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Post Office violated man's rights by banning gun from parking lot, judge rules

A federal judge has reportedly ruled that a U.S. Postal Service regulation banning firearms in its parking lots violates the Second Amendment.

The Denver Post reports that Senior U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch said the Postal Service does, however, have a right to bar Tab Bonidy — a Colorado man who filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Denver along with the National Association for Gun Rights — from carrying his gun into the Post Office building itself.

Bonidy has a concealed carry permit and routinely carries a firearm, the newspaper reports. In 2010, Bonidy's lawyer sent a written inquiry asking if he would be prosecuted under the USPS regulation if he carried his gun into the Post Office or stored it in his vehicle in the public parking lot when picking up his mail, according to Matsch's ruling.

Mary Ann Gibbons, USPS general counsel, responded that "regulations governing conduct on postal property prevent [Bonidy] from carrying firearms, openly or concealed, onto any real property under the charge and control of the Postal Service," court documents show.

There’s a collective interest in public safety that trumps individual liberty in certain circumstances, Matsch said, but there are no similar reasons to forbid Bonidy from securing his gun in a vehicle in the parking lot before entering the building. In fact, he said, the ban is a violation of Bonidy's Second Amendment rights.

"The public interest in safety and Mr. Bonidy's liberty can be accommodated by modifying the regulation to permit Mr. Bonidy to ‘have ready access to essential postal services’ provided by the Avon Post Office while also exercising his right to self-defense,” Matsch said.

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