Need clarification about law. Off duty carrying of a gun on federal property.
I have to go to the local Social Security Administration to get a replacement card. Can I legally carry my handgun there? I know they have security guards that will ask if you have any weapons and then tell you to take them to your car. Normally when asked if I have a weapon at a business I just say "no" and carry on. But I don't want to get into any trouble on federal property. I have gone into the SSA, federal courthouse, and military bases before while armed, but only in uniform, and I never had a problem because I had official business there. I can not remember whether a peace officer is prohibited form carrying there off duty or not. I THINK we are, but then again I'm not sure what exactly constitutes a federal building, since I've never been in one off duty.
Would someone please help me out? It's not a big deal either way, except that if it is illegal, I need to remember to leave it in the car, which I hate doing.
The answer is...yes, no, and maybe.
By strict interpretation of the law, you cannot carry if you are not on official business. However, policy of enforcement varies from location to location and building to building. With most SSA offices, unless it is located in a federal facility with other agencies, you won't be going through a mag, so if you conceal well, they generally won't know. However, if the Security Officer asks you if you are armed, and you lie and say you are not, you have actually committed a federal crime. Federal contract security guards (that is what the guards in SSA offices are), WHILE ON DUTY, are considered Federal Law Enforcement Officers. Additionally, if something happens and it is discovered that you are carrying a weapon, you can actually be charged. I'm not saying it would definitely happen, but it certainly could. I'm sorry, I know that does not clear things up much, but there is not definitive answer. Well, I take that back. If you must have a "definitive" answer, the answer would be "No, if you are not on official business of your agency, you cannot carry", however, that is not the most realistic answer. So, how was that? Clear as mud now?