Mountain States Legal Foundation Logo

All Cases

Case Locations (click on the blue States to view the case list)

Temp-Case-Map
Alaska California Idaho Nevada Montana Wyoming Utah Arizona Colorado New Mexico Texas Nebraska Michigan Illinois New York Washington, D.C. Pennsylvania Arkansas

Bonidy v. United States Postal Service

Issue:

Whether the Second Amendment prohibits the Postal Service from denying the right to keep and bear arms on Post Office property?

Plaintiffs:

Tab Bonidy; National Association for Gun Rights

Defendants:

United States Postal Service; John Potter, Postmaster General; Steve Ruehle, Postmaster, Avon, Colorado

Courts:

U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado (No. 10cv2408)
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit (Nos. 13-1374 and 13-1391)
October 1, 2014 - Oral arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.
Tab Bonidy, who lives in rural Colorado, where home mail service is not available, must drive 10 miles roundtrip to Avon to collect his mail. On arrival there, however, Mr. Bonidy, who is licensed to carry a handgun and regularly carry a handgun for self-defense, is barred by Postal Service regulation from carrying a firearm or parking his vehicle, if it contains a firearm, on Postal Service property. On July 22, 2010, Mr. Bonidy asked the Postmaster General of the U.S. Postal Service to withdraw the regulation to permit him to exercise his Second Amendment rights. That request was denied on August 3, 2010.

In 2007, the Postal Service renewed a longstanding total ban on firearms on Postal Service property, which states: “Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law, rule or regulation, no person while on Postal property may carry firearms, other dangerous or deadly weapons, or explosives, either openly or concealed, or store the same on Postal property, except for official purposes. 39 C.F.R. § 232.1(l). This regulatory prohibition, which carries a fine or imprisonment for 30 days, or both, is broader than the federal statute, which prohibits private possession of firearms in federal facilities, except those firearms carried “incident to hunting or other lawful purposes.” 18 U.S.C. § 930(d)(3). This statutory exception does not apply in federal court facilities, where a total ban is enforced. 18 U.S.C. § 930(e)(1).

The Postal Service’s total ban on firearms possession impairs the right to keep and bear arms as protected by the Second Amendment because that right cannot be exercised when individuals are traveling to, from, or through Postal property because the Postal Service does not allow people to store a firearm safely in their vehicles. Anyone with a hunting rifle or shotgun in his car, or a handgun in his glove compartment for self-defense, violates the Postal Service ban by driving onto Postal Service property. Thus, the ban denies the right to keep and bear arms everywhere a law-abiding gun owner travels before and after visiting Postal Service property.

On October 4, 2010, Mr. Bonidy and the National Association for Gun Rights, represented by MSLF, filed a complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief. On October 25, 2010, the Mr. Bonidy filed a second amended complaint.

On December 6, 2010, the federal defendants filed a motion to dismiss. On January 14, 2011, Mr. Bonidy filed an opposition to the motion to dismiss. On February 11, 2011, the federal defendants filed a reply. A hearing on the motion to dismiss was held on March 21, 2011. On March 21, 2011, the district court granted the motion to dismiss with leave to file an amended complaint. Mr. Bonidy filed an amended complaint on April 8, 2011.

On April 2, 2011, the federal defendants filed another motion to dismiss. Mr. Bonidy filed his opposition to the motion to dismiss on May 19, 2011. The federal defendants filed their reply to Mr. Bonidy's response on June 6, 2011. On July 8, 2011, Mr. Bonidy filed a notice of supplemental authority.  On November 18, 2011, a hearing on the second motion to dismiss was held.  The district court denied the motion to dismiss and set a scheduling conference for January 26, 2012. 

On January 26, 2012, the district court held a scheduling conference and signed the scheduling order.  On February 17, 2012, discovery commenced.  Depositions were conducted March 27–29, 2012.  On September 4, 2012, a stipulation was filed to dismiss Debbie Bonidy from the case.  On September 5, 2012, the district court issued an order approving that stipulation. 

On September 28, 2012, federal defendants filed a motion for summary judgment.  On October 29, 2012, Mr. Bonidy filed a cross motion for summary judgment and a response in opposition to the federal defendants’ motion for summary judgment.  On December 27, 2012, briefing on the cross-motions was completed.  On June 18, 2013, the district court held a hearing on the cross-motions. 

On July 9, 2013, the district court ordered the United States Postal Service to take the necessary action to permit Mr. Bonidy to use the public parking lot adjacent to the Avon Post Office building with a firearm authorized by his Concealed Carry Permit secured in his car in a reasonably prescribed manner but denied claims regarding concealed carry inside the public, unsecured areas of the Avon Post Office.  Costs were awarded to the plaintiffs. 

On September 6, 2013, federal defendants filed a notice of appeal.  On September 18, 2013, Mr. Bonidy filed a cross-appeal regarding the firearms ban inside the public, unsecured lobby area of the Avon Post Office.  On November 20, 2013, federal defendants filed their first brief on the cross-appeal.  On December 23, 2013, Mr. Bonidy filed the second cross-appeal brief.

On December 23, 2013, Mr. Bonidy filed the second cross-appeal brief.  On March 6, 2014, federal defendants filed their third cross-appeal brief.  On March 24, 2014, Mr. Bonidy filed the fourth and final cross-appeal brief.  On October 1, 2014, oral arguments were held before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

 

  • U.S. Postal Service Gun Ban Lawsuit Argued at Appeals Court

    Oct 1, 2014
    A Colorado man and a national gun rights group were represented today before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in their cross-appeal of the ruling of a Colorado federal district court on Postal Service regulations.
  • Appeal of U.S. Postal Service Gun Ban Lawsuit Briefed

    Dec 23, 2013
    A Colorado man and a national gun rights group today briefed their cross-appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit of the ruling of a Colorado federal district court on Postal Service regulations.
  • U.S. Postal Service Gun Ban Lawsuit Appealed

    Sep 18, 2013
    A Colorado man and a national gun rights group today filed a cross-appeal of the ruling of a Colorado federal district court on Postal Service regulations.
  • U.S. Postal Service Parking Lot Gun Ban Unconstitutional

    Jul 9, 2013
    A Colorado federal district court ruled today in favor of a Colorado man and a national gun rights group holding that a U.S. Postal Service regulation barring firearms in its parking lots violates their right to “keep and bear arms” under the Constitution.
  • Coloradoan and Group Argue Postal Service Gun Case

    Jun 19, 2013
    A rural Colorado man and a national gun rights group, through counsel, today appeared before a Colorado federal district court to argue for a ruling against the U.S. Postal Service in their lawsuit charging that the Postal Service’s ban on possession of firearms on its property violates their right to “keep and bear arms” under the Constitution. The district court twice denied the Postal Service’s motion to dismiss the case and required the agency to respond to the complaint.
  • Coloradoan And Group Brief Postal Service Gun Case

    Dec 27, 2012
    DENVER, CO. A rural Colorado man and a national gun rights group today filed final briefs seeking a ruling against the U.S. Postal Service in their lawsuit charging that the Postal Service’s ban on possession of firearms on its property violates their right to keep and bear arms under the Constitut
  • Coloradoan And Group Seek Ruling Against Postal Service

    Oct 29, 2012
    DENVER, CO. A rural Colorado man and a national gun rights group today filed a motion for summary judgment seeking a ruling against the U.S. Postal Service in their lawsuit, which charges that the Postal Service’s ban on possession of firearms on its property violates their right to keep and bear a
  • Coloradoans May Continue Gun Case Against Postal Service

    Nov 18, 2011
    DENVER, CO. A rural Colorado couple and a national gun rights group today defeated a second attempt by the U.S. Postal Service to dismiss their lawsuit, which charges that its ban on possession of firearms on its property violates the Constitution’s right to keep and bear arms. A Colorado federal
  • Coloradoans Fight Postal Service Attempt To Kill Gun Case

    Jan 14, 2011
    DENVER, CO. A rural Colorado couple and a National gun rights group today resisted an attempt by the U.S. Postal Service to dismiss their lawsuit, which charges that the Postal Service ban on possession of firearms on its property violates the Constitution’s right to keep and bear arms. Tab and De
  • Coloradoans Fight Postal Service Attempt To Kill Gun Case

    Jan 14, 2011
    DENVER, CO. A rural Colorado couple and a national gun rights group today resisted a second attempt by the U.S. Postal Service to dismiss their lawsuit, which charges that its ban on possession of firearms on its property violates the Constitution’s right to keep and bear arms. Tab and Debbie Boni
  • Coloradoans Challenge Postal Service Ban On Guns

    Oct 4, 2010
    DENVER, CO. A rural Colorado couple that lives near Avon and a Colorado gun rights group today filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Postal Service charging that its ban on possession of firearms on Postal Service property violates the Constitution's right to keep and bear arms. Tab and Debbie Bonidy,


Help protect individual liberties, private property rights and promote limited, ethical government:

Donate Here