facility unless the gun is used only for hunting related purposes. What would you write? Let me start you off with the beginning of the sentence...

(d) Subsection (a) shall not apply to—
'(3) the lawful carrying of firearms or dangerous weapons in a Federal facility... (insert language here)

What would you write? There are lots of possibilities depending on your level of articulation but let's consider a few.

1. ...used for hunting.
2. ...incident to hunting.
3. ...used only for hunting. (let's throw in an adverb for good measure)
4. ...incident only to hunting.
5. ...used for hunting or other hunting purposes.
6. ...incident to lawful killing of legal game.

Which of these is has the clearest meaning if your meaning is to restrict a gun to those only used for the purpose of hunting? Now take this same list and let's add one other.

1. ...used for hunting.
2. ...incident to hunting.
3. ...used only for hunting. (let's throw in an adverb for good measure)
4. ...incident to hunting and other lawful purposes.
5. ...incident only to hunting.
6. ...used for hunting or other hunting purposes.
7. ...incident to lawful killing of legal game.

Now. Which one of these has the most confusing and convoluting language if you're intent is to convey that only guns necessary for hunting may be carried into a federal facility? I submit to you that 1000 out of 1000 reasonably educated persons will pick number 4. Why would a legislator include the extraneous phrase 'or other lawful purposes' if his intent was to restrict it to just activities incident or necessary for hunting when so many other phrases are much more concise and to the point? Clearly, and under the guidence of statutory interpretation, we can assume that Congress is trying to tell us something; that Congress knows how to mean what it says and say what it means. Clearly Congress has a reason for adding the phrase.

Here are some examples elsewhere in the US Code that uses mutually similar language...

USC Title 15 Commerce and Trade §7901 Findings; purposes §7901 (b) The purpose of this chapter are as follows: (2) To preserve a citizen's access to a supply of firearms and ammunition for all lawful purposes, including hunting, self-defense, collecting, and competitive or recreational shooting. [Note the use of the word 'including' and that the enumerated list is not of one class involving just those associated with hunting. This list also includes such non-hunting things as collecting, and competitive shooting...even self-defense!]

USC Title 47—TELECOMMUNICATIONS §254. Universal service (5) (D) Disabling during adult use An administrator, supervisor, or other person authorized by the certifying authority under subparagraph (A)(i) may disable the technology protection measure concerned, during use by an adult, to enable access for bona fide research or other lawful purpose.

Now let's review some universally accepted canons of statutory interpretation, and particularly those accepted and used by the Supreme Court of the United States. The following are quoted from the report prepared for members and committees of Congress by the Congressional Research Service.

Statutory Interpretation:
General Principles and Recent Trends

Summary
"The Supreme Court has expressed an interest “that Congress be able to legislate against a background of clear interpretive rules, so that it may know the effect of the language it adopts.” This report identifies and describes some of the more important rules and conventions of interpretation that the Court applies. Although this report focuses primarily on the Court’s methodology in construing statutory text, the Court’s approach to reliance on legislative history are also briefly described."

...The Court frequently relies on “canons” of construction to draw inferences
about the meaning of statutory language...

Statutory Text
In General — Statutory Context and Purpose
The starting point in statutory construction is the language of the statute itself. The Supreme Court often recites the “plain meaning rule,” that, if the language of the statute is clear, there is no need to look outside the statute to its legislative history in order to ascertain the statute’s meaning.

Ordinary meaning and dictionary definitions.
Words that are not terms of art and that are not statutorily defined are customarily given their ordinary meanings, often derived from the dictionary.

And/or.
Ordinarily, as in everyday English, use of the conjunctive “and” in a list means that all of the listed requirements must be satisfied,33 while use of the disjunctive “or” means that only one of the listed requirements need be satisfied.

Statutory Language Not to be Construed as “Mere Surplusage”
A basic principle of statutory interpretation is that courts should “give effect, if possible, to every clause and word of a statute, avoiding, if it may be, any construction which implies that the legislature was ignorant of the meaning of the
language it employed.”
[This is the Congress says what it means and means what it says rule]

Above we have two examples, Title 15 and Title 47 where the same legislative body, Congress, albeit not the same session, uses the term 'all lawful purposes' and 'other lawful purpose' with contextually clear, and mutually applicable way. Congress clearly knows the meaning and proper and customary usage of the term 'lawful purpose'; it has used it at least twice...three times if you include 18USC§930. The court must give effect to the phrase 'other lawful purpose' in §930 and the word 'or' is used disjunctively to indicate that either 'incident to hunting' or 'other lawful purposes' need be satisfied to qualify under the exception in §930.

In 15USC§7901 there is no intra-paragraph defining of the phrase 'all lawful purposes' similar to, say, Texas PC §30.06 where we find in paragraph (c) In this section:(1) Entry has the meaning assigned by Section 30.05(b). Here, the use and meaning of the word 'entry' is defined for its specific use in this specific section. This is not the case in 15USC§7901 so it appears that 'all lawful purposes' takes on its common meaning and usage. This is further reinforced by the context of the enumerated examples following the phrase. We can further conclude that since 'all lawful purposes' takes a common usage and meaning that the examples that follow the phrase beginning with the word 'including' serve to do exactly that...give examples of the meaning of the phrase 'all lawful purposes' as used in this context. Notice also that the word 'including' is not necessarily exclusive nor necessarily limit the extent of 'all' lawful purposes to just hunting, self-defense, collecting, and competitive or recreational shooting.

Let me ask the question again...would a man carrying a firearm into a federal facility for the purpose of going to a competitive shoot (a future event and usage, by the way) be excepted under §930? What about someone carrying a concealed handgun for self-defense?

That's the way I see it for what it's worth,

tex
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Re: Post Office Law Suit to Repeal Carry Rule

#179

Post by switch » Fri Jul 18, 2014 1:51 pm

Who? Charles Cotton, the owner/host of this forum and all federal LEO and prosecutors. :(


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Re: Post Office Law Suit to Repeal Carry Rule

#180

Post by thetexan » Fri Jul 18, 2014 2:37 pm

I know that but Im not aware (doesnt mean it hasnt happened) that that part of the statute has been tried and appealed to determine what the appellate ruling on what the interpretation of 'other lawful purposes' is.

tex
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