Bonidy v. USPS | Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

Bonidy v. USPS

Tab Bonidy, a Colorado resident and licensed concealed carry permit holder, was prohibited from bringing his firearm onto the Avon Post Office facilities due to U.S. Postal Service's (USPS) ban on carrying firearms on postal property, including in the parking lot. Bonidy claimed that due to this ban, a Post Office employee had to pick up and deliver his mail to the Avon Post Office for him. In October 2010, Bonidy filed suit against USPS, arguing that the ban violated his Second Amendment rights.

In July 2013, the United States District Court in Colorado ruled partially in favor of Bonidy, upholding the ban within USPS buildings but striking it down in regards to the parking lots. Bonidy and USPS cross-appealed this ruling; Bonidy challenged the remaining ban within USPS buildings while USPS contested the invalidated ban in their parking lots. The Brady Center filed an amicus brief in November 2013 to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, in support of USPS. Brady's brief argued that, as established by Heller v. D.C., the Second Amendment only recognizes the narrow right for law-abiding citizens to possess a handgun in the home, and is not a broad right to carry firearms in public. USPS not only has a substantial government interest in protecting public and employee safety by their ban, but also has the “constitutional right of a property owner” to regulate their facilities to meet such interests.

In June 2015, the Tenth Circuit affirmed the District Court's decision upholding the ban's constitutionality, but reversed the District Court's decision invalidating the ban in postal facility parking lots. The Court ruled that the entire ban passed intermediate scrutiny and was constitutional, as any alternative system of different regulations not only between USPS's more than 31,000 post offices, as well as between different buildings and parking lots, would be infeasible and inefficient. The Court also remarked that the District Court's ruling was a stark departure from rulings in similar cases by sister courts, as well as from the Supreme Court's precedent of the Second Amendment's narrow right to keep a firearm in the home for self-defense.

In March 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States denied Bonidy's request for further appeal, upholding the Tenth Circuit's decision and the USPS's ban.