UPDATE: This misguided policy has been thrown out, likely because of our (and others’) coverage of this story!
A litany of so-called fair housing laws prevents landlords from denying tenancy to anyone based on age, gender, sexual orientation, race, or a host of other criteria.
The management of one Castle Rock, Colo. apartment complex, however, has issued an ultimatum to its resident gun owners. According to reports, renters who continue to exercise their Second Amendment rights as of Oct. 1 will be forced to find alternate housing.
One tenant, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and a concealed carry permit holder, is speaking out against the ridiculous ruling.
“They want to take [all my guns] away from me,” Art Dorsch said. “They say I can’t live here.”
While landlords should be able to use discretion in allowing individuals to rent their units, it is unconscionable that law-abiding tenants already living in the complex be displaced entirely because they own a firearm. Dorsch and others in his position are being forced to make the unenviable choice of protecting their lives and possessions or continuing to live in their current homes.
For 77-year-old Dorsch, it is a decision he shouldn’t be forced to make.
“It upsets me very much,” he said.
According to Scott Robinson, an analyst commenting on the issue, property managers are usually allowed a certain amount of leeway in implementing rules by which residents must abide.
“The question is, is an outright ban of firearms reasonable in light of the U.S. Constitution?”
For its part, the management group that oversees this particular complex has not yet commented on the issue.
It is worth noting that this apartment complex is located in a community south of Denver, just miles from the site of both the Aurora cinema massacre last summer and the 1999 Columbine High School shootings. These tragic incidents, however, do not give landlords the right to suspend the constitutional rights of their tenants.
If anything, responsible gun owners contribute to a safer environment for all tenants. Forcing these individuals out of their homes will merely broadcast the remaining residents as unarmed potential victims.