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Thread: Gun-Friendly Apartment Complexes in Northern Virginia

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    Gun-Friendly Apartment Complexes in Northern Virginia

    I was brought to this forum when I was doing a web search and found the following post in relation to apartments in Northern Virginia:

    Quote Originally Posted by FFchris View Post
    I am aware that some apartments may prohibit leasers from having firearms, hence my search now rather than waiting till my current lease is up. My current location is ok with it, but since the management team has recently changed I want to keep my options open.
    I just moved to Virginia (Fairfax) a short while ago and to my dismay my current complex has a no guns policy. No displaying, no discharging (duh), but most specifically, no possessing. I was starting to get kind of worried that every complex does this until I looked at the previous post and it mentioned something about "Arbor". Right now I've been asking around to see if anyone knew a complex in the area (Reston, Herndon, etc.) that did not ban guns in the contract. Even better if they did not ban display, but simply allowing possession would be great. Everybody I've asked tells me "just keep it to yourself and don't let anybody see", but what if somebody breaks in and I'm left defending myself legally and living out of my car? Any help would be greatly appreciated as I was all happy to be moving here and then I see this one part of the community rules that they only showed me at the last minute when I really needed a place to live. I'm flexible on rent, but I just really want to find a decent place that doesn't have this pesky rule in it.

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    Regular Member ocholsteroc's Avatar
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    but most specifically, no possessing
    Wow, that's dictating. I thought they couldn't do that??????
    I believe hotel "rooms" are deamed as a "home" because you are paying to stay there. Thus police cannot walk in.
    Last edited by ocholsteroc; 06-23-2011 at 11:56 PM.
    How come a DUI you can get your driver licence back, which it is a privilege. But if commiting a felon, even something non violent like stealing, you are denied your constitutional rights for the rest of your life?
    If you don't support the Second Amendment to the Constitution, what other parts of the Constitution do you reject?
    More restrictions on guns? how about restrictions on chainsaws and knives?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ocholsteroc View Post
    Wow, that's dictating. I thought they couldn't do that??????
    I believe hotel "rooms" are deamed as a "home" because you are paying to stay there. Thus police cannot walk in.
    Yeah. I know. And to hammer it in, they have a specific section in their community "primer" (along with info on trash pickup, local services, etc) where they just launch into how much they mean the no guns rule with a bunch of exclamation marks and word formatting. I felt like I had entered the twilight zone or something.

    I'd just say the heck with it and ignore the rule, but the whole possibility of having to defend myself in my apartment or on the apartment grounds really has me wanting to find a place with community rules that aren't so unfair.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ocholsteroc View Post
    Wow, that's dictating. I thought they couldn't do that??????
    I believe hotel "rooms" are deamed as a "home" because you are paying to stay there. Thus police cannot walk in.
    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...0+cod+55-248.7

    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...0+cod+55-248.9 - the list of things they cannot have in a lease agreement

    Hotels are not "home" unless you are staying for at least 30 consecutive days and arranged in advance for that length of stay, as I read 55-248.5A4.

    No, the police may not just walk into your hotel room, but they can get the manager to let them into your room and they do not need a warrant to do that. Too many cases to remember, and my access to Lexis-Nexus is down.

    stay safe.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VAgun22222 View Post
    I felt like I had entered the twilight zone or something.
    No...you just entered NOVA, which isn't really Virginia, they just claim to be to piss us Virginians off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...0+cod+55-248.9 - the list of things they cannot have in a lease agreement
    stay safe.
    Good find Skid. Looks like the lease agreement cannot prohibit firearms IN THE RESIDENCE.

    6. Agrees as a condition of tenancy in public housing to a prohibition or restriction of any lawful possession of a firearm within individual dwelling units unless required by federal law or regulation;

    B. A provision prohibited by subsection A included in a rental agreement is unenforceable. If a landlord brings an action to enforce any of the prohibited provisions, the tenant may recover actual damages sustained by him and reasonable attorney's fees.

    By my reading the lease condition pertaining to firearms in the residence is unenforcable. they may restrict carry (even concealed) on the grounds though. But, concealed means concealed.

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    Activist Member JamesCanby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post

    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...0+cod+55-248.9 - the list of things they cannot have in a lease agreement
    Item 6 in this list specifically mentions "public housing." When I was the Chairman of the Housing Commission in Howard County, Md, "public housing" specifically referred to government owned, subsidized and managed properties.

    Does "public housing" have a different definition in Virginia? If not, then that specific item may not apply to commercially owned and managed rental units.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesCanby View Post
    Item 6 in this list specifically mentions "public housing." When I was the Chairman of the Housing Commission in Howard County, Md, "public housing" specifically referred to government owned, subsidized and managed properties.

    Does "public housing" have a different definition in Virginia? If not, then that specific item may not apply to commercially owned and managed rental units.
    You're right James and I'm not sure how this will work with normal rentals. Much of the Public Housing hullabloo started in Richmond when the City was trying to eliminate weapons from the projects.

    H.O.M.E has addressed the weapons issue in standard leases. I just haven't had time to look into it yet.
    Last edited by peter nap; 06-24-2011 at 08:50 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    No...you just entered NOVA, which isn't really Virginia, they just claim to be to piss us Virginians off.
    It is Virginia. It's just been invaded by foreigners* to the point where there are only about 20% of us who are native.


    * So as not to get the panties of sensitive types in a twist, foreigners in the above context means non-Virginians.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoy View Post
    It is Virginia. It's just been invaded by foreigners* to the point where there are only about 20% of us who are native.


    * So as not to get the panties of sensitive types in a twist, foreigners in the above context means non-Virginians.
    I knew someone would jump on that sooner or later,

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesCanby View Post
    Item 6 in this list specifically mentions "public housing." When I was the Chairman of the Housing Commission in Howard County, Md, "public housing" specifically referred to government owned, subsidized and managed properties.

    Does "public housing" have a different definition in Virginia? If not, then that specific item may not apply to commercially owned and managed rental units.
    There is something in law that addresses (paraphrased) "to the invitation of the public" whereby a private business cannot restrict a Constitutional right. Now before anyone gets on their high horse about what is or is not, I am only relating what I have heard from a judge. I do not know this from my own personal experience.

    I suspect that an apartment complex might be in violation of your civil rights by restricting your possess and access to firearms when renting one of their units. Once again, I do not know this as fact and every apartment I have ever lived in, I have had firearms on the premise with no contractual restrictions known to me. Because this is a home dwelling, they might have a legal problem trying to do this.

    Best thing to do is ask an attorney before jumping into the fire.... or just avoid places like that altogether.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

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    On the subject, even though they may not be able to do this on some sort of technicality, I'd much rather move to a complex that was not so paranoid about guns.

    What is this "Arbor" place? I've also been thinking of considering condos with individual owners/landlords and newly-formed companies that haven't had the time to make up a bunch of silly rules yet. Really, I'm somewhat desperate for some names of places.

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    Why not pick some places out to go look and ask to look at their leasing agreement to see if it suits you? That's what I've done in various places when I've been in need of a rental spot.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quite a few places are charging non-refundable application fees, which they collect before they run credit/ background checks on you. Some want to collect the application fee before they will even show you a blank copy of the lease agreement. Be sure you are asking the proper questions and getting solid answers.

    My personal experience as a renter and as an advocate for those trying to rent who may be delayed/denied due to illegal behavior on the part of the rental agent, is that Virginia does not consider it to be "public housing" unless it is a complex operated by VHDA or the local government's housing authority. Further, Section 8 housing vouchers do not qualify one's place as "public housing". The issue of firearms not being allowed as part of the lease agreement has never come up in my limited experience. If it did my guess is that you would not be sucessful challenging a private property owner on 2A grounds when they can get away with so much else (Civil Rights Act, for example, if they have less than 5 units).

    stay safe.

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    Regular Member carry for myself's Avatar
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    the way i see it. the 2nd amendment says we all have the right to KEEP AND BEAR ARMS. by the Constituion. soooooo if your paying for a place its your home. your property even if owned by another. so they can SAY no guns all they want but prohibiting them in any way shape or form is in direct violation of the 2nd amendment.

    i used to live in HUD certified government owned apartments and they had a no firearms clause in the lease, attempted to evict me because they saw me taking my AK to the car once. took them to court and won. 2nd amendment protects everyones right not just those that can afford a house ;-)
    i would rather run out of blood, breath and life. and die fighting. than run out of ammo , and die with my pants down -Tom Scantas

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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    Quite a few places are charging non-refundable application fees, which they collect before they run credit/ background checks on you. Some want to collect the application fee before they will even show you a blank copy of the lease agreement. Be sure you are asking the proper questions and getting solid answers.
    Unfortunately that's been the case for me. They'll say "we don't have a lot of rules" or something like that when I ask them for the community rules, not even the lease agreement. Then it's a question of whether I want to give them $50 just to read that they had the rule and then I'm out $50. Or I could ask them about if they have the rule and if they didn't have the rule by some chance, they might write it in as an amendment just because I asked. I may be out of luck short of them showing me the community rules (why do you want to look at the community rules???) or someone recommending a place.

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    Sorry for double-post, but I've also been curious if anybody in the legislature has thought to try:

    1) forbidding insurance companies to reward or penalize rental properties based on firearms
    2) forbidding rental properties from banning guns if they receive any money whatsoever from state government

    I'd think that outside of image concerns, if they removed the incentive to ban them or made it difficult to take state money, then the rules might look a lot more sensible

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    Quote Originally Posted by carry for myself View Post
    the way i see it. the 2nd amendment says we all have the right to KEEP AND BEAR ARMS. by the Constituion. soooooo if your paying for a place its your home. your property even if owned by another. so they can SAY no guns all they want but prohibiting them in any way shape or form is in direct violation of the 2nd amendment.

    i used to live in HUD certified government owned apartments and they had a no firearms clause in the lease, attempted to evict me because they saw me taking my AK to the car once. took them to court and won. 2nd amendment protects everyones right not just those that can afford a house ;-)
    Sorry, but the Second Amendment has absolutely no influence over anything that is not "the government". Individuals, acting in their individual capacity (not as agents for some unit of government) can tell you what you can or cannot do on/to/with property that they own, even if they are willing to let you park your possessions there in exchange for a monthly tribute (rent).

    For anybody else reading this, as well as carryformyself - would you PLEASE understand the distinction between the restrictions placed on government by the Constitution and Bill of Rights and The Way You Wished The Rest of the World Was Run. Trying to impose the Bill of Rights on non-government just makes you/us look stupid.

    stay safe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    I knew someone would jump on that sooner or later,
    Trust me, I know exactly what you're saying. It pains me that this area up here has lost so much to the invasion of outsiders. I have lived here all my life and have seen it go from more traditional Virginia culture to something closer to the United Nations in demographics. We WERE once far more like the rest of Virginia in my youth (the 50's when I was a youngster). It's sad to see how that has been lost to history.

    You little jibe holds much truth as to the differences between those from Fredericksburg and above versus those who are in other parts of the state. You know it's gone when people up here lay no claim to being in a Southern state and are actually a little combative at the suggestion (I've done this deliberately just to see what reaction I receive). Yep, a sad state of affairs, especially for those of us who cling to our heritage as Virginians.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VAgun22222 View Post
    Sorry for double-post, but I've also been curious if anybody in the legislature has thought to try:

    1) forbidding insurance companies to reward or penalize rental properties based on firearms
    2) forbidding rental properties from banning guns if they receive any money whatsoever from state government

    I'd think that outside of image concerns, if they removed the incentive to ban them or made it difficult to take state money, then the rules might look a lot more sensible
    Here's my take on this one.

    Firstly, I am a solid believer in property rights as it is a corner stone to liberty and freedom. However, I am also a solid believer in the Bill of Rights... all of it, without reservation. For an example in the matter of the topic of this thread, one might think that a store owner has every right to exclude anyone they wish, including minorities, handicapped, women, etc. and in my opinion, they should be able to do this. The market will determine that business's success or failure should they follow such a path and that business will stand or fall upon its own merits and measures accordingly.

    However, if they exclude someone who is armed and then a violent situation ensues where the now-unarmed patron is injured, that patron should be able to pursue legal remedies from the store owner who willingly placed that patron in harm's way. Yes, the patron had the choice of not going into that business, but the owner also had the choice (responsibility?) of assuring the patron's safety. I know that there are a lot of items in this paragraph which could be open for intense discussion, but I'm just throwing them out (maybe playing devil's advocate, eh?).

    Now an apartment complex is a different matter in my opinion. You are not entering that arena for a limited amount of time, as in perhaps less than an hour. You are attempting to make one of their units your home. In such a case, I favor no restrictions on one's civil liberties. For example, the owner cannot just enter your unit at any time on a whim. He has to either have your permission or know that there is a genuine need for him to do this (a fire while you're away, a leaking pipe, etc.). He cannot restrict your religious preferences, saying grace at your dinner table, or restricting what books, magazines, or newspapers you read. In other words, he is selecting those parts of the Bill of Rights which he wants to deny a renter and as such, is at least for a time, removing some of your civil rights.

    So yes, I fully support property rights, but I also see where there can be problems with apartments restricting firearms possession by renters within their units. Frankly, I don't have an answer for this one. On the on hand, we have a business that is clearly violating someone's civil rights and on the other hand we have that business which has every right to do pretty much as they see fit with their property. So I am in a quandary with this one, though I do see one possible distinction which may be the clue and the answer.

    There are three concepts we need to keep in mind when it comes to firearms: ownership, possession, and bearing. You can bear a firearm without owning it. You can possess a firearm without owning or bearing it. And you can own a firearm without possessing or bearing it, though one definition of "possess" infers ownership. So when a store owner restricts someone from coming into their business armed, they are primarily restricting the bearing of that firearm, but they are also restricting its momentary possession. An apartment which restricts firearms on their premises is restricting both possession and bearing but not ownership. However, recall that one definition of possess which infers ownership could be shown that by restricting possession, they are also restricting ownership.

    Yes, you could be expected to store your firearms at a family member or friend's home, but suppose you are moving from across the country and have no family or friends here? Now you have no place to store your firearms so what do you do? Aside from finding someplace which will allow them, are you expected to sell them or get rid of them in some fashion?

    Once again, I really don't know what the answer is to all of this and hope a legal mind can weigh in with some solid information.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoy View Post
    However, if they exclude someone who is armed and then a violent situation ensues where the now-unarmed patron is injured, that patron should be able to pursue legal remedies from the store owner who willingly placed that patron in harm's way. Yes, the patron had the choice of not going into that business, but the owner also had the choice (responsibility?) of assuring the patron's safety. I know that there are a lot of items in this paragraph which could be open for intense discussion, but I'm just throwing them out (maybe playing devil's advocate, eh?).
    That's very interesting. I suppose a law could also be written to provide renters who are prevented from possessing or carrying firearms on premises to sue for damages if they are harmed in an aggravated robbery or unable to resist an armed robbery. Obviously a harm has been done to them by the rental property for preventing them from protecting themselves, but properties have comprehensive ways of protecting themselves from liability, so something like a law could change that.

    Coupled with a law that targets the insurance companies, property rights are intact, but there's no reason to completely ban guns outside of negligent discharge since it won't mean a lower insurance premium. And if they're taking government funds, that's really never a great thing to do anyway, because the government can always make up whatever conditions they want.

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VAgun22222 View Post
    That's very interesting. I suppose a law could also be written to provide renters who are prevented from possessing or carrying firearms on premises to sue for damages if they are harmed in an aggravated robbery or unable to resist an armed robbery. Obviously a harm has been done to them by the rental property for preventing them from protecting themselves, but properties have comprehensive ways of protecting themselves from liability, so something like a law could change that.

    Coupled with a law that targets the insurance companies, property rights are intact, but there's no reason to completely ban guns outside of negligent discharge since it won't mean a lower insurance premium. And if they're taking government funds, that's really never a great thing to do anyway, because the government can always make up whatever conditions they want.
    I would like to reiterate that I am unsure of the best way to approach this situation as like I mentioned, I am a very strong proponent of private property rights AND our Second Amendment protected rights. I honestly do not know the best way to handle something like this.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

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    Does this apply to it?

    55-248.9. Prohibited provisions in rental agreements.

    A. A rental agreement shall not contain provisions that the tenant:

    1. Agrees to waive or forego rights or remedies under this chapter;

    2. Agrees to waive or forego rights or remedies pertaining to the 120-day conversion or rehabilitation notice required in the Condominium Act ( 55-79.39 et seq.), the Virginia Real Estate Cooperative Act ( 55-424 et seq.) or Chapter 13 ( 55-217 et seq.) of this title;

    3. Authorizes any person to confess judgment on a claim arising out of the rental agreement;

    4. Agrees to pay the landlord's attorney's fees except as provided in this chapter;

    5. Agrees to the exculpation or limitation of any liability of the landlord to the tenant arising under law or to indemnify the landlord for that liability or the costs connected therewith;

    6. Agrees as a condition of tenancy in public housing to a prohibition or restriction of any lawful possession of a firearm within individual dwelling units unless required by federal law or regulation; or

    7. Agrees to both the payment of a security deposit and the provision of a bond or commercial insurance policy purchased by the tenant to secure the performance of the terms and conditions of a rental agreement, if the total of the security deposit and the bond or insurance premium exceeds the amount of two months' periodic rent.

    B. A provision prohibited by subsection A included in a rental agreement is unenforceable. If a landlord brings an action to enforce any of the prohibited provisions, the tenant may recover actual damages sustained by him and reasonable attorney's fees.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoy View Post
    I would like to reiterate that I am unsure of the best way to approach this situation as like I mentioned, I am a very strong proponent of private property rights AND our Second Amendment protected rights. I honestly do not know the best way to handle something like this.
    I would like to again bring to your (the plural you) attention the fact that the Bill of Rights lists things that The Government may not do to you. Nowhere in the BOR does it say that, for example, private property owners, may not do A, B, or C. SCOTUS has found only a very few places where they say private property owners must not do X, Y, or Z. The most well known probably being the decision that private property owners may not discriminate on the base of race, sex, religion, national origin and iirc one other criteria that is not age.

    Private property owners that do not allow firearms on their property are exercising dominion over their property. When I refuse to do business with them I am excercising both dominion over my life and using the most powerful tool at my disposal to indicate my feelings about their decision. Of course it helps if I tell them I am not doing business with them and why not. It helps even more if they care.

    What I'm trying to say is that it is not a 2A vs private property issue. It's one of mutual trust and respect. When you run into a private property owner with "no guns" policies it obviously is a situation where he does not trust or respect you.

    stay safe.

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    I would like to again bring to your (the plural you) attention the fact that the Bill of Rights lists things that The Government may not do to you. Nowhere in the BOR does it say that, for example, private property owners, may not do A, B, or C. SCOTUS has found only a very few places where they say private property owners must not do X, Y, or Z. The most well known probably being the decision that private property owners may not discriminate on the base of race, sex, religion, national origin and iirc one other criteria that is not age.

    Private property owners that do not allow firearms on their property are exercising dominion over their property. When I refuse to do business with them I am excercising both dominion over my life and using the most powerful tool at my disposal to indicate my feelings about their decision. Of course it helps if I tell them I am not doing business with them and why not. It helps even more if they care.

    What I'm trying to say is that it is not a 2A vs private property issue. It's one of mutual trust and respect. When you run into a private property owner with "no guns" policies it obviously is a situation where he does not trust or respect you.

    stay safe.
    All true. The only thing here is with an apartment which is a type of home, one might wonder if a different set of laws might apply. That is what I am in the dark about. And here's an interesting tidbit. Suppose someone has lived in an apartment complex for, say, five years and has a collection of firearms. Then when it comes time to renew his lease, there has been a change in the form of an addendum which restricts firearms from the units and surrounding property. What is he to do then? I know the simple answer is that he now must find another home for them, but suppose he has not other place for their storage. Now he has to consider moving.

    So is there a distinction between a shop or store owner's property and an apartment complex. In one, the patron is only present for a short period of time. In the other, he lives there. I remember in one of my law classes in college (business law), we talked about renters' rights and when a landlord could and could not enter someone's apartment. I do not recall those class discussions involving someone's personal property.

    Also, what about a residential single family home which is rented out by a private homeowner? Suppose I owned five homes which I rented out. Could I insist that firearms not be stored in my rental houses?

    I do not know the answers to any of these questions.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

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