No Guns In Rental Apartments

13 Replies

Can a landlord restrict or prohibit a tenant possessing firearms in a rental unit, or on the common areas of rental property? Here is an interesting article about this question:

https://rentalhousingjournal.com/can-a-landlord-say-no-guns-in-my-apartments/?utm_source=Master+Investor%2FOwner%2FProp+Mngr%2FSocial&utm_campaign=b9e348f97a-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_08_14_01_54&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1df36dfca7-b9e348f97a-165584705

After reading it, my first thought is, OK, we want to keep tenants and all occupants safe.  

But if we post "NO FIREARMS PERMITTED ON THESE PREMISES" what does that say to the 'bad guys'?  Where do most mass shootings occur?  They don't ever happen in Police precincts or on gun club ranges; they mostly occur in places (schools, theaters, malls, concerts) where there are NO WEAPONS ALLOWED policies.  

I am not trying to take a political stand; I'm trying to think logically about who gets shot during these horrific attacks?  It's almost always the softest targets.  It's a tough question and requires tough answers.  Unfortunately, in our world today, we must address them.

Comments on or personal experience with the topic are always welcome.  

Hi Marc,

I'd assume it will draw a particular type of tenant, and a particular type of criminal.

Plus you could only enforce it after the fact, and would it stand up in court (Constitutional Right, will they evict for that).

And would you be opening yourself up to a lawsuit for not being diligent enough in enforcing it when someone shoots through a wall and injures a neighbor?

Seems like a can of worms, and no extra money in the pocket. 

I think we have enough regulations to follow without making more of our own.

On the flip side, you might be able to get more rent if you turned the basement into a private pistol range for the residents.

Just my 2 cents.

Good Luck!

@Marc Winter if we're speaking logically, less that 1% of gun deaths come from mass shootings, so enacting a policy to protect from that is illogical. Most deaths are suicide, followed by domestic disputes. That being the case, protecting your tenants from mass shootings by allowing guns, will make them more likely to be victims of gun violence.

@Marc Winter Yikes. I'm not a gun person but I think trying to restrict weapons is a bad idea.

Also, it is "news" for a reason. It is covered like crazy because it's rare. 

Just for perspective:

-In 2016 we lost ~37,000 people to car accidents in the U.S. 

-In 2016 we lost ~300 people to mass shootings in the U.S.

How often do you worry about getting in the car?

It's terrible and it's awful and I think we all agree it should stop happening. But it's also incredibly rare.

Absent any law to the contrary, you can restrict guns just like pets. You are not violating any of their rights. I do have to ask why would you do such a thing? Keep the tenants safe from who, a law-abiding person who is exercising their constitutional right? Your question assumes that a person that legally possesses a gun presents a threat, quite to the contrary. If one on my tenants was triggered because they found out a neighbor had a gun, I would ask the "triggered" tenant lo leave.

my 2 cents

Thanks for all the responses.  I would never step into the quagmire of restricting or encouraging gun ownership or possession of a legal firearm in a rental. So much has been talked about this subject already, and it is, after all, still a constitutional right.  But I really wanted to take the pulse of other landlords and property managers to see which way the wind is blowing.

I think you could legally defend your position....its just not worth a fight if someone wants to fight with you about it. Its a policy that would be very hard to enforce....are you going to search their possessions?
The "mass shootings" only occur in "gun free zones" is BS...... they occur in public places with large groups of easy targets and some with very specific targets. Both the LV shooting and the one at the Gilroy Garlic festival......armed guards all over the place...... but lets not get into the politics of gun control etc

Bottom line is its going to be a very hard policy to enforce and such a polarizing issue, its not worth fighting it in your small circle.

That would be foolish for a number of reasons but it would also make any decent tenant steer clear of your property.

Originally posted by @Will Gaston :

@Marc Winter Yikes. I'm not a gun person but I think trying to restrict weapons is a bad idea.

Also, it is "news" for a reason. It is covered like crazy because it's rare. 

Just for perspective:

-In 2016 we lost ~37,000 people to car accidents in the U.S. 

-In 2016 we lost ~300 people to mass shootings in the U.S.

How often do you worry about getting in the car?

It's terrible and it's awful and I think we all agree it should stop happening. But it's also incredibly rare.

& in keeping with that...

In the United States, 70,200 people died from drug overdoses in 2017, which was an increase of about 10 percent over 2016. Guns are not the problem.

I have a neighbor (2 doors down from our multi-unit on 5 acres) who has an open air pistol range on his 4 acre lot & I know 2 of our tenants (& all of our kids) have Concealed Carry permits. They are very welcome.

 

I am not stating my position about guns; only opening a conversation because of a few articles I've seen.  When the media starts with this type of publicity, it can get sticky fast.  That's the last thing I want to see happen.  I'm encouraged that so many of our fellow BP'ers feel that any restriction attempted by a landlord to stifle the legitimate possession of a firearm is a no-no.

Marc, I think this is for the most part, something to left out of your hands almost 100% of the time. 

For legal reasons mentioned a few times above, and also, it's mostly a police issue I would imagine, no matter what the area.  

Now, if you have particular complaints from neighbors about gun shots at night or something similar and that news makes it back to you, then it's time for a conversation w/ those tenants. 

I don't think it's a policy you could really enforce anyway. You'd have to do a thorough search of an entire apartment in order to see if there is a gun in there. And since you have to give 24 hr notice before entering, they'd just take the gun somewhere else for the time being. And someone who shouldn't/can't have a gun legally, but still does, isn't going to care about their LL's "no gun policy" anyway, so you'd mostly just be keeping good law abiding tenants out of your rentals.

@Marc Winter I’m in Tennessee. Guns are par for the course. If you see a pick up truck, and there are more than cars, there’s 90% chance there’s a gun in it or on the drivers hip.

Most mass shootings do happen at soft spots but most shootings at apartment complexes seem to be suicide, drug & gang related every situation is different. 

Media & politicians use mass shootings as a divide and conquer technique because people get so worked up about the 2nd amendment.