Colorado landlord to Marine: Get rid of your guns or get out; Update: Landlord cancels policy
posted at 8:11 pm on August 7, 2013 by Allahpundit
Gut-check time for gun-loving conservatives: We’re dealing with a private landlord here, not a state actor, in which case does the Marine have any argument that his Second Amendment rights trump the owner’s property rights? Businesses can ban guns from their premises, no? Why can’t a landlord?
I can’t find a statutory reference to “reasonable regulations” mentioned in the clip; maybe it’s a common-law standard under Colorado’s landlord-tenant jurisprudence. It does make sense, though, that the landlord’s power to set the rules for his property even if they require tenants to forfeit a constitutional right or two isn’t absolute. Case in point: What if the landlord demanded that tenants sign a new rider to their lease declaring that they won’t vote in the next election? Hard to believe a court would enforce it. It would, presumably, be struck on grounds that it’s against public policy. The gun issue is different, though, because there’s a safety argument to be made. If a landlord’s jittery about being sued over a potential accidental shooting on the property, is that unreasonable?
Bottom line: The market should handle this. The Marine will, I bet, have no trouble landing a new pad once gun-rights-supporting property owners in the area hear about it. And his current landlord obviously isn’t keen on the publicity this is getting, per their no-comment to the station. If you’re going to risk the bad PR involved in a gun ban, especially with someone as sympathetic as an elderly serviceman on the other side, be sure that it’ll be good for your bottom line.
Update: That was fast.
Board members decided that the policy, which would have prohibited residents from having firearms in their homes, will not go into effect.
The Douglas County Housing partnership owns Oakwood Apartments in Castle Rock. It was purchased with federal funds and is supported by local, state, and federal tax dollars.
“These community policy changes were distributed without the knowledge or authorization of the Board of Directors of the Douglas County Housing Partnership or its staff,” a Douglas County Housing Partnership release said. “This board does not support any action that infringes on an individual’s rights and will not allow Ross Management to implement these changes. The mission of the Douglas County Housing partnership is to preserve and develop safe, secure, quality housing while providing housing choices for those who have few.”
So it is a state actor after all. Not only was there bad publicity afoot here, there was, potentially, a Second Amendment lawsuit in the offing. No wonder they backtracked.