What is legal to carry on rental property/apartment complex parking?


April 1, 2005, 05:12 PM
I live in California in a commercial/residential building/complex. These are mostly business offices so most people do not realize that people live in the two apartments on the second level of one of the buildings.

My question is, "How far can i legally carry my handgun if i am investigating for burgalers/vandals?" I am very concerned for the safety of my wife and I.

Within a few months we have had a number of break-ins with the businesses, into the residents (my) parked cars, and this morning we found a nice big pile of poop. The parking area is hidden from the street so it seems very inviting to street people, drinkers and dopers to sneak back here for privacy. I have talked to a homeless man scoping out a balcony to sleep for the night. There are a couple of cheap motels two blocks away that invite those folks just released from incarceration-one of the businesses is check cashing and you know some of these people really think that they keep large amounts of cash in there.

Also, The property onwer has asked the police to come by more often, which i am all for. But how might i approach the police about the subject of my being armed- i don't want to them mistake us for badguys, or me to be surprised by them either.

But again, what i really want to know is how far can i go with my handgun? if i hear noises can i bring it out to the parking lot to check on my car? Is the limit at my door? onto my porch/balcony?

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April 1, 2005, 05:18 PM
You might want to see if the owner is willing to install some flood lights and keep things well lit. Not knowing your layout, is there a way to gate off the driveway at night to vehicle and foot traffic?

Gordon Fink
April 1, 2005, 06:02 PM
If you have written permission from the property owner, you should be okay legally, but that still won’t prevent you from being arrested during a late-night encounter with investigating cops.

~G. Fink

April 1, 2005, 06:27 PM
OK= here's a story related-
my friend was at home in el Cerrito, in his house.
heard a man yelling and yelling at a lady, lady is yellnig for him to leave her alone.

he takes his .45 outside, and asks politely "what's going on"
guy approaches him rapidly, angrily.
BG sees end of .45 . heheh. stops , leaves, lady goes her own way.

10 minutes later , cops are there. they tell him he was not legal to leave his property with the gun.
BUT = that was it.
so a real jerk cop could harrass the heck out of him, but most poilce are gonna take the situation into account.

in a similar situation, another guy i know was locked up for about three hours, and fined, but he kept his .38 after showing it to a rather rude person outside his gate.

the thing to be aware of is these idiot BGs will be the first ones to call the cops on you, but the police won't likely side with them.

legally, i doubt very much you can even leave your apt with your gun.

April 7, 2005, 06:34 AM
thanks for the advice about flood lights.. actually they property owners already had floodlights and after the first break in they improved them. I did talk to them about motion sensors and after the poop in the corner (which they had to clean up) they finally agreed that might be a good idea.

Although it seems that they have quickly gained some trust of my wife and i as we have been very active/proactive in dealing with a number of these problems including a neigbor brining in her doper boyfriends, I am still not sure how they would feel about the subject of my guns. They are very conscious about liability issues.

After all that, i am still eager to know what provision the California Law provides me to protect my property (my car which is downstairs in the parking lot) by investigating any noises that i hear at night. As well as protecting my family by investigating roof area outside our upstair windows. The landlord did give me a key to the gate at my request.

George S.
April 7, 2005, 12:19 PM
Guess the question is what would you do with your gun if you found somebody trying to break in to your car or steal it? Most states do not look kindly on using a gun to protect property. Self-defense against violence is one thing, but I think you will find that holding a robber at gunpoint will be more problematic for you when the police arrive.

You might want to get legal advice about carrying a loaded weapon out in the open even though it is private property. With everything I have read about the difficulties that gun owners have in CA, there probably would be no way that you would be in the right.

If you absolutely have to go outside to investigate something, carry a cell phone with "9-1" already dialed. Then just press another "1" if you see anything that looks like the police should be notified.

Additional outside floodlights shoud be a help. Can you see your car from your apartment? Get the most powerful light you can find like one of those 1 million candlepower rechargable lights. Nothing stops a car prowler like daylight and a loud voice telling the SOB to get away now. This is where you want to wake up the rest of the building.

If you hear noises around the apartment and especially on a rooftop, then stay inside, grab your family and get them together in a area you can protect and control. A BG entering thru a window may be fair game but again , get a clear opinion on the level of force you can use.

April 8, 2005, 05:27 PM
In reply to the last post, the property owners upgraded the lighting after the first break in to the neighbors cars. But that did not stop the next incident where the theif(s) boldly broke into the two parked cars and two businesses downstairs. Or the pooper person.

The purpose of having my handgun with me is that i am disabled and i can not walk fast enough to escape somebody that might want to harm me.

As for calling the police when hearing noises, both the neighbor and us did hear the person breaking into the businesses downstairs, but we were unsure of the source of the noise (we each theought that it might have been the neighbor.) So what do we do, call the police each time that we hear a noise? We live next door to a busy street, and two busy neighbors on each side.

On that note, I actually have called the police many times because of different problems, including gunshots (quite frequent) and even on the night of the mass break-ins i must have called them 2 or 3 times. They would not respond until i went outside to determine that someone had in fact destroyed the phone service lines (lucky for me i have a cell phone) and shut off the electricity. On another night i called as i saw/heard people in the neighboring lot (a veterinary clinic) late at night. The police asked me what they were doing and i responded that i do not know becuase i was not going to approach them to find out. They were in fact stealing appliances but i do not know if the police ever responded.

As for motion detectors, i have asked about these and would pay for them myself if the cost is not too great. I believe that i would only need one. I can see our car outside or door but the view is partially obstructed by a tree. My intention is to stop people from vandalizing our car, and then breaking into our apartment should they so desire. Like i said, the privacy provided by the lot attracts all types of badguys like burgalars, dopers, vandals, dumpster divers and now someone just looking for a place to poop.

I have no desire to shoot anyone, but i am concerned that i might need to protect myself and my wife and so far calling the police has not provided much response. Generally when i respond to noises outside, i have my wife wait upstairs in the apartment (also armed) with the telephone so that she can call if there is any problem. I check the balcony/porch to be sure that it is clear to open the door, then i search the downstairs lot from the saftey of the balcony. If i think that it is necessary i then walk downstairs to check the car windows/doors windows of the other businesses/ and to check the "blind spots" where someone might be hiding.

Like i said, we are very isolated from any neighbors (usually only one next door but even that apartment is empty for now) and I assume that most people do not realize that we live up here. I prefer to alert them to that fact that they are not alone or free to rob un-noticed while they are still outside my apartment rather than wait for them to attempt to break into our window like they did into the businesses downstairs.

I do like the loud noise/alarm idea but i would like to know what the police prefer. They promised the property owner that they would patrol the area, so if we do install something i would expect that it should alert to their presence. But then again, the last burgaler was aware of the alarms and attempted to turn them off and then break in. I wonder if we should post signs like "Security On Premises - 24 hours"?

April 8, 2005, 05:55 PM
George S,

I am curious why you said to beware of noise on the roof. This is in fact one of the recent noises. I believe that a local cat has taken to using the roofing as a cat box. So we hear thuds and such too often from up there. It sounds much louder than a cat.

April 8, 2005, 06:00 PM
You need to move my man. Start saving your nickels and dimes and get out of that area. Nothing good can come of living there long term. Hope moving is an option for you. If not, stay alert and stay safe.

pete f
April 8, 2005, 07:11 PM
as far as the original question, how far can you go?> your doorstep.

second, make your self a true PITA to all and sundry who might even have a chance at correcting the situation, sounds like the landlord is a respnsive sort who is trying to help out, ask him to call the city, you call the city too, get your council persons name and call regularly. call the cops. Tell them you wish to speak with the responding officer when s/he arrives. Clock it. report it, call the police department's ombudsman or community service officer, tell them the story. do not embelish. just the facts and only the facts. All it takes is one false tale for you to loose all credibility. call your sheriffs office too. just keep calling, squeaky wheel really does get the grease, also take pictures. lots of pictures. you see a person shuffling around, take a picture and tell them to leave then call the cops. Hear a loud noise and a guy looking around, take his picture. really helps prosecute when they have pics of guys red handed with a computer in his arms coming out a window of a business.
In a diminished state as a disabled person, the jury is going to be more liberal with the fact of "i was in fear of my life" use that to your advantage if you get the chance to cull the herd in your area, BG comes to your door and tries to enter, pop him, bad guy comes in and then leaves at sight of gun, let him go, word will spread.

April 8, 2005, 07:19 PM
i wouldnt go outside the confines of my walls just to be safe physically and legally.

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