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Thread: Apartment Rule I didn't see in the contract.

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    Regular Member sultan62's Avatar
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    Apartment Rule I didn't see in the contract.

    So somehow, when signing my apartment lease I managed to miss the following rule:

    You agree Not To:
    ...
    Discharge, display, or in any way use in or around the Home or Common Areas any firearm or weapon of any type, including but not limited to air rifles and pistols, bows and arrows, knives (other than ones being used for cooking or eating food), swords, etc.
    I found this out when I returned former residents' mail to the property manager (PM), and was OCing while talking to her. Two other people were in the office, one of whom held a CHP and asked me what I was carrying. Both he and the PM insisted that OC
    was illegal in NC, and I couldn't carry anywhere in public or restaurants, etc. I remained very courteous the entire time, stating that I have done the research, talked to LEOs, and I was very respectful while doing so. I looked back over my copy of the lease, and much to my chagrin, discovered this tiny rule I had missed in the nine page document.

    My question is this: As best as I read the rule, this does not keep me from actually having weapons in the apartment-is this accurate? I will have to be careful transporting my firearms to my vehicle, but other than that it should be no problem. Also, as I see it, guns in their cases are not being displayed and therefore that is also not a rules violation.

    Also, I heard somewhere that Castle Doctrine in NC meant that this entire rule would be invalid, but was unable to find anything like this in statutes. Oh, and I don't have the money to take this to court to challenge constitutionality. Though I'd be willing to give the time if some organization wanted to pick up the tab.

    P.S. I know no one is offering legal advice, just looking for opinions.
    Last edited by sultan62; 08-02-2010 at 06:02 PM. Reason: I thought I should make my question a question, and to add P.S.

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    Seems to me that the property owners are just covering their butts in case some dub decides to go target shooting in the common yard. If they haven't kicked you out after open carrying in the main lobby, I doubt they will for responsibly owning firearms in the apartment.
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    A very important question: Is the part you quoted in the actual lease, or is it in the "rules" that are simply included in the package with the lease?

    The reason for asking follows: if it is in the lease, you have agreed to forgoe the rights to firearms and the clause is probably binding udner the principal of freedom of contract.

    If it is not in the lease, but only in the community "rules", then you could likely survive an eviction proceeding by arguing that such a rule trampeled on your fundamental rights as the lessee of real property.

    Either way, I would simply go about my business, but would not OC or flaunt my gun ownership anywhere on complex.

    If you really want to be in their face about it, "using" or "displaying" a firearm as used in most NC statutes, usually refers to something other than simply carrying in a holster. (the Cary ordinance is an exception).

    (IANAL, but I am a licensed real estate agent in NC, and work in property management).

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    Regular Member sultan62's Avatar
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    Yes, it's in the lease.

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sultan62 View Post
    Yes, it's in the lease.

    Download a copy of the "NC Gun Rights" flyer, and leave it at the office for them to show them that OC is perfectly legal...

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/32540634/NC-OC-Flyer


    Then start looking for somewhere else to live. There is NO reason to support a business that infringes on your Constitutional Rights.
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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sultan62 View Post
    Yes, it's in the lease.
    You need the opinion of a good real estate attorney well versed in gun laws.

    Your home/apartment is your domicile and I doubt that they can so restrict inside your apt. - understand that a lease can say anything, but that does not make it enforceable/legal. IANAL, but do have extensive, prior RE experience in NC.

    I too would suggest that becoming more private might be to your benefit.
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    Regular Member sultan62's Avatar
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    Download a copy of the "NC Gun Rights" flyer, and leave it at the office for them to show them that OC is perfectly legal...
    Funny you should say that, prior to this experience I had viewed it but not actually printed any copies. After that experience, I printed out 20 copies. I'm not going to seek out the PM to give her the pamphlet simply because I don't want to antagonize the situation, though I will give her a copy if I end up talking to her about it in the future.

    Then start looking for somewhere else to live. There is NO reason to support a business that infringes on your Constitutional Rights.
    I'd agree, but I just moved in yesterday, and living somewhere else isn't an option. However, I'll only be here 5 months.

    You need the opinion of a good real estate attorney well versed in gun laws.

    Your home/apartment is your domicile and I doubt that they can so restrict inside your apt. - understand that a lease can say anything, but that does not make it enforceable/legal. IANAL, but do have extensive, prior RE experience in NC.

    I too would suggest that becoming more private might be to your benefit.
    As I am a student, I can't afford to pay for a legal consultation. Also, what do you mean by 'becoming more private'?

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sultan62 View Post
    Also, what do you mean by 'becoming more private'?
    I am a strong advocate of OC, but there are times and places that it can be to your benefit to be a bit circumspect in your advocacy.

    More private = CC if you can while in common areas, office etc. or least pleasant, leave it in your apt or vehicle, whichever works best.

    Common area rules can be and frequently are different from those effecting the interior of your apt. The law will view them differently too.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Regular Member sultan62's Avatar
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    Thanks for the clarification.

    CC is not an option as I don't have a CHP. I haven't yet decided if I want to get one. I am leaning towards it, but that is a decision that cannot be undone, and I've got a few problems with the way CC is regulated.

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sultan62 View Post
    CC is not an option as I don't have a CHP. I haven't yet decided if I want to get one. I am leaning towards it, but that is a decision that cannot be undone, and I've got a few problems with the way CC is regulated.

    If you are eligible for a CHP, get it. It makes travel MUCH easier, and the NC permit is one of the most recognized in the US (NC plus 33 other states!). If you are 21 or over, and have a clean record, get the permit. There isn't really any reason not to, especially if you travel frequently, or travel out of state...
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

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    Regular Member sultan62's Avatar
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    As paranoid as it may sound, I don't want to give my fingerprints to the government. I am completely eligible for a CHP. Also, I don't want to have to tell a cop I have one every time I talk to one. I'm not completely against it, I just want to be sure before I decide.

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    From talking with law professors, I am understanding that for a part of a contract to be valid, it must be both legal and constitutional. I would seriously doubt that the provision you quoted in the lease would stand up in court.

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    Regular Member sultan62's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mekender View Post
    From talking with law professors, I am understanding that for a part of a contract to be valid, it must be both legal and constitutional. I would seriously doubt that the provision you quoted in the lease would stand up in court.
    I would agree, as I think most here would. However, the generally accepted definition of 'constitutional' appears to have no relation to the constitution whatsoever.

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    State Researcher lockman's Avatar
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    Display?

    Quote Originally Posted by sultan62 View Post
    I would agree, as I think most here would. However, the generally accepted definition of 'constitutional' appears to have no relation to the constitution whatsoever.
    I would question the use of the word "display". Many statutes in various states differentiate between carry and display. In many states, carry of a firearms in a holster is not a "display" of the firearm unless you remove it or make it presence known by some action for the purpose of intimidation. I am sure NC members can bring us up to speed on that.
    Last edited by lockman; 08-03-2010 at 12:57 PM. Reason: Bad spelling

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lockman View Post
    I would question the use of the word "display". Many statutes in various states differentiate between carry and display. In many states, carry of a firearms in a holster is not a "display" of the firearm unless you remove it or make it presence known by some action for the purpose of intimidation. I am sure NC members can bring us up to speed on that.

    North Carolina does not have a formal, statutory "brandishing" law, so the subtle differences between "carry" and "display" are really a matter for the courts to decide case-by-case. If someone calls the police because you are carrying a handgun in a proper holster, they will come and investigate. Depending on the particular LEO, the look and demeanor of the person carrying, and the level of insane ravings of the original 911 caller, it can go a variety of ways...

    "Going Armed to the Terror of the People" is a common law violation we have here in NC, and it is VERY specific as to what is required for this charge to be valid. However, some LEO's who are anti-carry, or racist, or for any number of other reasons, throw this charge around as a threat to try and discourage people from OCing. However, OC in a proper holster DOES NOT meet the requirements of "GAttTotP". But that doesn't stop some unscrupulous (or uneducated) LEOs from charging you with it, and "letting the courts sort it out".

    All that said, it is VERY rare for someone to be charged with GAttTotP if all they are doing is legally OCing. Usually this charge is an "add on" for someone who is engaged in another firearms-related crime, like armed robbery, or assault, or violating a restraining order, and is waiving a gun around. And the few times that an OCer has been charged by an LEO who just doesn't like the idea of OC, the courts summarily throw out the charge...

    Personally, I thing the common law violation of GAttTotP is archaic, outdated, and FAR to open to interpretation, and puts OCers, LEOs and the Courts into a situation where the judgement of an LEO can be too easily abused. We need to enact a statutory "Brandishing" law like they have in VA, which is VERY plain and clear, so that things like OC are obviously NOT open to interpretation.

    There is little case law regarding the meaning of the word "display" in NC. In some states (like MD) there are actually laws, statutes, and local ordinances that specifically define "display" as being the same as "carrying"--meaning if someone can identify an object as a firearm--no matter how it's being carried--then it constituted "display", and is prohibited.

    But NC has no such laws.

    Your lease seems to say that they don't want to see your guns--in ANY manner--out in public where they can be identified as a gun. So, either you need to get a CHP and just cover it when you are walking to and from your vehicle, or get a portable gun safe for your car, and move the firearm in and out of the vehicle in the case, and then deal with it once off their property and out of their sight.

    Your only two options are to move, or to volunteer to become a "test case" on the validity of the lease, but that would entail a LOT of time, money, and lawyers. If you can't afford to move, you probably can't afford to be a "test case"...

    Be discreet. Buy a portable gun safe for your car. Deal with it.

    I learned a LONG time ago, that the FINE PRINT is where all the really nasty pain-in-the-a$$ stuff is hidden in contracts, so you HAVE to read the whole thing before you sign it. Hopefully this will be an educational experience for you, and you will remember, in the future, to NEVER sign something you haven't read COMPLETELY...

    Good luck, and be safe.
    Last edited by Dreamer; 08-03-2010 at 01:28 PM.
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
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    Regular Member sultan62's Avatar
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    It certainly is an educational experience, and it seems to be a fairly cheap price for the lesson learned. (Provided of course there are no more repercussions and I am able to continue storing the firearms.) I thought I had read the whole thing, but somehow I must've missed that part. It is possible that I read it and was ok with it because I believe I signed the lease before I actually started OCing, but I seriously doubt this. Typically I'm against any kind of rule about firearms. (Maybe I would be ok with one that required you to have one. )

    It seems that it will work out alright, so I guess we'll see what, if anything happens from here on out. I figure it's over if I haven't heard anything by the middle of next week.

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    Regular Member elixin77's Avatar
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    I was in a similar situation myself not too long ago. Basically, if it's in the lease, and you signed it, then you agree to follow all the lease items. Sucks I know.

    You have q couple options: talk to the pm and see what he says, move the gun concealed to your vehicle in a case; or keep ocing and maybe get in trouble.

    Best of luck
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    can't someone conceal carry on their own property with out a licence? if so doesn't that mean that since you signed a contract and live on the premises of this complex, then you can legally carry concealed on the entire property of the complex without a license?

  19. #19
    mattwestm
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    I live in an apartment and I am very discreet when I go to the range. I make sure everything is covered up while I am loading up the car. I don't want people to know I'm a gun owner. I'm not home most of the day and they could break in and steal my guns, unfortunately I wouldn't be home to stop them. I've never gone into my leasing office OCing either. The good thing is my lease has no rules against firearms. A lot of student apartments around here forbid firearms. I guess they assume that most of their college age residents are always drunk and partying and would end up shooting things.

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    Regular Member sultan62's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aosailor View Post
    can't someone conceal carry on their own property with out a licence? if so doesn't that mean that since you signed a contract and live on the premises of this complex, then you can legally carry concealed on the entire property of the complex without a license?
    That was my theory, and what I went with. I've got my CHP now, so it's even less of an issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by mattwestm View Post
    SNIP
    I live in an apartment and I am very discreet when I go to the range. I make sure everything is covered up while I am loading up the car. I don't want people to know I'm a gun owner.
    What about long guns?
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    Wow, this one got resurrected! haha

    I specifically looked for such a clause when signing my leases here around UNCC and thankfully both places I've lived had no such clauses. However, most that are within walking distance of the campus, but still private property, do have clauses forbidding (possession of) firearms. I questioned the legality of such a clause when a Pro2A friend was considering moving into one of those places. I wasn't able to find any evidence that the clause was illegal, but I'm not the best legal researcher.

    As for CC'ing on complex property outside of your house I'm going to bet the answer is "NO!" Because you signed a lease for you apartment, not to lease the entire property. You have no right to enter any other apartment, the clubhouse(if closed), the maintenance garage etc. without permission. If you leased a house with a large plot of land then sure you could CC anywhere on that land w/o permit.

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sultan62 View Post
    As paranoid as it may sound, I don't want to give my fingerprints to the government. I am completely eligible for a CHP. Also, I don't want to have to tell a cop I have one every time I talk to one. I'm not completely against it, I just want to be sure before I decide.
    I've gotten to the point where I don't care anymore about fingerprints--there are so many copies of my prints floating around with various state and federal agencies from jobs I've had in the past that one more set isn't going to make any difference for me... Plus I was adopted as an infant, so the state where I was born already has an "original" set, and I'm sure they all get forwarded to the Feds anyway, seeing as how the FBI's fingerprint lab is in my native home state...

    All that aside, the fact is that if you were born in a hospital in the US, Canada, Mexico, the UK, and most other industrialized nations, anytime after 1984, the DOD and DOJ most likely ALREADY have your DNA, and have sequenced and databased it. Like some stupid fingerprints are REALLY going to matter...

    In other words, if you are 26 years old or younger, or have had bloodwork done in a hospital in the last 10 years or so, they've probably got your DNA.

    Tracked, traced, and databased...

    When I was talking about this five years ago, people said I was paranoid and making it up. Since then, there have been successful lawsuits in TX and FL where hospitals admitted they took the samples and turned them over to the DOD. Articles have appeared in mainstream newspapers--Autsin Statesman, the London Times, etc. The excuse is that the DOD is using these blood samples for "medical research"...

    I bet... At the Joseph Mengele Memorial Research Facility, no doubt...


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    Last edited by Dreamer; 12-06-2010 at 01:37 PM.
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    Regular Member sultan62's Avatar
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    Well then they've damn sure got mine. I finally decided there was no way I wasn't already on one list or another, so what did fingerprints really matter?

    There's also a decent chance I'll go into public service, so I'd have to give a set anyway.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sultan62 View Post
    Yes, it's in the lease.
    Is the word "display" defined and does this definition EXCLUDE a legally holstered firearm carried openly OR by the lease are they in effect "MANDATING" concealed carry on that property.

    Also, since they refer to "INSIDE THE HOME" by strict reading you would be prohibited from storing your firearms within a locked, glass and wood type storage/DISPLAY case!---- sure seems like it SHOULD be unenforceable if it actually not!

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    Regular Member sultan62's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSparky View Post
    Is the word "display" defined and does this definition EXCLUDE a legally holstered firearm carried openly OR by the lease are they in effect "MANDATING" concealed carry on that property.

    Also, since they refer to "INSIDE THE HOME" by strict reading you would be prohibited from storing your firearms within a locked, glass and wood type storage/DISPLAY case!---- sure seems like it SHOULD be unenforceable if it actually not!
    Display is not defined, but I'm moving out at the end of the month if I can find a subleaser to take my lease over. It's jut not worth the trouble.
    "They don't give a damn about any trumpet playing band
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