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Thread: Apartment complex banning firearms

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    Apartment complex banning firearms

    I don't own a gun but just noticed that my apartment complex has a no trespassing sign at its entrance. Below this sign is a notice saying that firearms and weapons are not allowed on the premises. There is nothing about firearms in the lease that I signed. Can I legally have a gun in my apartment?

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by junedog47 View Post
    I don't own a gun but just noticed that my apartment complex has a no trespassing sign at its entrance. Below this sign is a notice saying that firearms and weapons are not allowed on the premises. There is nothing about firearms in the lease that I signed. Can I legally have a gun in my apartment?
    Can't tell you yes or no until we get some more info - are you a convicted felon? do you have an outstanding personal protection order? were you convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence after an actual trial? are you illegally in the country? There may be other questions asked later.

    Generally speaking it sounds as if the apartment complex is trying to keep folks that do not live there from coming there, especially trying to keep folks who do not live there from coming there with firearms to shoot up a) the tenants, b) the complex structure, or c) both. This is what is known in the forensic business as "a clue" that there might have been incidents of a), b) or c) that happened there in the past.

    It also means you will most likely be hassled or even evicted if you OC around the complex. But there does not seem to be anything that would forbid you from keeping a legally possesed firearm in your apartment, which also means you should be good to go regarding taking it out and bringing it back for such activities as repairs and recreational shooting done away from the apartment complex. You might want to check state laws about whether cased, unloaded firearms moved between your residence and your vehicle are considered concealed. If you plan to OC while away from the complex you should consider how you are going to handle getting from your apartment to your vehicle and back again so as to attract the least attention while remaining legal regarding concealed carry laws. Just don't make it any more complicated than it has to be, and try to figure out a way that does not involve removing your handgun from the holster (which is when you are more likely to have something go wrong that when it's securely in the holster).

    Look especially at sections 1312 and 1342 of http://www.azsos.gov/public_services...esidential.pdf

    to see what's what. I do not know what the AZ courts consider "unconscionable" but outright prohibiting of firearm possession might qualify.

    stay safe.
    Last edited by skidmark; 12-29-2011 at 11:03 AM. Reason: citation provided
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    Regular Member Super Saiyan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by junedog47 View Post
    I don't own a gun but just noticed that my apartment complex has a no trespassing sign at its entrance. Below this sign is a notice saying that firearms and weapons are not allowed on the premises. There is nothing about firearms in the lease that I signed. Can I legally have a gun in my apartment?
    Unfortunately, I don't have the time to hunt it down in ARS, but I'm 99% sure that they cannot prohibit you from keeping a weapon inside your apartment, as that is legally defined as your "dwelling" and provisions are made in the law exempting property owners from impeding your right in said area. If I'm not mistaken, ARS also includes a hotel room in the list of dwellings in which you are safe.
    Similar but different: AZ law prohibits employers from refusing to allow their employees to store firearms in their vehicles while parked in the employers parking lot, with the exception of a few circumstances.
    Last edited by Super Saiyan; 12-29-2011 at 01:10 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by junedog47 View Post
    I don't own a gun but just noticed that my apartment complex has a no trespassing sign at its entrance. Below this sign is a notice saying that firearms and weapons are not allowed on the premises. There is nothing about firearms in the lease that I signed. Can I legally have a gun in my apartment?
    Please PM me the exact address of this apartment complex in Tucson, so I can pass it onto the AZCDL team. I'm a life member.

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    Regular Member Operator_223's Avatar
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    Just for security purposes, I dont let anyone in the complex have any reason to know I own firearms. Because, when Im out at work, there could be unsavory maintenance workers needing to "check the air conditioner", or someone in the complex putting two and two together and burglarizing your unit while you are gone. It happens here all the time when you flash nice things or things to steal for drug money.

    It's very easy to get yourself a MWAG call in an apartment complex...... whether or not your state has constitutional carry etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    ...You might want to check state laws about whether cased, unloaded firearms moved between your residence and your vehicle are considered concealed. If you plan to OC while away from the complex you should consider how you are going to handle getting from your apartment to your vehicle and back again so as to attract the least attention while remaining legal regarding concealed carry laws...
    Irrelevant... AZ we have a constitutional carry.

    Quote Originally Posted by Operator_223 View Post
    ..It's very easy to get yourself a MWAG call in an apartment complex...... whether or not your state has constitutional carry etc.
    Again, this is AZ. The call to the PD would go something like this...


    Dispatcher: 911 what's your emergency?
    Hoplophobic Citizen (HC): Yes, I'd like to report a MWAG.
    Dispatcher: What is he doing?
    HC: It looks like he's getting something out of his car... yes, he's taking the groceries out of his car.
    Dispatcher:Is that it?
    HC: No, he has a gallon of milk too!
    Dispatcher: He's not doing anything illegal?
    HC: He has a gun!
    Dispatcher: You're not from AZ are you?

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    Regular Member azcdlfred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GWbiker View Post
    Please PM me the exact address of this apartment complex in Tucson, so I can pass it onto the AZCDL team. I'm a life member.
    Not to steal GWBiker's thunder, but I've been monitoring the thread and sharing it with my fellow AzCDL board members.

    It boils down to the right of the landlord (property owner). Read your rental agreement. You may have given up more than you realized when you signed it. After all, it is a contract that you agreed to abide by.

    For firearms inside your apartment, you may be OK if it's not in your rental agreement. Even if it is, it may not be enforceable, but that determination would be made at great cost in a courtroom.

    As far as the Arizona legislature is concerned, private property rights trump the right to bear arms.

    A few years back we pushed a bill dealing with open carry in the "common" areas and it went down in flames. Last year, we tried a bill dealing with RKBA in HOAs and apartment complexes and it never made it out of the legislature. We still have interest in the legislature in this issue, but at the moment it's not a majority.

    Fred
    Last edited by azcdlfred; 12-31-2011 at 03:36 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahwg View Post
    Irrelevant... AZ we have a constitutional carry.



    Again, this is AZ. The call to the PD would go something like this...


    Dispatcher: 911 what's your emergency?
    Hoplophobic Citizen (HC): Yes, I'd like to report a MWAG.
    Dispatcher: What is he doing?
    HC: It looks like he's getting something out of his car... yes, he's taking the groceries out of his car.
    Dispatcher:Is that it?
    HC: No, he has a gallon of milk too!
    Dispatcher: He's not doing anything illegal?
    HC: He has a gun!
    Dispatcher: You're not from AZ are you?
    Sounds like an Idaho 911 call except the last line would be......

    Dispatcher: You just moved to Idaho from California didn't you.

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    junedog47:

    In Light of Heller and McDonald, The Apartment Complex CANNOT do This!

    aadvark

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    Quote Originally Posted by aadvark View Post
    junedog47:

    In Light of Heller and McDonald, The Apartment Complex CANNOT do This!

    aadvark

    Heller and McDonald address what the government can do. They don't have anything to do with what a property owner or landlord has the right to restrict on their private property.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aadvark View Post
    junedog47:

    In Light of Heller and McDonald, The Apartment Complex CANNOT do This!

    aadvark
    You suffer from a common misconception, my friend. Private property owners can legally refuse to allow firearms on their property -- restrictions on government have no effect on them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pistol-Packing-Preacher-in-PV View Post
    You suffer from a common misconception, my friend. Private property owners can legally refuse to allow firearms on their property -- restrictions on government have no effect on them.
    Well, yes - and a person leasing property is in effect the owner, and absent a lease provision restricting gun possession, I do not see how it can be enforced against the lessee.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    Well, yes - and a person leasing property is in effect the owner, and absent a lease provision restricting gun possession, I do not see how it can be enforced against the lessee.
    IIRC, I think someone addressed that part of the issue in an earlier post -- I was thinking more generally of the "restrictions on gov't also apply to non-gov't" mistake I often see made (did that make sense? I'm really tired tonight).

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    I believe that if the apartment complex has an issue with it and confronts someone about it, they will lose, even if it was in the rental agreement. It's an unconscionable clause, meaning there is unfair bargaining going on. Basically contracting law is an even trade with a little wiggle room. If you provide something, they have to provide something back in a mostly equal way. Similarly, if you give something up, they have to provide something reasonably close to what you surrendered. In this example, they take away your ability to have a firearm. In order for it to be equal, the management would have to provide something like 24/7 armed security and provide a written guarantee that they will patrol your specific apartment for security purposes. Of course, they're not going to do that. But the example still holds: If you're giving up your right to have a firearm on you, what are they providing to fill that void to an equal level. If they are just summarily dismissing your right without an equal balance, that clause is unconscionable and therefore, unenforceable.

    State firearms laws also state that regardless of any contract or otherwise you have the right to firearms inside your residence. The complex would try to argue that their sign prohibits carrying on the grounds. There you have a problem... You are leasing property on the premises, you must be allowed reasonable access to enjoy your leased structure. The complex (in court anyway) would have to concede that you have the right to carry within the apartment and in your car, the parking lot, etc. Therefore, you must be allowed reasonable access to your apartment between there and the parking lot. Short version: Screw the sign.

    As someone stated earlier, the sign is probably meant for people that don't belong there whether or not they intended to restrict the people that actually live there. The sign allows police to arrest someone for trespassing easier if they don't belong. But as someone else had said -- the fact that the no firearms sign was attached -- might want to find somewhere else to live. People don't put signs up to actually prevent something, most people put signs up because something happened and they want to prevent it from becoming an on-going event.

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    If your lease says that pets are absolutely prohibited on the premise, no excuses, and your state supreme court has held that that is an okay clause to have, and you bring a pet on, and even start running a full on pet shop out of your apartment, can you be validly charged with trespassing? Or just sued for breach of contract and evicted? (I assume such activity isn't otherwise criminalized.) Furthermore, contract actions typically require actual or at least agreed upon damages (my lease has a fee for bringing a pet on), and guns don't typically break things unless fired. Also, unless they're rabid hoplophobes, if you're paying your bills why kick you out over it? They'd lose money. Insistence upon removal and the charging of a fee would be more profitable for them.

    If your lease mentions nothing about it, not even by reference to complex rules, their actions might be unlawful if they went after you. You bought possession of a portion of the premises for a period of time. They signed a contract with you. If the landlord suddenly decided, despite a lack of lease terms related to the matter or even any prior notice, to call the police on you and kick you out of the apartment because he found out that you're running a Linux machine and he just can't stand penguins, could you sue? How about if he stole that computer and had it fed to a smasher?

    I think you're letting the wariness of watching out for absurdly harsh firearms laws spill over onto gun rules issued by other people - people that don't have the social advantage required to capriciously bully you with impunity. I wouldn't call lessor/lessee relations an even standing, in general, but at least in this you might have some teeth - you have something they want (your rent) and some contractual rights they've given you. Look into the matter further (IANAL) but I'm optimistic. One thing that might be important to who gets the contractual upper hand: did the sign go up before or after you signed on?
    Last edited by Seigi; 01-30-2012 at 03:53 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seigi View Post
    If your lease says that pets are absolutely prohibited on the premise, no excuses, and your state supreme court has held that that is an okay clause to have, and you bring a pet on, and even start running a full on pet shop out of your apartment, can you be validly charged with trespassing? Or just sued for breach of contract and evicted? (I assume such activity isn't otherwise criminalized.) Furthermore, contract actions typically require actual or at least agreed upon damages (my lease has a fee for bringing a pet on), and guns don't typically break things unless fired. Also, unless they're rabid hoplophobes, if you're paying your bills why kick you out over it? They'd lose money. Insistence upon removal and the charging of a fee would be more profitable for them.

    If your lease mentions nothing about it, not even by reference to complex rules, their actions might be unlawful if they went after you. You bought possession of a portion of the premises for a period of time. They signed a contract with you. If the landlord suddenly decided, despite a lack of lease terms related to the matter or even any prior notice, to call the police on you and kick you out of the apartment because he found out that you're running a Linux machine and he just can't stand penguins, could you sue? How about if he stole that computer and had it fed to a smasher?

    I think you're letting the wariness of watching out for absurdly harsh firearms laws spill over onto gun rules issued by other people - people that don't have the social advantage required to capriciously bully you with impunity. I wouldn't call lessor/lessee relations an even standing, in general, but at least in this you might have some teeth - you have something they want (your rent) and some contractual rights they've given you. Look into the matter further (IANAL) but I'm optimistic. One thing that might be important to who gets the contractual upper hand: did the sign go up before or after you signed on?
    That's true, in a contract, all Issues must be "up-front" other wise, it could be considered fraud.
    That is being sneaky, and not being up front.
    Bank of America, does this all the time. "Just Sign here" !
    Did you see a sign before you moved in ? Or after ? That is the question.
    Never the less, if it was not on the contract, you have a good leg to stand on !
    Robin47

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    Regular Member .40S&W's Avatar
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    If I'm paying rent to live somewhere you can darn well bet I'm gonna have something to defend myself with. What are the owners gonna do, stand outside my residence and watch for BG's?

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