The issue of tenant gun ownership and gun owner’s rights are in the press quite a bit right now. Overall, tenants are protected under the second amendment of the Constitution, but landlords may still conduct criminal background checks to ensure tenants will be responsible gun owners.
Tenant Gun Ownership Specifics Vary By State
The second amendment as well as individual state’s rights play into what is acceptable for this issue on a state by state basis. Many states have conceal and carry laws on the books, which means that individuals with the required permit may carry a loaded firearm on their person. This means they may also have them in their living space, even if it is a rented apartment, condo or home.
Even in states that do not have conceal and carry permits on the books, tenant gun ownership is generally allowed by virtue of our nation’s Constitution. While many fear the integrity of the second amendment is in danger of being challenged by President Obama, for now, tenant gun ownership rights are still intact. That said, because landlords are technically business owners, they do have some latitude in the rules they set up for their properties.
From “Reasonable Regulations” to Inherent Rights
Some landlords and property owners have taken it upon themselves to challenge the Constitutional right to bear arms. A few have imposed bans on all weapons and firearms in their buildings and properties.
While gun owners can challenge these landlords and often win, some states like Colorado are actually more supportive of this type of action taken by landlords. The term “reasonable regulations” is often used to describe what landlords are allowed to enforce, although the specific meaning can be hazy.
Some states actually have laws on the books that prohibit property owners from issuing any type of restrictions on gun owners. Minnesota, California and Virginia are three such examples. Other states are more reticent on the issue, and a range of outcomes are possible if a landlord decides to impose parameters on the rights of gun owners who live in their properties.
Rental Screening Makes All the Difference
Regardless, landlords can always make use of a professional rental screening service to assist them in finding quality renters for their properties. Criminally-minded persons with guns are a threat to any vicinity; however, there are also many responsible, law-abiding gun owners in America. Resident screening can help with determining and avoiding the potential tenants who have a history of violence or criminal behavior.