View Poll Results: aside from lawyering up, what should I do?

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Thread: Question in regard to lease agreement of apartment

  1. #1
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    Question in regard to lease agreement of apartment

    New to Opencarry.org, have a question about rental lease and having firearms/ammo on site. This was originally posted on ctguntalk but decided to post it here for additional thoughts...

    I have a situation that I'm in and need some advice. Long story short, the apartment that I'm in switched exterminator services that do the monthly checkup and the new guy saw a marlin rifle box that I had and I guess notified my landlord. They call me up and say I need to get all firearms/ammo out of apt asap because it is breaking the lease agreement.

    what are my options as far as who I can keep the guns with? Can I keep long guns with a CT resident that doesn't have a pistol permit? What about my handguns? I am pretty sure I know what I will do with the safe of handguns, but wanted to be clear about my rights, CT laws and federal laws if applicable. Thanks for any advice

    entire thread...
    http://www.ctguntalk.com/testforum/Y...num=1290030841

  2. #2
    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    I only see three options:

    1) Give in and forget about owning firearms.
    2) Move.
    3) Spend a lot of time and money fighting this and move anyway.

    You signed a lease agreement and broke that agreement. While I am sure that agreement is stupid and it may be something that can be fought, what is the point?
    Last edited by Rich B; 11-18-2010 at 06:29 AM.

  3. #3
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    I've been a tenant and I'm currently a landlord so I've seen things from both sides.

    The lease is what its all about. The lease is the legally binding contract between you and your landlord.

    So the first thing to do is get out your lease, you do have a copy of your lease, signed by you and your landlord, right?? MAKE SURE IT SAYS YOU CAN'T HAVE FIREARMS.

    If you can't find anything that bans firearms, ask your landlord to please provide the location of this requirement.

    If he can't, then you are clean. Ignore him, pay the rent on time, but understand that he may not choose to renew the lease at the end of its term.

    You can not fight this and win if the lease bans firearms. I'm a gun nut, but I'm also a personal property rights nut. I have a right to determine who and what goes into my rental properties. I determine that by structuring the lease to prohibit the things I don't want.

    IT IS THE TENANTS RESPONSIBILITY TO READ THE LEASE BEFORE SIGNING.

    If you didn't read your lease then shame on you.

    I'm not flaming you in any way, but part of living in a free society is keeping our commitments. If you signed a lease prohibiting firearms then you committed to not bringing firearms into the apartment. The time to negotiate is BEFORE you sign the lease.

    With all that said, I'm betting that the lease does not ban firearms. So read the lease and let us know what it says.

    Don
    p.s. If you can't find the lease, ask the landlord to review his copy. The only copy that matters is the one with yours and his signatures on it. If he produces an unsigned template, it has no meaning.

    p.p.s. Keep us up on this. I'm happy to help.

  4. #4
    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcmdon View Post
    With all that said, I'm betting that the lease does not ban firearms.
    He has already indicated that he found the passage in the lease that prohibits firearms.

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    I just read the ctguntalk thread and see that your lease does ban firearms.

    Here's the thing. The only banned reasons for excluding someone are race, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, etc. That kind of stuff.

    As a property owner I can be completely capricious and arbitrary in my lease. My leases say that I have the right to put up political signs on the property and the tenant will not remove them. My leases limit how many people live in the apartment and states that I must approve every adult resident. My leases tell you that you must park in the driveway, not on the street.

    Its all basic stuff.
    The only time this has ever been successfully challenged was in the instance of PUBLIC housing. If the government owns the property then they have fewer rights as far as restrictions on a property's use.

    Don

    p.s. Even still, I'd probably put all the guns in a safe and tell the landlord that the guns are gone. If he can't see them, they aren't there. He has little to no recourse against you other than evicting you. Which can take YEARS if you are current on your rent.

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    just wanted to update you guys here as well...

    thanks for the supporting responses. As I am happy at my current place and don't wish to move, I feel I will do 2 things. First, lawyer up early and get educated/protected as far as legalities go. I will also move the long safe and ammo to a close family friend's house a few miles away. My car is parked off-property and I have a couple of cable-lock safes for under the seat storage, and for everything else...

    what can't be seen from plain sight, even from an unannounced entry carries no weight

    Don, as long as the safe(s) are in a closed closet or storage container that can't be seen from plain sight, I should be covered, right? My only concern is that the "exterminator" may opt to opening a closet/storage bin as part of their "inspection".

  7. #7
    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by discounteggroll View Post
    Don, as long as the safe(s) are in a closed closet or storage container that can't be seen from plain sight, I should be covered, right? My only concern is that the "exterminator" may opt to opening a closet/storage bin as part of their "inspection".
    If they are in a safe, what are you worried about? Is there something in the lease about having safes?

    You don't need to answer any questioning about what is in the safe, that is why it is a safe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich B View Post
    If they are in a safe, what are you worried about? Is there something in the lease about having safes?

    You don't need to answer any questioning about what is in the safe, that is why it is a safe.
    I get your point, but there is a perceived difference between my sentry fire-proof safe that staples sells to store documents and other small items, and a stack-on green safe sold at gun stores exclusively for long guns and ammo. no plausible deniability there...

  9. #9
    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by discounteggroll View Post
    I get your point, but there is a perceived difference between my sentry fire-proof safe that staples sells to store documents and other small items, and a stack-on green safe sold at gun stores exclusively for long guns and ammo. no plausible deniability there...
    Just because you have a gun safe doesn't mean there are guns in it.
    It is none of anyone's business if you store firearms or your fetish porn collection in the safe.

  10. #10
    Regular Member brk913's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by discounteggroll View Post
    what are my options as far as who I can keep the guns with? Can I keep long guns with a CT resident that doesn't have a pistol permit? What about my handguns? I am pretty sure I know what I will do with the safe of handguns, but wanted to be clear about my rights, CT laws and federal laws if applicable. http://www.ctguntalk.com/testforum/Y...num=1290030841
    The answer to your question is: you can let anyone you want over the age of 21 store either handguns or rifles for you, they do not need a permit unless they will be taking your handguns outside their home. The only restrictor is they cannot be ineligible to possess a firearm under state or federal law which would mean felons, people under a restaining order, etc...
    Last edited by brk913; 11-18-2010 at 01:56 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brk913 View Post
    The answer to your question is: you can let anyone you want over the age of 21 store either handguns or rifles for you, they do not need a permit unless they will be taking your handguns outside their home. The only restrictor is they cannot be ineligible to possess a firearm under state or federal law which would mean felons, people under a restaining order, etc...
    Restrictions on households where a prohibited person is present but does not have access? I vaguely recall this and I'm not going searching if someone can speak to this off the top of their head....

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    Just out of morbid curiosity --

    Have you checked the CT landlord-tenant laws? There may be some additional restrictions on what limitations a landlord can put into a lease. And in anticipation of the private property rights supporters (I am one, BTW) depending on the prevailing case law a valid lease (a contract) may be unenforcable if some portion violates existing law/regulation.

    As I said, just wondering. Never hurts to look for loopholes from both sides of the discussion.

    stay safe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich B View Post
    If they are in a safe, what are you worried about? Is there something in the lease about having safes?

    You don't need to answer any questioning about what is in the safe, that is why it is a safe.
    Exactly. If the guns are in the safe, you are fine. There is no need to hide the safe. They can ask all day long whats in the safe. You don't have to answer. With no answer there is no proof that you are in violation of the lease.

    There is no law against just lying to him. Tell them your grandmother's silverware is in the safe.

    Also, most leases say that the landlord will give "reasonable notice" if they need to enter the apartment. Most attorneys consider that to be overnight notice. Exceptions in a typical lease include emergency repairs, acts of god, etc.

    So if your landlord is letting in exterminators without giving you prior notification there is a chance that he is breaking his own lease. Please not that I said notification, not permission.

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    Quote Originally Posted by emsjeep View Post
    Restrictions on households where a prohibited person is present but does not have access? I vaguely recall this and I'm not going searching if someone can speak to this off the top of their head....
    I have a friend who is married to a woman who was convicted of a felony drug charge when she was 18 years old. (The woman is now 55 and like most of us who used drugs in our teens, is now a productive law abiding member of society)

    The friend married the woman later in life. By that time he had a bunch of guns. He confirmed with his attorney that the fact that his wife was a "prohibited person" would not prevent him from having the guns in the "marital domicile". He was also told that he did not need to prevent his wife from having physical access to the firearms. They simply needed to be his.
    Last edited by dcmdon; 11-19-2010 at 07:26 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    And in anticipation of the private property rights supporters (I am one, BTW) depending on the prevailing case law a valid lease (a contract) may be unenforcable if some portion violates existing law/regulation.

    As I said, just wondering. Never hurts to look for loopholes from both sides of the discussion.

    stay safe.
    Thats not going to work. Just about every lease has boilerplate that says

    SEPARATE PROVISIONS. If any provision of this lease is invalid or unenforceable, the other provisions of this lease will still apply.

    So the whole lease doesn't go out the window if some part is adjudicated to be unenforceable.

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    It bothers me that a contractor who entered your apartment was announcing what belongings you have in your apartment. Did he tell someone else that you have a nice collection of ?????? on display. Sounds like a guy with a big mouth that does not know how to keep it closed.

  17. #17
    Regular Member brk913's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by emsjeep View Post
    Restrictions on households where a prohibited person is present but does not have access? I vaguely recall this and I'm not going searching if someone can speak to this off the top of their head....
    IANAL but from my days with the probation department: As long as the occupant who is inelligible is not on any type of supervised release then guns in the house are OK. While on probation or parole the assigned officer can dictate no guns in the house in which case the prohibited person must move or the gun owner must remove the guns from the house. After supervision period the owner of the firearms can not allow the prohibited person (read felon) to even handle the guns, if they do the gun owner can be found liable for allowing a felon to possess a firearm.

  18. #18
    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnO View Post
    It bothers me that a contractor who entered your apartment was announcing what belongings you have in your apartment. Did he tell someone else that you have a nice collection of ?????? on display. Sounds like a guy with a big mouth that does not know how to keep it closed.
    I would have answered "No, I don't have any firearms in my house. A box with 'Marlin' on it means nothing. Your exterminator is no longer welcome in my home if he cannot do his work in a professional manner.".

  19. #19
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    A friend who is a cop once told me that if ever accused of anything I should:

    1) admit nothing
    2) deny everything
    3) demand proof

    While probably not the best advice if you are dealing with law enforcement, in most situations it works out pretty well.
    At least it prevents me from saying anything stupid and gives me time to think things through. I always seem to get it wrong if I'm shooting from the hip.

    Don

  20. #20
    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcmdon View Post
    1) admit nothing
    2) deny everything
    3) demand proof

    While probably not the best advice if you are dealing with law enforcement,
    Actually, I cannot think of better advice when dealing with law enforcement.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich B View Post
    Actually, I cannot think of better advice when dealing with law enforcement.
    I agree.

    Especially if they confiscate my fetish porn from my gun safe in a closet!



    Jonathan
    www.ctpistolpermitissues.com - tracking all the local issuing authority, DPS and other insanity with permit issues
    www.ctgunsafety.com - my blog and growing list of links useful to gun owners (especially in Connecticut).

    Rich B: My favorite argument against OC being legal in CT is "I have never seen someone OC in CT".
    I have never seen a person drink tea from a coke bottle while standing on their head, that doesn't mean it is illegal.

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