Federal judge in Florida: Banning handguns in post offices is unconstitutional

A federal law that prohibits people from carrying firearms in post offices is unconstitutional, according to a federal judge in Florida.

U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida noted her opinion while dismissing an indictment against a U.S. Postal Service worker who had been charged with illegally possessing a firearm in a federal facility.

Kimball Mizelle, a 2020 President Donald Trump appointee, said the charge against USPS truck driver Emmanuel Ayala violated his right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Reuters quoted Kimball Mizelle as follows:

“A blanket restriction on firearms possession in post offices is incongruent with the American tradition of firearms regulation.”

Kimball Mizelle cited the U.S. Supreme Court's June 2022 ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, which recognized law-abiding citizens' right to carry a handgun in public for self-defense.

She said the federal laws prohibiting firearms in government buildings weren't created until 1964 and no such laws regarding post offices were enacted until 1972, adding that no historical practice justifies such a ban, according to the Reuters story.

Ayala had a concealed-carry permit and kept a 9mm handgun in a fanny pack, according to his lawyers. He was indicted after allegedly bringing the handgun onto USPS property in 2012 and fleeing authorities.

Kimball Mizelle did not dismiss a separate charge against Ayala for resisting arrest, according to the Reuters story.

This decision marks the second win at the federal level this year for Second Amendment rights.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued an order dissolving a prior order and reinstating a preliminary injunction that prevented the state of California from enforcing the expanded so-called "sensitive places" designated under SB 2, which were set to go into effect Jan. 1, according to NRA-ILA.

That means the injunction that was granted in late December, preventing the state from enforcing the expanded sensitive places under SB 2, is back in effect, pending further court orders.

SB 2, among other things, creates new subjective criteria for the issuance of carry permits to allow authorities to arbitrarily deny applicants, restricts permit holders by allowing them to carry only handguns registered to themselves, increases the requirements to apply for a permit, and increases “gun-free zones” where law-abiding citizens are left defenseless.

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