Can Apartment Complexes Ban Guns?


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Mr.Blue
November 29, 2011, 12:29 AM
I've owned my own home for the last ten years, but am relocating to Bethesda, MD. I will rent for a few years, as I'm not sure I will like it there.

I was wondering if apartment complexes can LEGALLY ban firearms from the apartments. I haven't seen the lease yet, but I'm thinking in advance. I have to buy a safe now. I had a secret room in my old house and didn't have to worry. If the management sees a safe being delivered, they will know I have guns.

Anyone know for sure? I saw old threads on this, but I'm not sure if things have changed.

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MrSpiffy
November 29, 2011, 12:46 AM
I have to preface by saying that I'm definitely not a lawyer, so anyone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. However, I don't believe they are allowed to ban guns, except maybe on community grounds, like a pool or something. If it's your apartment, then (as far as I'm aware) by law it's considered your personal dwelling. It's not like walking into a place of business. It's basically the same as if you owned the place, when it comes to firearms. If it's legal, they can't stop you, as long as you're not doing any damage. It's a constitutionally-protected right.

RhinoDefense
November 29, 2011, 12:48 AM
It's private property. They have the right not to lease to a gun owner.

Bovice
November 29, 2011, 01:09 AM
They can ban farting and nasty bowel movements but that doesn't mean it will stop!

What they don't know won't hurt them.

Mr.Blue
November 29, 2011, 01:27 AM
I'm just worried about storing them without a safe. If I get a safe, they will see it.

au01st
November 29, 2011, 01:39 AM
Safes can store things besides guns. Maybe you have a coin collection? Unless you get a unit right by the office, they would never see or care about a safe being delivered. Could always get it yourself and bring it home after office hours.

I lived in an apartment for a year. They didn't allow guns. They also didn't allow a variety of other things that went on around the complex. Didn't stop anyone and it may be more of a CYA for the apartment complex.

evan price
November 29, 2011, 02:43 AM
If a term is in the lease and you sign the lease that means you agree to the terms. If they put in the lease NO GUNS and you sign it, you agree to it. If however something is not specifically excluded in the lease, once you sign the lease and move in, it is your domocile and they have no way of preventing you from any otherwise lawful activity that does not endanger the security, safety or peaceful enjoyment of the surrounding renters.

Owen Sparks
November 29, 2011, 03:04 AM
Just read the lease carefully. Once you sign it becomes a legaly binding contract until it expires. If there is nothing in the lease about guns DON'T ASK!

jmstevens2
November 29, 2011, 03:10 AM
Many will not allow the safe due to live loads of the flooring system. Used to do that to waterbeds too.
Here in Ohio, I can inspect the common parts of the building. Unless you ask me in, I cannot enforce the fire code in the apartment because it is a residence.
I cannot speak to NC. Can they access your gun purchase info from the police? I know my brother had to get some sort of permit to purchase his handguns. I don't know, just a thought.

Owen Sparks
November 29, 2011, 03:44 AM
jmstevens2 is right about the weight restrictions. I used to live downstairs in an appartment built on a concrete slab and I had a waterbed. When I moved out I sold it to a neighbor upstairs only to find out that he was not allowed to have it upstairs. Long story short, he ended up moving into my old appartment so that he could keep the bed.

If you have a safe be sure to get a downstairs appt. built on a slab.

Thefabulousfink
November 29, 2011, 04:18 AM
The lease is the contract between the owner and the renter. You agree to abide by the rules that the owner sets in the lease and pay the fees, and the owner agrees to allow you to stay for the set period of time. If either party violates the lease, then the other party can take action against them. But, if you continue to meet your part of the lease, there is little the owner can do until the lease is up. I have lived in many Appts and only 1 had a No Guns clause. Most places that are owned by individuals or small companies just use the simplest lease form available, and those only mention illeagal substances. The one lease I saw that mentioned guns was off campus housing run by the university and the lease had been drawn by their lawyers.

Read the lease carfully, most shouldn't be more than 2-3 pages. If it dosen't mention guns then you are fine. If your landlord later finds out about them and doesn't like them, well there is nothing they can do about it until the lease it up... but be ready to move right then. I don't think any of my landlords ever knew I had guns. Some might have cared, but most (if you are safe and responsible) will be more interested in having a renter that pays on time and isn't much trouble.

Pilot
November 29, 2011, 04:20 AM
Can you move to VA instead? MD is a terrible place to own firearms.

BeerSleeper
November 29, 2011, 05:49 AM
The safe will come in a box. For all anyone knows it's a refrigerator. If you're that worried about it, buy a safe locally, and unload it yourself in the middle of the night, silently. You'll need a truck, a friend, a dolly, and God help you if you try to do this and you don't get a ground level unit.

You'll have to read the lease to know for sure what's in there. I would doubt you will see anything in there banning guns, but you may have a problem with the safe. Generally, when you lease, it is the same as if you own it with a few exceptions. You are generally expected not to damage the property, and not to modify the property.

A large safe may not be permitted, for weight concerns. A light, small safe that isn't anchored actually makes theft easier. They basically pack all your guns up in one package for the potential thieves. It is unlikely you will be permitted to anchor your safe. Depending on the floor type, you may be able to do it without leaving permanent marks. Tile or wood floors will not work, but if it's carpet, you may be able to drop a few lag screws into floor joists, and the carpet should conceal the holes when you move out.

NavyLCDR
November 29, 2011, 11:45 AM
Also check your state laws. Some states prohibit landlord's from prohibiting lawful firearms possession. I am sure Maryland is not one of those states, though. Absent the state law, the landlord can ban anything they want to in the lease, and when you sign it, you agree to it.

Deanimator
November 29, 2011, 01:04 PM
PURELY a state and local matter.

What's legal in MD may not be legal in OH and vice versa.

Ask a LAWYER in MD, preferably one who knows YOUR jurisdiction.

Walkalong
November 29, 2011, 01:47 PM
Paint the safe like a frig. They'll never give it a second thought coming in. I guess sooner or later a maintenance person might see it, but they probably won't even mention it to the manager. If you call for maintenance, cover it.

Jim K
November 29, 2011, 02:01 PM
Most leases allow the apartment owner or manager to enter the premises under some conditions, which basically means about any time they want to (they "suspect" a gas leak, a fire, etc.), so they will probably see the safe anyway. One solution to getting it in is to get a modular safe (like a Zanotti) which comes in several boxes and could be a bed or a cablinet. A small modular safe can be assembled in a closet, though, which might help. Watch out for the ones that ban things as listed in some obscure county or city code or in some other document they happen to not have a copy of.

Those "no gun" leases have been challenged in court, with mixed results. In MD, especially Montgomery County (run by anti-gun crazies), it is probably not worth bothering even if you had the money for lawyers and bribe money for our "honest" judges and politicians.

Jim

oneounceload
November 29, 2011, 02:09 PM
Another thing to consider is your ammo- while they may or may not ban guns, they might ban anything considered flammable or explosive - gun powder, ammo, primers, etc. - just something else to check out

Frank Ettin
November 29, 2011, 02:43 PM
...Those "no gun" leases have been challenged in court, with mixed results....I'm not aware of any court challenges to "no guns" clauses in leases (except for some recent ones involving public housing, which would be a different matter entirely). Do you have any citations?

Absent an applicable state statute or court decision, there would be no reason why a "no guns" clause would not be enforceable in a residential lease with a private (i. e., non-governmental) landlord. What can, and can not, be in a residential lease is usually heavily regulated by statute, but as far as I know only a few States (not sure which ones) have laws that would prohibit a "no guns" clause.

highlander 5
November 29, 2011, 03:07 PM
Unless the gentleman has a huge collection of firearms a safe that would hold a few rifles or handguns should weigh less then a fridge. I bought a safe from Dick's sporting goods and got in the house by myself,weighs maybe a hundred pounds and is nothing fancy but it does solve the storage problem. I did get a hernia from that moving job though.

Artful
November 29, 2011, 03:22 PM
highlander_5, sounds like you bought a Security Cabinet, my safe ways more than 1K lbs.

Also if they do object in the lease, you can ask for a waiver from them, just make sure it's in writing so they can't give you a verbal then come back later and deny they did.

Use the excuse like "My heritage from Father/Grandfather", kind of thing.

akodo
November 29, 2011, 07:43 PM
It's private property. They have the right not to lease to a gun owner.

Not so. Property you rent to someone is a bit different than 'normal' private property. If I put an add on Craigslist to sell my lawn mower I can legally refuse to sell it to someone based on the color of their skin. If I offer property for rental, it would be illegal for me to refuse to rent it based on the color of their skin.

Once the tenant has signed the lease THEY have more 'private property rights' than the actual owner does. The renter can come and go as they please, but the landlord needs to give 24 hour notice before entering unless not entering would cause great financial harm. (i.e. pipes spewing water)

The landlord can write whatever he wants into the lease, however that doesn't make it legal. Exactly what can and cannot be included is generally covered under state laws.

I have been exposed to many states where there are laws, rulings, and clarifications that bar the owner from banning firearms.

The only places that I have ever seen that could legally ban tenants from having firearms were student housing apartments.

Frozen North
November 29, 2011, 07:56 PM
Weight of the safe may be an issue. If they ban waterbeds, you may wish to ask.

P5 Guy
November 29, 2011, 08:18 PM
It's private property. They have the right not to lease to a gun owner.

Not to get off on a rant, but the landlord could not say No Irish, No Jews and well we all get the idea. Discrimination is the same no matter what is being discriminated against.
If that came up in a Lease I'd strike it out and see what the landlord says. Maybe get the advise of a real Lawyer. Not a keyboard Barrister.

Frank Ettin
November 29, 2011, 08:25 PM
Not so. Property you rent to someone is a bit different than 'normal' private property. If I put an add on Craigslist to sell my lawn mower I can legally refuse to sell it to someone based on the color of their skin. If I offer property for rental, it would be illegal for me to refuse to rent it based on the color of their skin.

....The landlord can write whatever he wants into the lease, however that doesn't make it legal. Exactly what can and cannot be included is generally covered under state laws.

....The only places that I have ever seen that could legally ban tenants from having firearms were student housing apartments. Nope, you're way off base. As I wrote in post 19:...Absent an applicable state statute or court decision, there would be no reason why a "no guns" clause would not be enforceable in a residential lease with a private (i. e., non-governmental) landlord. What can, and can not, be in a residential lease is usually heavily regulated by statute, but as far as I know only a few States (not sure which ones) have laws that would prohibit a "no guns" clause.

And the reason you can't refuse to rent to someone based on his race is that there are statutes specifically prohibiting you from doing so. There are no such statutes protecting gun owners, at least in most States.

...I have been exposed to many states where there are laws, rulings, and clarifications that bar the owner from banning firearms...Name them and provide citations.

Birch Knoll
November 29, 2011, 08:31 PM
Discrimination is the same no matter what is being discriminated against.

No, not generally. Anti-discrimination laws define specific protected classes, such as race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, and so on.

Frank Ettin
November 29, 2011, 08:43 PM
Not to get off on a rant, but the landlord could not say No Irish, No Jews and well we all get the idea. Discrimination is the same no matter what is being discriminated against....Nope, that simply is not true at all.

In general, discrimination is perfectly legal. You do it all the time. Every time you decide to shop in this store rather than that, you have discriminated. Every time you decide to buy this rather than that, you have discriminated.

Businesses discriminate all the time too, and legally. Apple stores discriminate against people who want to buy a PC by only selling Apple computers. Many restaurants discriminate against Orthodox Jews or Muslims by not strictly following the dietary laws of those religions. Many restaurants also discriminate against persons not wearing shirts and/or shoes by not admitting them. Tiffany discriminates against poor people in the prices they charge.

Discrimination is merely choosing one thing over another or rejecting a possible choice. Discrimination is the very essence of freedom and private property. It is the right to choose. It is the right to exclude. It is the right to decide how you want to use your property.

Discrimination is perfectly legal, unless some law makes it illegal. There are laws that make discrimination illegal on various, specifically identified and defined bases -- at least if you're a business open to the public or an employer or a landlord or in some other specified category.

So it is illegal for you to refuse to rent to a Black person or someone because he is Irish or a Jew. Why? It's not because doing so is discriminatory. It's because there are one or more statutes that specifically prohibit discrimination by a landlord on the basis of race, national origin or religion.

But discrimination a landlord because a prospective lessee owns a gun is nowhere specifically prohibited (or at least very few places).

theCloud
November 29, 2011, 08:58 PM
Total noob to guns and I've got the same question as Mr. Blue, but my situation is murkier.

I already live in an apartment. And I'm pretty happy here. I only wish my lease agreement said "no guns". My lease agreement does not specifically ban firearms, but bans any "items or substances that can cause an increase in the cost of insurance" and it later bans anything is flammable.

Technically, a gun is not flammable. I can see the argument for the ammo being a fire hazard with the gunpowder.

Can owning a firearm increase your home/renter's insurance? I would imagine it would... anybody have experience with this?

How many guns do you have? If you just have a handgun or two, maybe you could get one or two of those small safes that store papers and passports... that's what I was thinking for my situation.

exavid
November 30, 2011, 01:48 AM
I doubt owning a gun(s) would make any difference on renter/homeowner's insurance, it doesn't affect mine. As far a not allowing flammables I guess one couldn't fry anything in oil then. I suspect a lot of your clothes or newspapers are flammable. Flammables is a pretty vague classification. Why do you wish your lease stated no guns?

Strykervet
November 30, 2011, 02:20 AM
My wife leases apartments in WA and I asked her. She said she's never heard of it, but that it is a good question. First off, they DO put things in leases that are not legally binding. Second, they can't make up a law, so they are wasting ink (or gaining your ignorance and apathy, which though, is up to you).

Each state will have different tenant/landlord laws, but essentially you can't make a policy that doesn't apply to all and is in violation of Constitutional Rights. Once you rent a property, for example, the cops can't just walk in with the consent of the management, so it isn't exactly private property, it isn't that simple. You have rights and those rights have to be obeyed.

So whether or not they can do this would be in that state's various laws. As for the US in general, no, it violates the 2A. As for WA, no, it violates our state law (because it doesn't specifically forbid it, which it would have to here).

Now suppose they put it in the lease and kick you out or give you notice. Whether or not you have to do anything depends on what the law says. Were it me, I'd ignore any letters and wait to see if they tried to push it and when they did, WHAMMO! Nail 'em with a lawsuit, they asked for it. They get away with so much that they cross the line often when they shouldn't.

I dragged my last (hopefully very last) landlord into court but he died before we could get the summons to him. They ALWAYS try to keep the deposit unless they are bigger businesses, in which case they follow that checklist to the letter. They typically are more in tune with what they can and can't get away with too.

But you could get your question answered much easier by just calling some random apartments in the area you plan on going to. Just call more than one so you don't get some opinion stated as fact. Basically, the answer to your question is too complex to answer on here without the knowledge of a property lawyer or property management person in that state.

College dorms work differently because you aren't leasing the property.

Steve Raacke
November 30, 2011, 05:49 AM
When renting an apartment keep in mind, as others have said, the landlord may make entry for various reasons. When I rented I learned that my landlady came around once a month to check the fire extinguishers which were in each apartment. While there she also checked smoke alarms. I also had the misfortune of having the apartment where the attic access for the whole row was located. So if they had any problems with the hot water heaters which were located in the attic above each apartment it was my apartment that they had to enter through. I worked nights ( I still do) and got tired of being woken up during the day whenever the landlord had to check extinguishers or come through my bedroom to access the attic. I guess it's better than not being there when it happened because they seldom gave advance warning that they were coming through. Still there were times where I would come home and there's a note on my kitchen table telling me not to leave dirty dishes in the sink ( I left for work late and didn't wash my breakfast dishes before leaving) and similar stuff. At that point I packed my stuff and found another place.

theCloud
November 30, 2011, 07:58 AM
I doubt owning a gun(s) would make any difference on renter/homeowner's insurance, it doesn't affect mine. As far a not allowing flammables I guess one couldn't fry anything in oil then. I suspect a lot of your clothes or newspapers are flammable. Flammables is a pretty vague classification. Why do you wish your lease stated no guns?
Well... the management can be unpredicitable. They can be very nitpicky about some things and other things they could care less about even though it's in the lease. I feel like what the lease says and what they enforce is a bit different. I guess it's my fear that if they did find out, I could see them evicting me, which is something I would not need now- if I get evicted or move out, I have to pay the remaining lease upfront and find a new place. So that's always a worry. But then technically they did not specifically ban guns so you could make the argument that it's OK.

41
November 30, 2011, 09:20 AM
I'm no legal expert, but I thought that any contract that violated your civil liberties was automatically null and void. Is that not true?

Frank Ettin
November 30, 2011, 10:22 AM
...Each state will have different tenant/landlord laws, but essentially you can't make a policy that doesn't apply to all and is in violation of Constitutional Rights....The Constitution has nothing to do with it. The Constitution regulates government. It does not apply to the conduct of private parties. As explained by the United States Supreme Court (Edmonson v. Leesville Concrete Company, Inc, 500 U.S. 614 (U. S. Supreme Court, 1991), emphasis added): ....The Constitution structures the National Government, confines its actions, and, in regard to certain individual liberties and other specified matters, confines the actions of the States. With a few exceptions, such as the provisions of the Thirteenth Amendment, constitutional guarantees of individual liberty and equal protection do not apply to the actions of private entities. Tarkanian, supra, 488 U.S., at 191, 109 S.Ct., at 461; Flagg Bros, Inc. v. Brooks, 436 U.S. 149, 156, 98 S.Ct. 1729, 1733, 56 L.Ed.2d 185 (1978). This fundamental limitation on the scope of constitutional guarantees "preserves an area of individual freedom by limiting the reach of federal law" and "avoids imposing on the State, its agencies or officials, responsibility for conduct for which they cannot fairly be blamed." Lugar v. Edmondson Oil Co., 457 U.S. 922, 936-937, 102 S.Ct. 2744, 2753, 73 L.Ed.2d 482 (1982). One great object of the Constitution is to permit citizens to structure their private relations as they choose subject only to the constraints of statutory or decisional law. ....

...I thought that any contract that violated your civil liberties was automatically null and void. Is that not true? No, that is not true.

njlawman
November 30, 2011, 01:48 PM
yes they can restrict you from renting or being part of their community. however, if you happen to live there without them knowing you had a gun and then they found out, it would not be illegal. you simply could be asked to leave unless you sue them for amendment rights, in which case you would lose since it is private property, you signed the agreement and a board of directors likely made the rules up and had open community meetings to vote on it or dissaprove. still, would not end you in jail.

Bobson
November 30, 2011, 02:01 PM
I've never heard of an apartment banning guns to it's leaseholders, but a lot of what has been said regarding ensuring you have a first-floor apartment built on a slab makes sense.

Regarding the gun (and ammo) themselves - just call and find out. You don't need to give them your information over the phone.

"Hi, I'm john smith, and am moving to bethesda in a few months. If I rent a unit from your company, is there anything in the contract that will prevent me from storing legally owned firearms and/or ammunition in my apartment?"

Pretty simple solution, and also the only solution guaranteeing you get accurate info. You don't even need to know where you're going to be renting. Call every apartment you're considering. Any who tell you no guns allowed, scratch it off the list and move on.

Bobson
November 30, 2011, 02:04 PM
If you happen to live there without them knowing you had a gun and then they found out, it would not be illegal.
This isn't necessarily correct. If you move in, and move your firearms in, while knowing the lease / rental contract explicitely states firearms aren't allowed (and if it in the lease when you sign it, you had better know its in there - ignorance isn't an excuse), you broke the law.

I urge you to ignore any advice along the lines of, "its only illegal if you get caught." This isn't elementary school. I can't even believe any responsible adult would ever give anyone advice like that. Just terrible.

Birch Knoll
November 30, 2011, 02:10 PM
This isn't necessarily correct. If you move in, and move your firearms in, while knowing the lease / rental contract explicitely states firearms aren't allowed (and if it in the lease when you sign it, you had better know its in there - ignorance isn't an excuse), you broke the law.No, you violated a private agreement. There is no law against that. The agreement will provide for its own penalties for breaches, which may be fines or eviction. But no law has been broken.

I urge you to ignore any advice along the lines of, "its only illegal if you get caught." This isn't elementary school. I can't even believe any responsible adult would ever give anyone advice like that. Just terrible.

True dat.

hermannr
November 30, 2011, 02:21 PM
You only have to remember one thing...You do not have to agree to all the terms on a lease agreement, You can modify it so you can agree.

Just read the lease carefully, then ANYTHING (that includes "no guns") that you object to, strike out with a SINGLE line, and initial/date the strike out. Take the landlords copy, strike out what you do not like, initial/date. Have the landlords repersentitive alsi initial and date the strikeouts, ON BOTH Copies!!!

Those provisions in the "agreement" no longer legally exist.

Remember, the landlord does not have to agree with your strikeouts and you need to be prepared to walk. However, with the vacant rental property and the economy today, I would be surprised if a landlord ould be willing to loose a good renter over something like that. If he would, as a gun owner, you really do not want to rent from him anyway,

P5 Guy
November 30, 2011, 04:51 PM
I guess discriminating where I spend my money by renting from another landlord is discriminating against an said landlord and I, by doing this, show my bigotry towards owners that forbid firearms in a state that does not prohibit ownership.
And I realize there are no laws to prohibit discriminating against legal possession of lawful firearms. And it was brought up about the dangerous nature of ammunition too. Don't tell my old landlord, but I handloaded in his/my rented walk in closet.

Ash_J_Williams
November 30, 2011, 05:03 PM
It's private property. They have the right not to lease to a gun owner.

They also don't have the right to DENY someone on the grounds of them being a gun owner, if I'm not mistaken. Discrimination?

Either point is moot when we're discussing a place he's already moving or has moved into, once the least has been signed.

Ash_J_Williams
November 30, 2011, 05:06 PM
I've owned my own home for the last ten years, but am relocating to Bethesda, MD. I will rent for a few years, as I'm not sure I will like it there.

I was wondering if apartment complexes can LEGALLY ban firearms from the apartments. I haven't seen the lease yet, but I'm thinking in advance. I have to buy a safe now. I had a secret room in my old house and didn't have to worry. If the management sees a safe being delivered, they will know I have guns.

Anyone know for sure? I saw old threads on this, but I'm not sure if things have changed.

Most likely, the issue comes down to three things:

1. It keeps the incredibly gullible from doing things they dislike out of fear and ignorance.
2. It makes them feel they have some control over something that, legally, they don't.
3. It gives them something that they can legally evict someone for given the incentive, as it is in the lease agreement.

Mix and match as you'd like.

oneounceload
November 30, 2011, 05:23 PM
They also don't have the right to DENY someone on the grounds of them being a gun owner, if I'm not mistaken. Discrimination?


No, it isn't - gun owners are not a protected "class"

dayhiker
November 30, 2011, 05:26 PM
Most likely, the issue comes down to three things:

1. It keeps the incredibly gullible from doing things they dislike out of fear and ignorance.
2. It makes them feel they have some control over something that, legally, they don't.
3. It gives them something that they can legally evict someone for given the incentive, as it is in the lease agreement.

Mix and match as you'd like.

Or 4

The landlord just my be using a standardized Rental Agreement he purchased/downloaded.

And doesn't really care if you have firearms, it was just happens to be in the forms he bought.

When in doubt, ask the landlord.

xquercus
November 30, 2011, 05:51 PM
Having been involved with rental property in a couple states this is something that I've never seen come up in a rental agreement. While I'm not an attorney, I'd feel comfortable (from a legal standpoint) adding a clause to my rental agreement prohibiting firearms. I believe it would be enforceable -- at least in the states I have experience with (relatively gun rights friendly states too). That being said, I don't think I've ever seen a rental agreement which prohibits firearms.

More common is a hazardous materials clause which might become an issue if you do any reloading.

csspecs
November 30, 2011, 06:03 PM
Ammo is fairly safe. Its less dangerous then hair spray and other aerosols, and from the prospective of a fires is MUCH less dangerous then foam rubber products and many synthetic fabrics.

For an insurance prospective old tube tvs and lithium ion batteries are ticking time bombs. Ammo is very hard to get burning.
Large amounts of primers and powder could be a slight safety issue. However DOT being picky as crap, still allows them to be shipped.

So a restriction from having firearms is normally a lawyer projecting their political views into an agreement they are being paid to write.

Ash_J_Williams
November 30, 2011, 06:39 PM
No, it isn't - gun owners are not a protected "class"

As far as I know, you don't have to be a protected class to be discriminated against. Discrimination can be based on literally anything, and you can tell me that it's not legally defined, but plenty of lawsuits have said otherwise. Discrimination is discrimination.

Ash_J_Williams
November 30, 2011, 06:40 PM
When in doubt, ask the landlord.

As others have said, what they don't know...

I wouldn't be jumping on the opportunity to make them aware that I'd like to have firearms on their property.

Birch Knoll
November 30, 2011, 08:00 PM
They also don't have the right to DENY someone on the grounds of them being a gun owner, if I'm not mistaken. Discrimination?

Oh, you are certainly mistaken. "Gun owner" is not a protected class, so there can be no (illegal) discrimination.

Birch Knoll
November 30, 2011, 08:04 PM
As far as I know, you don't have to be a protected class to be discriminated against.

'As far as you know" is the operative phrase here. No, you don't have to be a protected class to be discriminated against, but only discrimination against protected classes is illegal.

Zoogster
November 30, 2011, 08:18 PM
I recall several public housing apartment buildings have had their gun bans overturned after the Heller and McDonald case.
And some public housing is private owned.

The government cannot contribute to discrimination of a Constitutional right, which firearm ownership has been declared, again, post Heller and McDonald.


Similarly though having nothing to do with the Constitution and rights, colleges and universities must teach a certain curriculum if they take any students receiving financial assistance or other government money. They lose their ability to teach whatever it is that they want to.



As for private dwellings, well there certainly could be valid legal challenges.
I think a lease stating a person had to abide by certain religious conduct, or not exercise their first amendment by refraining from talking about prohibited subjects, would be found unenforceable if taken to court.
The government still has to enforce the terms if it comes down to it, and the government is forbidden from doing so.
In some states it is more difficult to kick out tenants than in others. Some require a formal eviction process that can take months. Although on private property they can typically kick someone out if they don't want them living there, irregardless of the reason. They would simply have a hard time recouping certain compensation in court if the landlord claimed losses if the reason they kicked them out was for exercising a Constitutionally protected right.

Frank Ettin
November 30, 2011, 10:05 PM
As far as I know, you don't have to be a protected class to be discriminated against. Discrimination can be based on literally anything,..... Discrimination is discrimination.But in general, discrimination is entirely lawful. For a more complete explanation see post 28.

...Discrimination can be based on literally anything, and you can tell me that it's not legally defined, but plenty of lawsuits have said otherwise....This is not true. What evidence do you have to support your claim here? Can you cite lawsuits in which someone successfully sued a private person or entity for discrimination on some basis not expressly prohibited by statute?

...They would simply have a hard time recouping certain compensation in court if the landlord claimed losses if the reason they kicked them out was for exercising a Constitutionally protected right. Really? Why? Citations? On the other hand, SCOTUS said (Edmonson v. Leesville Concrete Company, Inc, 500 U.S. 614 (U. S. Supreme Court, 1991)):...constitutional guarantees of individual liberty and equal protection do not apply to the actions of private entities. ... One great object of the Constitution is to permit citizens to structure their private relations as they choose subject only to the constraints of statutory or decisional law. ....

gofastman
November 30, 2011, 10:16 PM
I've owned my own home for the last ten years, but am relocating to Bethesda, MD. I will rent for a few years, as I'm not sure I will like it there.

I was wondering if apartment complexes can LEGALLY ban firearms from the apartments. I haven't seen the lease yet, but I'm thinking in advance. I have to buy a safe now. I had a secret room in my old house and didn't have to worry. If the management sees a safe being delivered, they will know I have guns.

Anyone know for sure? I saw old threads on this, but I'm not sure if things have changed.
a landlord may NOT ban guns from an appartment in MN.

njlawman
December 1, 2011, 08:39 AM
Bobson - not correct. As ttolhurst points out you are violating private agreement. Not the law - there would be zero legal ramifications, unless they called the polic on you for disorderly conduct if you failed to leave due to the agreed upon policy. There would be no gun violations.

jmstevens2
December 1, 2011, 09:30 AM
I doubt owning a gun(s) would make any difference on renter/homeowner's insurance, it doesn't affect mine. As far a not allowing flammables I guess one couldn't fry anything in oil then. I suspect a lot of your clothes or newspapers are flammable. Flammables is a pretty vague classification. Why do you wish your lease stated no guns?
Actually it is not vague at all. It is defined in the fire code. Cooking oils are combustible, not flammable. It has to do with flash point. Flammable liquids are restricted in multi families by the fire code. The apartment complex has no choice there. The mention in the lease is to inform you not to restrict you. You are already restricted by law. Clothing also is not flammable it is also combustible.

Frank Ettin
December 1, 2011, 02:48 PM
...you are violating private agreement. Not the law - there would be zero legal ramifications,...It's not entirely correct to say that there would be no legal ramifications. True, there would only very rarely be any criminal law issues. BUT if you violate any terms of a lease you are subject to eviction, which means --

If you don't leave when asked, the landlord will go to court to get an eviction order.


If the landlord goes to court for an eviction order and wins, you will probably have a judgment against you for at least the costs incurred by the landlord in getting that order.


If after the landlord gets an eviction order you fail to pay the judgment and return the apartment or house you leased, the landlord can have the sheriff seize the property and assets sufficient to satisfy the judgment (e. g., you wages can be garnished).


I believe that an eviction will be noted on your credit report and may affect your ability to (1) rent another place to live; (2) get a loan; and (3) get a job.

brickeyee
December 1, 2011, 03:48 PM
In general, discrimination is perfectly legal.

The only discrimination that is illegal is against the 'protected classes' that have been identified by law.

Race, religion, national origin, gender, marital status, etc.

Any other group is fair game.

xquercus
December 1, 2011, 04:05 PM
I think a lease stating a person had to abide by certain religious conduct, or not exercise their first amendment by refraining from talking about prohibited subjects, would be found unenforceable if taken to court.

In the first case, you are absolutely correct. Though this goes back to the civil rights act of 1968 -- not the constitution as some might claim. The '68 act is the foundation of fair housing law in the United States and any landlord who expects to stay in business knows that, as far as housing is concerned, discrimination based on religion is prohibited. Catholics, Christian Scientists, atheists, etc. are all protected classes. On the other hand, I don't know of anything which would prevent a rental agreement from preventing the discussion of a certain topic. One probably can't prevent discussion of a religious topic, as that would likely violate the '68 civil rights act. On the other hand, I suspect a rental agreement which prohibited the discussion of firearms would be entirely enforceable. There is no protection of speech when it comes to private party contracts. A renter always has the option of simply not agreeing and finding other housing. Protection of speech only restricts political entities (the government) and agents thereof.

My rental agreements prohibit smoking. I've seen other agreements which prohibit the consumption of alcohol. Smokers and drinkers are not protected classes so this type of discrimination is perfectly legal. Likewise, in the states I'm familiar with, gun owners are not a protected class. As such, I believe prohibiting firearms by rental agreement would be enforceable.

Ash_J_Williams
December 1, 2011, 08:39 PM
'As far as you know" is the operative phrase here. No, you don't have to be a protected class to be discriminated against, but only discrimination against protected classes is illegal.

"As far as I know," IE, "I'm not a lawyer." Yourself?

Frank Ettin
December 1, 2011, 08:43 PM
'As far as you know" is the operative phrase here. No, you don't have to be a protected class to be discriminated against, but only discrimination against protected classes is illegal.
"As far as I know," IE, "I'm not a lawyer." Yourself? I don't know about ttolhurst, but I am a lawyer. Ttolhurst is correct.

Birch Knoll
December 1, 2011, 08:51 PM
"As far as I know," IE, "I'm not a lawyer." Yourself?

Nope. Does that make me wrong?

Ash_J_Williams
December 1, 2011, 09:15 PM
I don't know about ttolhurst, but I am a lawyer. Ttolhurst is correct.

Then I stand corrected. That doesn't mean that someone couldn't sue for discrimination and win.

Birch Knoll
December 1, 2011, 09:28 PM
It's certainly true you can bring a lawsuit. Anybody can, for any reason. All you have to do is fill out the paperwork and pay a fee. If you wanna win, though, it helps to have the law on your side. "It's unfair!" isn't a winning argument.

Somebody once said that in every lawsuit there are four parties: The plaintiff, the defendant, the plaintiff's attorney and the defendant's attorney. In every lawsuit, there are two winners and two losers...

The lawyers never lose.

Frank Ettin
December 1, 2011, 09:35 PM
I don't know about ttolhurst, but I am a lawyer. Ttolhurst is correct.
Then I stand corrected. That doesn't mean that someone couldn't sue for discrimination and win. Actually it essentially means that he will not win unless --

The plaintiff was discriminated against on a basis that is specifically prohibited by statute (e. g., race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, etc.).


The defendant is a person or entity expressly prohibited from discriminating on such grounds (e. g., employer, business open to the public, landlord, etc.).


The defendant doesn't have some recognized defense to the charge of discrimination. For example, an employer may discriminate on the basis of gender when gender is a bona fide occupational requirement (thus it's been ruled that a hospital may refuse to hire male nurses to work in maternity wards). Also, don't bother trying to join the Knight of Columbus unless you're a practicing Catholic.

The bottom line is that it is generally perfectly legal to discriminate unless it's been specifically made illegal.

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