With all the controversy currently surrounding gun control, being knowledgeable about both sides of the issue is extremely helpful. Whether you own guns for protection and think shooting is an important skill or you just want to learn more about gun laws, being aware is always a plus. So the question is, can a landlord prevent you from owning guns if you’re living on their property? The answer is, it depends on where you live.
The only states that have specific laws about this are Minnesota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin. John Triplett of rentalhousingjournal.com summarizes each law for us. “Minnesota says a landlord cannot restrict the lawful carry or possession of firearms by tenants or their guests” and Virginia’s law is stated very similarly. In contrast, Tennessee’s law states “A private landlord can prohibit tenants, including those who hold handgun carry permits, from possessing firearms within a leased premises. Such a prohibition may be imposed through a clause in the lease.” He goes on to say, “Wisconsin has a complicated maze of where a weapon can and cannot be possessed.”
The other states leave this decision up to the individual landowner. Sometimes there are signs displayed letting you know the policy of a property. The lease agreement should have more information about the specific gun regulations if there are any. It is important to note if you violate a lease agreement that prohibits firearms on the property, you may be subject to eviction.
This issue is definitely complicated and requires research on the part of the landlord and renter in each situation. If you discover a property you’re looking at doesn’t allow guns and you know that won’t work for you, it’s probably in everyone’s best interest to find a place where they are allowed. It might take some work, but knowing and following the law will serve you best in the long run.