Ever since August of 2015 when wheelchair bound Harvey Lembo shot an intruder in his Rockland, Maine apartment there has been a lot of talk concerning renters who want guns, and landlords who want gun free properties.

It turns out that Mr. Lembo’s rental agreement included a rule that weapons were not allowed in his apartment, and he was told he would be evicted, unless he removed any guns from his home.

A big lawsuit was filed, and the State Government got involved, and now there is a new law going into effect in July, 2016 that will require all landlords of 5 or more units to allow residents to keep firearms if they accept public money.

If the landlord lives on site, and has 4 units or less, regardless of if they take public money or not, the landlord can still prohibit weapons.

And for me, that is where things become a little less black and white. If you have read my blogs in the past, you will see that I am all in favor of guns. I love them. I wish I could afford more of them.

I think home invaders should be shot, and I don’t care if they are armed, unarmed, running away, or attacking you.

If you are in my home, and I don’t know you, and I didn’t invite you? I will shoot you until the gun is empty, and if for some reason you are still moving, I will reload.

If I DO know you, you will have a much better chance of getting back out of my house alive, as long as you either have a REALLY good reason for being there, or you wait for the police to come and take you away. (Allegedly the person shot by Mr. Lembo was given that option, and decided to make a break for it, when he was shot)

But like I said… There is a gray area. What about people who for whatever reason do not like guns at all? They may have religious beliefs against them, or maybe they are afraid of them, or whatever!

They can tell you to stay off their property with weapons, and by law, you would be trespassing if you refused to respect their wishes, even if you live on their property. If you live in your parent’s garage, and they tell you “NO GUNS!” that means NO GUNS!

So the same should be true of landlords…right?

Perhaps?

But if you accept government money to have tenants live on your property don’t you waive your rights? Haven’t you now become an agent of the government, and are therefore subject to the same rules as the government?

In America we have rights. Occasionally we all choose to waive them from time to time, but we should NEVER be forced into waiving our rights, because of our financial situation.

Todd Tollhurst, the President of Gun Owners of Maine, summed it up FAR better than I ever could, when he spoke in favor of LD52 at a public hearing:

”lt would be outrageous if public housing landlords were to require residents to sign away their freedom of worship or their freedom of speech in order to live in a unit paid for with public monies. It would be unacceptable for landlords accepting public funds to require their tenants to give up their right to vote. lt is equally egregious to restrict a tenant’s right to exercise their right to keep and bear arms in their own home, when that home is supported by public funds.”

To see Mr. Tollhurst’s full testimony follow this link- http://legislature.maine.gov/legis/bills/getTestimonyDoc.asp?id=36743

Basically, if you want to rent out units in property that you own, and you don’t want your tenants to be able to protect themselves with guns of their own?  Don’t accept government money!  And if you are concerned a tenant may shoot themselves, or another person, and come after you for allowing weapons?  RELAX!  According to LD1572:

” Except in cases of willful, reckless or gross negligence, a landlord is not liable in a civil action for personal injury, death, property damage or other damages resulting from or arising out of an occurrence involving a firearm, a firearm component or ammunition that the landlord is required to allow on the property under this section.”

To lean more about LD1572 click the following link- http://legislature.maine.gov/legis/bills/getPDF.asp?paper=SP0620&item=3&snum=127

By the way.  I am a BLOGGER  What you have just read is MY OPINION…No trees were cut in the making of this blog, unless by some miracle Bangor Daily News decides to actually print this in their actual paper copy, which is unlikely, BECAUSE THIS IS A BLOG! Short for “weblog”.  Also, I am not a paid member of the Bangor Daily News staff, so if this sound like this was written by some guy drinking a beer with his buddies…Well that would be BECAUSE THIS IS A BLOG!  If you must leave nasty comments, direct them at me, and leave BDN out of this huh???  Thanks  :)

Doug Alley

I grew up in Bath, Maine in an upper lower class family with 3 step sisters, a step brother, and a little sister. After high school I spent 3 years serving in the USAF at Elmendorf AFB in Anchorage AK....