Federal Judge Rules Law Prohibiting Guns In Post Offices Is Unconstitutional

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Fiona McLoughlin Contributor
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A Florida federal judge ruled Friday a law prohibiting people from having firearms in post offices is unconstitutional.

Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, appointed by former President Donald Trump, came to the ruling as she dismissed an indictment where a postal worker was charged with possessing a gun illegally in a federal facility, according to Reuters.

Emmanuel Ayala, a U.S. Postal Service truck driver, carried a Smith & Wesson 9mm handgun for self-defense in a fanny pack, Reuters reported, citing Ayala’s lawyers. He had a concealed weapons permit, the outlet noted.

Prosecutors said Ayala brought the weapon onto Postal Service grounds in 2012 and fled when federal agents attempted to detain him, according to Reuters. He was charged under a law that broadly bars the possession of a firearm in a federal facility, which includes a post office.

Mizelle ruled the charge against Ayala violated his Second Amendment right. However, she did not dismiss the separate charge of forcibly resisting arrest, Reuters reported. (RELATED: Blue City Halts Enforcement Of Key Gun Control Provision After 2A Groups Threaten Lawsuit).

“A blanket restriction on firearms possession in post offices is incongruent with the American tradition of firearms regulation,” Mizelle said, according to Reuters.

Mizelle cited the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen case from June 2022, where the Supreme Court ruling recognized that the Second Amendment protects one’s right to carry a handgun in public for self-defense, Reuters noted.

The ruling further established a new test for firearm laws. Restrictions must now be “consistent with this nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation,” Reuters reported.

The Tampa judge explained since federal laws prohibiting firearms in government buildings were not created until 1964, and no laws concerning post offices until 1972, there is no historical practice that justifies the ban, according to Reuters.