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Thread: Apartment Weapon Ban Legal?

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    Regular Member Mjolnirknight's Avatar
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    Apartment Weapon Ban Legal?

    Seeing how supportive everyone was on getting the local ordinance against possession of a firearm in a city park in Ashland, I am hoping to get some advice on a ban on weapons in an apartment building. I am 18, and enjoy my Open Carry rights as much as the next guy (just in case those of you who are going to say it's 21 to carry, the age for OC in KY is 18 without permit). I have carried my handgun almost ALWAYS, after being attacked and threatened with a weapon. This includes my father's apartment residence, the Henry Clay House. Apparently, the residents of the building got spooked and told the manager. She proceeded to inform my father that I was no longer allowed to carry my handgun on the property, and posted a large sign that reads "WEAPONS PROHIBITED ON PREMISES". Ladies and gentlemen, we're not just talking banning carry, we're talking about ANY weapons are not allowed. Period. She says she will call the police if someone violates the sign. The way I understand, a rental agreement is a binding contract that makes the apartment the official residence of the renter. And considering that nobody, not even the government can prohibit you from owning a firearm in your residence (unless you're a felon), what gives this manager the right to ban firearms in apartments? I have heard also that there are specific state statutes AGAINST banning firearms in apartments, but I do not know if this applies to Kentucky. Any research or advice, especially cited law codes, would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks.

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    http://www.kentuckystatepolice.org/conceal.htm
    Quote Originally Posted by EXCERPT
    In addition, Kentucky law does not prohibit the owners of private premises from excluding persons carrying firearms. Failure to vacate private premises when asked to do so could result in a criminal trespass charge.
    Unfortunately a proper answer to your question requires a search of the entire Kentucky statutes, that you have better access to than I. Note that this opinion by the state police says "owners of ... premises" and that is precisely what your landlord is or is agent for.

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    The way I understand things, the landlord can make up any rules that they want to if they're the property owners. What I think it would boil down to is if it's in the written lease agreement. Sounds like both parties would have to abide by the lease agreement. Try doing some research on here, you might find other threads helpful.

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    This is what I think about this matter...

    Here are a couple of quotes taken directly from the McD. v Chi. ruling:
    “ ‘[a]ll men, without the distinction of color, have the right to keep arms to defend their homes, families or themselves.’ ”

    “the Second Amendment protects a personal right to keep and bear arms for lawful purposes, most notably for self-defense within the home.”

    “‘We have several times alluded to the fact that the Constitution of the United States, guaranties to every citizen the right to keep and bear arms. . . . All men, without the distinction of color, have the right to keep arms to defend their homes, families, or themselves.’

    “We are glad to learn that [the] Commissioner for this State . . . has given freedmen to understand that they have as good a right to keep fire arms as any other citizens. The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land, and we will be governed by that at present.”

    “the Court answered the question whether a federal enclave’s “prohibition on the possession of usable handguns in the home violates the Second Amendment to the Constitution.” The question we should be answering in this case is whether the Constitution “guarantees individuals a fundamental right,” enforceable against the States, “to possess a functional, personal firearm, including a handgun, within the home.” Complaint ¶34, App. 23.

    As you can read, it is clear that the court ruled specifically that it is a fundamental right provided by the Constitution which is the "supreme law of the land".

    Being that the Supreme Court ruled the right to own and bear a firearm Specifically in the home, is a fundamental right, any prohibition of that right is void. If you think about it, a fundamental right is a foundation of human happiness and existence. Therefore, a landlord banning the right to protect oneself with a firearm in the home is the same as a landlord banning Sex in your home or eating chocolate.. It’s just not going to fly..

    Furthermore, if landlords did have the right to ban fundamental rights (i.e. firearms in Your home), then all landlords throughout the country could effectively create their own system of government in their properties. Especially sense 31.7% of the American population rents their homes. That is roughly 126 million citizens who would be subject to the restriction of their fundamental rights simply because they cannot afford to purchase their own home.

    Now, I understand not all landlords are going to ban firearms, however, there has to be some basic rights provided to renting citizens: these are fundamental rights. Being that the right to protect yourself and your family in your home is a fundamental right, as described by the Supreme Court, this right is extended to ALL citizens. Even to ones that cannot afford to purchase a home.

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    I am really curious as to what the police would do if called. Carrying a weapon on a property that has posted a no guns sign is not a crime in itself in KY. The only crime that could occur is a criminal trespass charge. That can only happen if she specifically at that moment asks you to leave and you refuse.

    On the other hand, because your father is leasing the apartment, therefore effectively making it his domicile. I think it most likely be a violation of the lease unless she specifically is given powers of regulating weapons and/or guests that the person renting invites over. (I seriously doubt it does) If your father came out and told the police you were an invited guest along with your weapon in his apartment....it would present them with quite a quagmire.

    Check your lease very throughly, it is the effective bible for this situation. This was a condition I made very clear upon moving into our apartment and signing our lease.

    Then again, not a lawyer so don't take my word for it.

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    There was not mention of disallowing firearms in the original rental agreement, and seeing as my father owns a handgun (which is what I'm actually currently carrying), I don't know exactly what to do, other than file a lawsuit for breach of contract, unless I can get some actual Kentucky laws to back up my case. I've talked to the local police, but they know absolutely nothing. They think the do, but they don't. I was stopped while open carrying and the officer didn't even know it was legal for me to be in possession of a handgun at age 18. Not to mention, I will never trust the Ashland police again, because I was arrested while defending myself and my girlfriend, and I never even drew my weapon. Four black males threatened me and my girlfriend with brass knuckles, at which point I put my hand on my weapon and told them to back off, and they called the police and I was charged with disorderly conduct and arrested, and had my XD confiscated. Not only will I be filing a wrongful arrest lawsuit, but I will NEVER trust the APD again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mjolnirknight View Post
    There was not mention of disallowing firearms in the original rental agreement, and seeing as my father owns a handgun (which is what I'm actually currently carrying), I don't know exactly what to do, other than file a lawsuit for breach of contract, unless I can get some actual Kentucky laws to back up my case. I've talked to the local police, but they know absolutely nothing. They think the do, but they don't. I was stopped while open carrying and the officer didn't even know it was legal for me to be in possession of a handgun at age 18. Not to mention, I will never trust the Ashland police again, because I was arrested while defending myself and my girlfriend, and I never even drew my weapon. Four black males threatened me and my girlfriend with brass knuckles, at which point I put my hand on my weapon and told them to back off, and they called the police and I was charged with disorderly conduct and arrested, and had my XD confiscated. Not only will I be filing a wrongful arrest lawsuit, but I will NEVER trust the APD again.
    Why would you ever trust them to start with? What has a court said about your charges? Were you convicted of any crime? There's a lot of information here you're not sharing. Any knowledgeable police officer is not going to get in the middle of a landlord/tenet dispute as long as it doesn't escalate into shouting, a physical confrontation or violence. Interpreting the terms of a lease agreement is a civil matter not a criminal one. Don't let it escalate into a criminal matter. If that restriction is not spelled out in the lease I doubt it can legally be enforced. Just put the gun out of sight when you get home, if the landlord comes around just say that you are following the terms of the lease and if he has any problems or has reason to believe that you are violating the lease he should get a court order or evict you. If he calls the police say the same thing, don't allow anyone to search your home without a warrant, tell anyone that asks that you are complying with the terms of the lease. Do not allow anyone to see the gun in your home, don't get excited or confrontational, don't allow anyone in your home. If the police come step outside and talk to them, don't allow them in. If they see you outside with the gun don't stop and talk to them. Keep walking and go in your home and close the door. Good luck and keep your cool.


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    Regular Member neuroblades's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mjolnirknight View Post
    There was not mention of disallowing firearms in the original rental agreement, and seeing as my father owns a handgun (which is what I'm actually currently carrying), I don't know exactly what to do, other than file a lawsuit for breach of contract, unless I can get some actual Kentucky laws to back up my case. I've talked to the local police, but they know absolutely nothing. They think the do, but they don't. I was stopped while open carrying and the officer didn't even know it was legal for me to be in possession of a handgun at age 18. Not to mention, I will never trust the Ashland police again, because I was arrested while defending myself and my girlfriend, and I never even drew my weapon. Four black males threatened me and my girlfriend with brass knuckles, at which point I put my hand on my weapon and told them to back off, and they called the police and I was charged with disorderly conduct and arrested, and had my XD confiscated. Not only will I be filing a wrongful arrest lawsuit, but I will NEVER trust the APD again.
    In reference to being arrested for the self defense issue. The key in ANY encounter you have relating to you sidearm and having to make contact with it in relations to possible self defense, even if NOT drawn: CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY!!!! Make a verbal report of the incident as soon as you possibly can, if you're carrying a cell phone, call as soon as you're safe to. This is because the generally accepted school of thought is that the INNOCENT person is the FIRST one to call the police! The second to call will be assumed to be the guilty. I know this doesn't sound right or fair but it's the way the law works and if you want to stay "clean", you have to know the unwritten rules of the game. If you ever have any further incidents, remember to call 911 as soon as you're safe. The quicker you call them and notify the police, the better for you! It's a long road to staying legal out there and there are things we learn as we all make the journey.
    Got SIG? MOLON LABE

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    As has been said similarly in the past: She's made her decision, now let her try and enforce it

    Gutshot is right on the money about this. Unless the lease outlines it, I'm of the opinion there is no legal way to enforce it without her filing a civil court case. Which frankly, I imagine this person has neither the time, money, or the guts.
    Last edited by trooper46; 08-28-2010 at 02:52 AM.

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    Under both Heller and McDonald..., a Person has The Right to Keep and Bear Arms in His Home, period!
    Private Property is Private Property, but under Heller and McDonald..., The Apartment Complex would not have a very good Case at all.

    I can promise you one thing..., if The Kentucky Legislature caught wind of this they would most probably enact a Law that disallows Leases and Contracts from forbidding one from Lawfully Carrying Firearms on Properties that they Lease.

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    I don't know about Heller but McDonald was a ruling on the 2nd Amendment & local government. The Bill of Rights were originally authored to protect the people & the states from the feds. Over time, SCOTUS started applying the Bill of Rights to the states to protect the people from both the feds and the state. The Bill of Rights were not intended to protect one private citizen from another.

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    Regular Member Mjolnirknight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gutshot View Post
    Why would you ever trust them to start with? What has a court said about your charges? Were you convicted of any crime? There's a lot of information here you're not sharing. Any knowledgeable police officer is not going to get in the middle of a landlord/tenet dispute as long as it doesn't escalate into shouting, a physical confrontation or violence. Interpreting the terms of a lease agreement is a civil matter not a criminal one. Don't let it escalate into a criminal matter. If that restriction is not spelled out in the lease I doubt it can legally be enforced. Just put the gun out of sight when you get home, if the landlord comes around just say that you are following the terms of the lease and if he has any problems or has reason to believe that you are violating the lease he should get a court order or evict you. If he calls the police say the same thing, don't allow anyone to search your home without a warrant, tell anyone that asks that you are complying with the terms of the lease. Do not allow anyone to see the gun in your home, don't get excited or confrontational, don't allow anyone in your home. If the police come step outside and talk to them, don't allow them in. If they see you outside with the gun don't stop and talk to them. Keep walking and go in your home and close the door. Good luck and keep your cool.

    I haven't been to court yet about the disorderly conduct charges. I also didn't have a chance to dial 911 cause as soon as they caught sight of my weapon, they called and said that I had brandished it at a bunch of innocent people. My lawyer had a federal case, so I haven't even been to a pre trial conference yet. Luckily they didn't file felony wanton endangerment charges because none of the "enemy" witness statements matched up. My lawyer says that I can win it, and he's a good lawyer. He informed me that even if I had brandished my weapon, I would have been in my legal rights to do so because brass knuckles are considered a deadly weapon. Also, the judge is very pro gun, and himself is in the cmp and NRA. But the whole case is full of holes. I told the police when they arrested me that they had weapons, and they did nothing about it. I'm just waiting for them to give me even more reasons to file a lawsuit against them. But thanks for the information so far on this weapon ban. Since I'm in the middle of this case (and college) I really can't do a whole lot about it, other than gather information right now. But as soon as I have a chance, I'll probably talk to the district attorney or someone who is in the legal system and thoroughly aware of the laws and see what I can do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Huffman View Post
    http://www.kentuckystatepolice.org/conceal.htm
    Unfortunately a proper answer to your question requires a search of the entire Kentucky statutes, that you have better access to than I. Note that this opinion by the state police says "owners of ... premises" and that is precisely what your landlord is or is agent for.
    The above excerpt applies only to visitors to private property. Renters and/or leasees of property that they use as their home have extensive rights in Ky. If the the lease does not explicitly ban weapons I doubt any judge would uphold that ban. The police can not legally mediate a lease dispute between a tenet and landlord, that is a judge's responsibility. If you have taken up residence you can not be removed without a court order and hearing. Both cost the landlord money. I've been through this several times as a landlord. As far as access to the KRS goes, it is available to all at:

    http://www.lrc.ky.gov/Statrev/frontpg.htm

    and it is searchable.

    In Ky. everyone has a inalienable right to own and possess a firearm. You can not give that right away by signing a lease.

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    Quote Originally Posted by langzaiguy View Post
    I don't know about Heller but McDonald was a ruling on the 2nd Amendment & local government. The Bill of Rights were originally authored to protect the people & the states from the feds. Over time, SCOTUS started applying the Bill of Rights to the states to protect the people from both the feds and the state. The Bill of Rights were not intended to protect one private citizen from another.

    None of this matters one bit. In Ky. we have a inherent right to the means to defend ourselves and the state. The courts have interpreted this to mean we have the right to own, possess, and carry a firearm. If you can not have one in your residence you can not exercise that right. You can not give up that right, even if you want to, by signing a contract, lease or any other piece of paper.

    If a landlord said that you couldn't have a bible in an apartment owned by him, and put that in his lease and you signed it, do you think it would be enforceable? Absolutely not.

    This discussion should not have gone passed the second post, it's not even close to being questionable. The answer is no, no, no.

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    My 2 cents worth

    Quote Originally Posted by neuroblades View Post
    In reference to being arrested for the self defense issue. The key in ANY encounter you have relating to you sidearm and having to make contact with it in relations to possible self defense, even if NOT drawn: CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY!!!! Make a verbal report of the incident as soon as you possibly can, if you're carrying a cell phone, call as soon as you're safe to. This is because the generally accepted school of thought is that the INNOCENT person is the FIRST one to call the police! The second to call will be assumed to be the guilty. I know this doesn't sound right or fair but it's the way the law works and if you want to stay "clean", you have to know the unwritten rules of the game. If you ever have any further incidents, remember to call 911 as soon as you're safe. The quicker you call them and notify the police, the better for you! It's a long road to staying legal out there and there are things we learn as we all make the journey.
    No more true words were ever penned. I also ask this question: many of the units in this building are paid for by HUD (Housing Urban Development). Hud is a federal entity therefore cannot the landlord usurp federal law?

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