I'm going to be getting my own apartment soon, and I'm a gun owner.  I stumbled across something online saying that some landlords and apartment complexes have strict no gun policies.  Is this true?  Is this legal?  Is it something I need to be worried about in the State of Texas?

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1. Legal - yes, their property, their rules. 

2. Probably not. 

Okay, thanks.  What about keeping my firearms safe in my apartment?  Should I get a gun safe or just keep them in the closet?  There's not gonna be any kids in there, but I'm worried about maintenance people finding them or something.  I want one where I can access it quickly if I need it for self-defense, but other than that I don't need quick access to the rest.   

Y'know, this is the sort of question best answered by talking to the landlord. Read any rental contract before you sign it.  That way you avoid surprises.

Texas at least used to have a cartel called the Texas Apartment Association, which issues a standard, many-page lease, featuring such things as "If the first rent check is late we get to kick you out, take all your furniture, and charge you an entire year's rent, due immediately."  But I have never seen an apartment rental contract that mentioned guns.

Rented many apartments in Texas from the large corporate ones to the tiny boutique ones, never had anyone ask about my guns.

 

As far as keeping them safe, well, keep them as safe as your budget will allow, and then maybe a little more.

It might not be legal.  Renters have rights -- though I'd have to look up whether there is a specific landlord-tenant law governing gun ownership.  Wouldn't put it past Texas to have such a law.  For instance, Texas law says property owners cannot prohibit weapons in your car, even when in their parking lot.

 

I live in Texas.  I haven't rented an apartment in several years, but nobody ever even asked about weapons, much less told me I couldn't have them there.  I doubt you'll have a problem.

 

JB

Good to know, thanks!

I looked around a bit.  I think they can put a gun-ban in the lease in Texas (it is illegal in Minnesota, though).  There's no statute addressing it, and I never saw a case litigating it ... so there's nothing stopping them.  Having a gun in your apartment, or carrying it between your apartment and your car, or even shooting someone defending your apartment wouldn't be a violation of the law ... but it could be a violation of the lease agreement.

 

Might be worth litigating, but, until it is ruled otherwise, its is a legal contract provision.

 

Still, this isn't a terribly standard apartment contract provision, so you should be able to find one without.   And, concealed is concealed.  Keep locked-up and out-of-sight, and they'll probably never know the difference (that's practical advice, not legal advice).


JB

Thanks for checking into it.  I'll just be sure to read the lease before I sign and make sure I'm at a place that has no ban on it.  I'll keep them concealed, I wouldn't dream of putting a sign up that says I HAVE GUNS.  Why invite trouble when no trouble is necessary?

Got me remembering my last apartment in the middle of the Montrose area of Houston(probably THE liberal hotbed of Houston). I would regularly clean my guns out on my patio where the whole complex could see. No one would bother me in anyway there, hell, even had a couple neighbors that would do extra things for us....

The right of quiet enjoyment that is part of every lease prohibits landlords from just going in and snooping whenever for whatever reason. My lease (in California) requires 24-hour notice before the landlord visits. Even then, my landlord prefers to meet me for maintenance issues - a real headache when you're never home during business hours. It would be highly unprofessional and un-business-like, to go snooping through closets and under beds. Not to say it's illegal or never happens - The landlord would argue it's to check more basic provisions of the lease are being followed, like no illegal substances. Just to say that guns stored out of the way shouldn't be an issue.

But, yeah, follow your lease.

And all bets are off for university housing. They visited unannounced and peeked through everything looking for fire safety violations.

Read the lease be for you sign the contract.  Every place is different to worry about what ifs of maybes waist time in your life.

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