Property Management, Tenant Selection, Real Estate News & Tips

Gun Policies As a Landlord or Property Manager

By on October 5, 2015 in Education, Off Topic with 4 Comments

Vector Gun Free Zone street and building sign shot full of bullet holes.

My heart is heavy today and my mind on guns in the wake of another mass school shooting. This shooting in particular hits home for me. The shooting occurred in Roseburg, OR approximately 60 miles from the town I reside in, I have friends and family there. To top it all off the schools, where my boys attend, called me today to notify me that the security had been heightened.  One of the schools had a police officer assigned there for the day and the other was in a “lock in” status because someone called in a bomb threat at the community college. It makes me sad that people have such little value for human life.

Out of curiosity I researched the topic on whether or not a landlord can choose to make their properties gun free without it being considered discrimination or an infringement of the tenants Second Amendment rights. With the latest local and national news about gun control and how to keep our schools safe from school shootings, the tightening up of the background check requirements for purchasing guns, and the outcry from people wanting a world safe from crazy gun slinging people. 

In my research all of the information I found said that yes, a landlord can choose to make their property a  gun free zone. This finding does make me wonder if a gun prohibition could be considered a liability in certain circumstances. For instance, if a tenant is unable to defend themselves against a perpetrator. I consider myself a person who is pro “Rights”  and I don’t want to see rights taken away from people I do wonder if there is a way to help limit the ability of people who are mentally unstable or violent from getting their hands on guns and injuring or killing innocent people. I respect a property owner’s rights as well as a gun owner’s rights.  

My internet research of course returned a plethora of information some factual but mostly opinion, experiences, and perspectives. Most of the information I encountered was from the gun right activist or at least enthusiasts perspective. They brought up the point that if you un-arm your tenants that they would be targets for criminals. I suppose if you owned a multi-unit property and there were signs stating the fact that the property was a gun free zone this would clue criminals in. I’m not convinced that criminals would somehow know that the tenants were not allowed to have guns on the property if it were just a clause in the lease. If of course there was a burglary or a violent crime then I do agree that the tenant may be less able to defend themselves against the criminal if that was necessary.

From the other perspective keeping a property gun free would ensure that the gun doesn’t get into the wrong hands. The “wrong hands” could include; a child, a criminal, or someone mentally unstable. I think that if the guns are stored properly, in a safe, that those issues could be ameliorated and the property would be safe from that particular issue. I guess there just has to be a certain amount of trust that the tenant is going to keep the gun in the safe and also that the tenant is not a criminal or mentally unstable themselves.

Would you consider a no gun policy or have any of you landlords or property managers employed such a policy? If so, I’m curious to know what your experiences have been.

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About the Author

About the Author: Dulcey is both a private landlord and media contributor for Rentec Direct. Her passion is to bring up to date, useful information front-and-center for property managers and landlords. .

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There Are 4 Brilliant Comments

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  1. bonnie says:

    i have rentals in NJ… gun laws are so strict, i never even felt i needed to address it. I have a mobile home park in OK, and most people own guns. Guns are not allowed per my lease but i would not enforce that as long as they are legal and not being mis-used or mis-handled. A few years ago there was a nut in here that came out with her gun and threatened two people that lived near her. I wasn’t here then but I did evict her for “not playing well with others” …. she did warn me by saying “I have a gun and I know how to use it.” ,,,,,

    I hate to say it… it’s almost a social thing… like i said, almost everyone here in OK has a gun. I would trust almost all of them with a gun. I think i would feel that same with NJ tenants i have had. Maybe my lease should just say that all firearms must be registered WITH MANAGEMENT and the STATE and be legal…. I’ll think on it while i clean my gun.

    • Dulcey S says:

      Lol, I love that Bonnie “I’ll think on it while I clean my gun”. It’s a tough situation, like i said in my blog I’m not for taking away more rights then have already been taken.However, it would be nice if we could somehow keep guns out of the hands of people who are crazy or have bad intentions.

  2. David Thomas says:

    I would never consider interfering with people’s right to defend themselves in their dwelling place. I would consider it a gross violation of constitutional rights. Think of the liability of disarming your tenants and then the unthinkable happens and they are killed or injured because they could not defend themselves.

    • Dulcey S says:

      Thank you for the comment David, I agree it would be awful to be held liable and even more awful to know that you had a part in someones death or injury.

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