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Old April 23, 2012, 08:27 PM   #1
newshooter1992
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Guns allowed in apartments?

First let me explain my situation:

I am a Texas college student transferring to a new university next year (in San Marcos). I will also be living with my girlfriend and soon to be fiance along with two other roommates who have absolutely no problems with me keeping, and need be, using a firearm in the apartment. I planned on buying a home defense shotgun (too young to purchase a handgun) for the apartment I live in now but didn't have the money. I now plan on buying a home defense shotgun for the one I will live in next year.

My question is do apartment complexes allow firearms? My lease right now does not say anything regarding the issue but I plan on asking the management about it. I have also done a little bit of research on the internet and have gotten different answers. My girlfriend thinks that I cannot and fears that we will get in trouble if we are somehow caught with one.

The only protection I have at the moment is a bayonet I got when I purchased my Mosin Nagant and I am not even sure if that is allowed. I would feel safer for both me and my girlfriend with a firearm there to protect us in case the worse happens. Has anyone ever dealt with this situation?
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Old April 23, 2012, 08:28 PM   #2
zoomie
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Are you on or off campus? There's no law against it if you're off campus. (On campus you'll have to read the school's rules.) Either way, the lease might say no firearms/weapons/teddy bears. Read the lease carefully before you sign it.
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Old April 23, 2012, 08:31 PM   #3
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What zoomie said........ Read the lease very carefully. Better yet, get a lawyer to look it over before you sign to verify the property owner does not prohibit a lessee from possessing a firearm on the property.
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Old April 23, 2012, 08:40 PM   #4
newshooter1992
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I am off campus (wouldn't even consider it if I was on). And I will go through any precaution in order to not get into any legal hassle.
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Old April 23, 2012, 08:49 PM   #5
RamItOne
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Southwest Texas state!
Enjoy it!


Shouldn't have any issues with the apt complex. Wouldn't open carry from truck to apt tho.
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Old April 23, 2012, 09:20 PM   #6
Don H
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Quote:
(too young to purchase a handgun)
You're under 18?

There's no federal law and, I believe, no Texas law, that prohibits a person 18+ years old from buying a handgun in a private party sale. It's illegal for a dealer to sell a handgun to anyone under the age of 21.
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Old April 23, 2012, 09:35 PM   #7
newshooter1992
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RamItOne: Oh I plan to enjoy every minute and I always carry in a case so there will be no issues with that

DonH: It's true that you learn something everyday cause I didn't know that I could legally buy a handgun! I always go to a dealer to and never thought about a private transaction. But why could a private party be able to sell me a handgun and not a dealer?
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Old April 23, 2012, 09:48 PM   #8
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Saxet gun show rolls through SA twice a month I believe and a few others scattered on various weekends. A lot of private party sellers
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Old April 23, 2012, 10:15 PM   #9
Aguila Blanca
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Your lease defines the contractual agreement between you (as tenant) and landlord. If the lease does not prohibit firearms, then firearms are not prohibited.

I would advise you NOT to ask the landlord. Don't give them any ideas.
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Old April 23, 2012, 10:55 PM   #10
animal
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Hang on a minute !

Some Colleges have off-campus apartments linked to their housing program.
Sometimes they are owned by the College, or linked to the College by contracts with private apartment complexes.
If you’re in one of those, sometimes you're under the same rules as the dorm.
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Old April 23, 2012, 11:28 PM   #11
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When i was going to school in Beaumont, which has been awhile, the on-campus apartments had very different, more liberal rules than the on-campus dorms. In the apartments you could have firearms, alcohol, women, all the fun stuff. The dorms, eh, not so much. Just need to check the rules.
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Old April 23, 2012, 11:40 PM   #12
Hog Red
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a mosin nagant bayonette unless attached to the gun is about as useful as a butterknife. in fact you would probably be better off with a steak knife. i def would not ask the apartment mgr. if it's not prohibited in the lease then it's none of his business.
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Old April 24, 2012, 02:37 AM   #13
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If you are off campus in a private dwelling, and your rent is paid...you have a fairly serious expectation of privacy as your right. Remember, you have more rights at home than anywhere else.
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Old April 24, 2012, 06:10 AM   #14
rts99
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Interesting Constitutional Question

This is a VERY interesting legal topic. On-campus I won't wade into, because this is a "school" and there are laws regarding schools that even the Supreme Court made clear may not be subject to the 2nd Amendment, for better or worse.

But for your average everyday citizen's appartment it's not clear to me that the landlord can deny a tenant their 2nd Amendment rights regardless of who owns the property. They can't deny your your 1st Amendment rights in your appartment nor any others. As a tenant the appartment is YOUR home, and the Supreme Court has ruled that citizens have the right to keep and bear arms for self defence in their own homes............. This is very much worth a discussion with an attorney in the state where you plan to live, because as we all know your rights vary from state to state - so much for your "rights" (but that's an entirely different matter......)
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Old April 24, 2012, 06:26 AM   #15
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I currently own eight rental units here in Missouri. I get a few college folks every year and only one of them has ever asked me about having a gun. My answer to him was "No, unless you let me shoot it."

Seriously, if it is not mentioned in the lease agreement and the apartments are not contracted to the college, I would say nothing. I would probably be very careful bringing it in and out of the apartment also.
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Old April 24, 2012, 06:33 AM   #16
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One other thing...you mentioned living there with your fiance and other folks.

Get a safe. Or, at the very least, a sturdy locking cabinet.

Make it a relatively small one, weigh the thing down, and NO ONE gets the keys or combination but you.

PERIOD.
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Old April 24, 2012, 08:29 AM   #17
newshooter1992
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First of all, thanks for all the tips and advice!

Let me clear up a few things: The apartment complex is in no way connected to the school so there should be no issues there. The apartment I live in now is very small so the bayonet would be better than nothing if someone did enter. I also planned on asking my current management about the subject and not the future ones. I will also make precautions not to have the firearm just sitting out because I know that there will be plenty of people over who I don't want handling my gun!

From what I am hearing I should just carefully read the lease and if nothing is mentioned on the matter just assume that firearms are allowed? I understand that asking the management about it could get them nervous but I still don't want to do anything illegal. Could I contact the local police department and ask instead of a lawyer?
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Old April 24, 2012, 08:52 AM   #18
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newshooter1992
From what I am hearing I should just carefully read the lease and if nothing is mentioned on the matter just assume that firearms are allowed?
That is correct. The lease defines the ENTIRE contractual relationship between the landlord(s) and the tenant(s). If no prohibition against guns is mentioned, you do not have to "assume" anything, because there is no prohibition.

Quote:
I understand that asking the management about it could get them nervous but I still don't want to do anything illegal. Could I contact the local police department and ask instead of a lawyer?
You could contact the police, but what can they tell you? They are not real estate attorneys. and they probably won't have time to read your lease for you.

Don't overthink this. Read the lease. If the lease doesn't prohibit firearms, then firearms are not prohibited. If firearms are not prohibited, then having a firearm in your apartment is not illegal. It's that simple.

And I concur in the suggestion to get a small safe in which to keep your blaster, as well as the advice to not tell the combination to anyone. That includes your apartment mates.
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Old April 24, 2012, 08:59 AM   #19
Willie Sutton
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I'd add this as well:

Even if a residential lease prohibits firearms posession in the property, a violation of that is a lease violation: It is not a crime. The cops could care less about that. The worst thing that could happen would be that your landlord could start proceedings to have you evicted.

It's unlikely to be an issue in any event.

The locked safe advice is very good advice.


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Old April 24, 2012, 09:20 AM   #20
BoogieMan
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Quote:
But for your average everyday citizen's appartment it's not clear to me that the landlord can deny a tenant their 2nd Amendment rights regardless of who owns the property. They can't deny your your 1st Amendment rights in your appartment nor any others. As a tenant the appartment is YOUR home, and the Supreme Court has ruled that citizens have the right to keep and bear arms for self defence in their own homes............. This is very much worth a discussion with an attorney in the state where you plan to live, because as we all know your rights vary from state to state - so much for your "rights" (but that's an entirely different matter......)
If the Landlord specificaly does not permit firearms than its a violation of your lease. Your constitutional rights have ZERO bearing on private property. In a nutshell if your on my property (the landlord) you have the right to leave. A landlord allows you to sleep and keap your stuff there in return for a fee. Its never your apartment or house.
As a landlord and a supporter of guns rights I do not call out firearms in my lease. But I can tell you I would prefer that my teneants are not armed.
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Old April 24, 2012, 11:03 AM   #21
ChuckS
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Quote:
Your constitutional rights have ZERO bearing on private property.
LOL!
I don't believe that for a minute.

For instance, states (if not federal) can define when, why, or even how you may enter the apartment (my domicile). These rules are often very lenient for the aprtment owner but still provide some expectation of privacy.

Last edited by Frank Ettin; April 24, 2012 at 11:17 AM. Reason: delete insult
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Old April 24, 2012, 11:12 AM   #22
Willie Sutton
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"I don't believe that for a minute."



Then perhaps a little civics education is in order:

Your rights under the US Constitution defines your relationship to the Government and nothing else. If the "right" that you are trying to assert is one between you and the United States of America or it's government subdivisions down to the local level, you can rely on the Constitution as a place to point.

You have absolutely zero "rights" in your interaction with private individuals or corporations. This relationship is one that is voluntary in it's basis. You, for example, have no right to keep and bear arms in my living room... or in a room that I rent to you.


Willie

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Old April 24, 2012, 11:12 AM   #23
Don H
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newshooter1992
But why could a private party be able to sell me a handgun and not a dealer?
Because federal law has specifically prohibited FFLs from selling handguns to anyone under 21 years of age but is silent on non-FFL transfers of handguns in private party sales to those over 18 years of age. It is a state determination on whether it will allow private party handgun sales or handgun transfers to those between the ages of 18 and 21. Some states allow it, some don't. 18USC922, which I have linked to below, is the controlling federal code for many areas of firearms possession and should be studied by all firearms owners, in my opinion.

18USC(b):
Quote:
It shall be unlawful for any licensed importer, licensed
manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector to sell or
deliver -
(1) any firearm or ammunition to any individual who the
licensee knows or has reasonable cause to believe is less than
eighteen years of age, and, if the firearm, or ammunition is
other than a shotgun or rifle, or ammunition for a shotgun or
rifle, to any individual who the licensee knows or has reasonable
cause to believe is less than twenty-one years of age;
http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/uscode/18/I/44/922

While this is a digression from your question, I felt this misconception should be clarified.

One other point: Some states issue CCW permits to 18 year-olds and at least one state will issue non-resident CCW permits to 18 year-olds. Since my state will not issue a CCW permit to anyone under 21 but recognizes permits issued by any state or county, some people in that 18-21 category have applied for and received a Maine permit and thus can legally CCW here in Utah.
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Old April 24, 2012, 11:13 AM   #24
Spats McGee
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Just read the lease. If the apartments are unconnected with the university, then it's a simple contract matter. If the lease says firearms are prohibited, then they are. If not, they're not. The apartment is private property. The landlord may prohibit firearms if he chooses to.
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Old April 24, 2012, 11:14 AM   #25
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rts99
...it's not clear to me that the landlord can deny a tenant their 2nd Amendment rights regardless of who owns the property....
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckS
Quote:
Your constitutional rights have ZERO bearing on private property.
I don't believe that for a minute....
Okay, I've been waiting for this to come up. A lot of people do not understand this point, but the Constitution does not regulate private conduct.

So the Second Amendment is irrelevant to this question.
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