Gun Rights in Apartments?

Gun Rights in Apartments?

This is a discussion on Gun Rights in Apartments? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hello all, I just moved into a new apartment complex and as I was moving my furniture in, saw that the building is posted with ...

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Thread: Gun Rights in Apartments?

  1. #1
    Member Array ellerblr's Avatar
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    Gun Rights in Apartments?

    Hello all,

    I just moved into a new apartment complex and as I was moving my furniture in, saw that the building is posted with a sign that we all hate seeing. Let me describe it for you in case your imagination isn't working.

    Black silhouette of a revolver. Red circle with a slash. Text reads as follows:

    Notice. It is illegal to carry a firearm, deadly weapon, or dangerous ordinance anywhere on these premises. Unless otherwise authorized by law, no person shall knowingly possess, have under the person's control, convey, or attempt to convey a deadly weapon or dangerous ordinance onto these premises. Posted pursuant to the Ohio Revised Code.

    Question: Can the landlord legally post apartments as off limits for firearms? What effect does this really have. What rights and options as a tenant do I have when it comes to gun ownership and possession in this situation. It should be noted that nowhere on my lease or rules pamphlet does it say anything about firearms or weapons.

    Additional Facts: The signs can be found inside the stairwells connecting the outside world to the front door of my apartment. Signs are also posted in the laundromat, but not in the main office. In addition, the apartments in the complex with doors directly connected to the outside are not posted. It confuses me.

    Suggestions, comments, questions are all welcomed. I've tried to find answers to this on some of the online resources, but haven't been able to find an answer. I'm also considering consulting with a lawyer for my legal options.


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ellerblr View Post
    ... saw that the building is posted with a sign that we all hate seeing.
    It's your home. Someone else may own the property, but it's your home. As such, signage doesn't mean very much at all. Check with your local freebie landlord/tenant relations office, for details, as they'll have the details that vary by state and apply directly to you and your commitments as a tenant. If there's not one in town, there might well be one on campus at a nearby university or college, given that lots of students rent.

    However, you do realize what a lease is: it's a contract, entered into voluntarily, in which you agree to abide by certain stipulations in exchange for the apartment. If there's a clause in there about firearms and/or weapons in general being verboten, then your signature indicates you agree to those terms. Don't want to do so under those conditions? You're free to go elsewhere. Get caught having broken those commitments? You've broken the contract's terms and the landlord's free to evict you.

    So far as I know, that's about it.
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  3. #3
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    Get to know your state's law and contact an attorney if that is not clear enough.

    I am neither an expert on Ohio's laws, nor am I an attorney, but apartment complexes can be funny things. Technically they have the right to dictate what they will/will not allow on THEIR property. You are just borrowing it from them. If they can ban pets, prohibit you from painting the walls, tell you what kind of things you can have on your patio and dictate what you can do with their doors, closets and bathrooms, well, then they can probably tell you they don't want firearms either. If that's the case, you may have to look for a new apartment.

    Again, look into Ohio state law and pick apart your leasing agreement. I would wait to talk to your landlord until you've at least consulted a lawyer or gotten a clear interpretation of the law because alerting the landlord to the fact that you are a gun owner could be bad for your living arrangement.

    Good luck.

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    "Unless otherwise authorized by law" would be good enough for me!

    But you might want to check with an attorney who is willing to represent you!
    ALWAYS carry! - NEVER tell!

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    Member Array Go Glock's Avatar
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    Assuming the law does not permit you to carry and you are not able to get out of your lease...don't ask don't tell, if it were me that is.
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    VIP Member Array ExSoldier's Avatar
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    Then there's something else to consider. Back during the Clinton era, any apt complex that got Federal funding was able to ban firearms on the property and that was held as legal in the courts. Private apts have had mixed results in the legality of enforcing such regs in court as it usually goes by regional attitudes.

    Ohio is a place where RKBA was hard fought for many years. The courts there are stacked with liberal "non-originalist" justices, I suspect you might be SOL. Also when you're checking the laws under breach of contract, make sure that material breach doesn't allow that monetary damages in the amount of the full term of the lease be collected as punitive damages in case of full breach. The argument might be that if you're evicted under a breach you committed and refuse to comply under "specific performance" as a remedy, the complex will be out "X" amount of dollars until they can find a new tenant who will follow the rules. That might gain the property OWNER some cash as well as sending a notice of deterrence to the community. I'll bet the judges would go for the idea.

    I'm not a lawyer, but besides staying in a Holiday Inn, I got a B+ in contracts when I did go to law school.

    In most places a weapon can be used in self defense while you're renting a hotel room and that room is considered a "domocile" even if only for a single night. However a hotel room doesn't require a search warrant and a clerk can give admittance with a pass key. You still need a warrant for an apt. Go figure.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Array kavity's Avatar
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    Unless otherwise authorized by law
    Stopped reading there. Have fun with your guns in your new apartment.

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    Senior Member Array DPro.40's Avatar
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    They Can Post all They Want

    You have entered into a contract for the duration of the lease. Their domain then stops at the door. The area you leased is yours. Once the lease is signed they cannot enter with out your permission unless there is a loss in your apartment affecting others ..ie water pipe break, fire. That should tell you something. You said the posted sign said those legally authorized. A CCW permit makes that legal. I would not inform anyone in the complex as first of all, its none of their business and second of all, do you really want to have to go through a bunch of crap by some anti gunners that they don't have the right to impose in the first place. Is the complex owned by Hillary. Sometimes silence is golden. Doesnt even sound like a legal sign.
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    Member Array Skysoldier's Avatar
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    I have the same problem but its my Moms place she lives in a retirement home which has individual apartments and the tenents live on their own but you have to be buzzed thru the door . My Mom (She is 82) says the hell with them its her apt but I usuall just lock the Glock in the trunk when I vist. Ohios laws still need a lot of work

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    Member Array ultralite's Avatar
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    I agree, If you have a ccw you are authorized BY LAW to carry concealed. Even if your not, you have the right to defend yourself in your home. Don't ask don't tell.
    The world is filled with violence. Because criminals carry guns, we decent law-abiding cititzens should also have guns.Otherwise they will win and the decent people will loss.''
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    Quote Originally Posted by DPro.40 View Post
    You have entered into a contract for the duration of the lease. Their domain then stops at the door. The area you leased is yours. Once the lease is signed they cannot enter with out your permission unless there is a loss in your apartment affecting others ..ie water pipe break, fire.
    As much as I would like to agree with that statement I am aware of at least one apartment complex in Florida that believes otherwise. A few years ago when my daughter was in college in Tallahassee she lived in an apartment close to the school. Upon returning home from classes on a few occasions she discovered her apartment had been entered. Often there were tell-tale signs such as the toilet seat left up, the TV remote moved, and fast food wrappers (not hers) in the kitchen trash can. When she spoke with the apartment manager regarding the incidents she was told that apartment maintenance personnel were authorized to enter any apartment to conduct inspections at any time during normal daytime hours. Their response to the conditions above was that she must have forgotten that SHE had left the apartment in that condition. Needless to say she is now very happy to be living in her own home.
    Last edited by gimpy; August 27th, 2007 at 02:36 PM.
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  12. #12
    Member Array FknRa's Avatar
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    The wonderful document called the Bill of Rights, authorizes you by law to carry within your own home. I suggest sending a letter to management explaining that they cannot legally prohibit you from carrying in your own appartment. The office yes, your appt, no.

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    As with all statements I've made and All that I will make, please check your local laws to verify accuracy. (and if i'm wrong let me know as I like to be right in the future) After all I'm just some goofball posting on an internet forum.

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    Ex Member Array fludy12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gimpy View Post
    As much as I would like to agree with that statement I am aware of at least one apartment complex in Florida that believes otherwise. A few years ago when my daughter was in college in Tallahassee she lived in an apartment close to the school. Upon returning home from classes on a few occasions she discovered her apartment had been entered. Often there were tell-tale signs such as the toilet seat left up, the TV remote moved, and fast food wrappers (not hers) in the kitchen trash can. When she spoke with the apartment manager regarding the incidents she was told that apartment maintenance personnel were authorized to enter any apartment to conduct inspections at any time during normal daytime hours. Their response to the conditions above was that she must have forgotten that SHE had left the apartment in that condition. Needless to say she is now very happy to be living in her own home.
    VERY VERY TRUE!

    And it's not a state-by-state case, either. It's in the terms of the lease so people should FULLY read the entire thing.

    Case in point: I lived in an apartment complex in Texas and we got busted for an "unauthorized" cat. When I asked the management about it, they said the maintenance man reported it. Maintenance could enter any apartment that was unoccupied at any time for routine things, such as replacing the AC filter, spraying for bugs, etc. Really sucks to know someone can have free access to your place when you're at work. Imagine coming home to find someone in there. I'm not even sure those guys wore uniforms so they'd be staring up the business end of a pistol pronto!

  14. #14
    Member Array Reloader's Avatar
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    The federal funding prohibition was overturned as unconstitutional by the 5th? court of appeals in New Orleans several years ago. it was a San Antonio Housing Authority case. i'll try to find it and post it.
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    Senior Member Array Fragman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thumper View Post
    "Unless otherwise authorized by law" would be good enough for me!

    But you might want to check with an attorney who is willing to represent you!
    What he said....

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