Can landlords prohibit handguns?

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01/28/2016 | Author: Editorial Staff

Can landlords ban concealed carry and open carry from their property?

Yes. Landlords can give verbal or written notice that handguns are prohibited and can ban open carry, concealed carry, or both.

Written notice to prohibit both open and concealed carry can be provided in a document such as a lease or through a posted sign.

To provide written notice to tenants in a lease, you must use the language found in Section 30.06(c)(3)(A) of the Texas Penal Code to prohibit concealed carry, and the language found in Section 30.07(c)(3)(A) of the Texas Penal Code to prohibit open carry. Both notices must be included in the lease to prohibit both open and concealed carry. An appropriate place to write these notices in the lease is in Special Provisions.

Another way to provide notice to tenants and other people entering the property is through a sign. You must conspicuously post two signs at each entrance of the property—one with the language from the Texas Penal Code Section 30.06(c)(3)(A) to forbid concealed carry, and the other with language from the Texas Penal Code Section 30.07(c)(3)(A) to forbid open carry. The language from the Texas Penal Code must be in both English and Spanish and must be printed in contrasting colors with block letters at least one inch in height.

Landlords should review their rules and regulations and update them to reflect their policy for handguns on their property. Tenants should also be notified of the landlord’s handgun policies.

Read more legal questions and answers on texasrealestate.com.

Categories: Property Management, Legal
Tags: legal faq, property management, open carry, concealed carry


Comments

Gary on 06/08/2016

Mark, just for the record I will agree that the CHL/LTC “skills test” is pretty much a joke.  I’ve always said that you had to be blind and armless to not pass it.  I did see one woman not pass it but I’ll still hold with what I said because I think she had her eyes closed every time she took a shot.  She did have both arms though.  I do a lot of pre-CHL training with my students and I always emphasize to them that passing the test is not something that should make them feel that they are proficient with the use of a firearm and that shooting is a perishable skill.  I day or two every year at the range hardly prepares you for when you are in a stressful, life and death situation when the adrenaline is flowing and your heart is about to jump out of your chest.  I spend a lot of time at the range and I’ve seen more than my share of scary situations occur during CHL skills tests, including one person that nearly shot herself in the foot.  Unfortunately, way too many CHL/LTC students come to the class thinking that they are going to be instructed in marksmanship.  In fact, instructors are prohibited from teaching more than basic safety.  Students are only tested, not instructed, in marksmanship.  In many cases they show up with a borrowed pistol that they have never even shot before and have no clue how to properly operate.  If it was up to me, I’d require that CHL/LTC students take something like the NRA introductory pistol course as a pre-requisite for taking the CHL/LTC course.  CHL/LTC instructors have to take and pass the NRA pistol instructor course first, why shouldn’t their students?  The skills test for the instructor course is much harder that CHL/LTC.  As a matter of fact 40% of the students in my instructor class failed it the first time, including an ex-cop.  On my worst day at the range I could pass the Texas CHL instructor test with flying colors.  OK, just another two cents, for what its worth.

James on 06/08/2016

Mark why then, if you’re so sure you have no liability in it, would you care? If an armed robbery happens you’re saying that you prefer that your tenant use a knife or a baseball bat or a dog against a burglar who is, as you put it, “armed with the fastest way to kill your tenant”?

Citing your own example, you can google “Civil lawsuit between 27 families and Aurora Theater owner Cinemark begins on Monday”

– the theaters do get sued – and so my friend will you, because even that person who never would have bought a gun anyway, (on the witness stand) will become someone who ONLY didn’t buy one because they didn’t want to break the law under the terms of the lease – so the lease is responsible for his/her death/wounds/etc… after the plaintiff lawyer gets a hold of them – get it?

By the way I speak from experience having been frivolously pulled into the line of civil fire 7 times (none of which were I/we found liable for in any way) but to the cost of thousands of defense/deductible dollars every time. Also, I live in an area of Texas where random home invasions have become rampant. But Mark, as a member of the NRA you should never EVER want to stand in the way of another human being’s 2nd amendment right to protect themselves and their family in the most efficient way.

Mark/replying back... on 06/07/2016

Like I said I knew I would get a few negative replies..ur correct there is a difference between joe avg,and a expert..most people who have guns think they either know a lot,or are experts,and most are not,it’s just the simple truth…

As far as not being a NRA,AND STRONG GUN supporter I am,I just don’t trust people..I spent fair bit of time in the 75th ,and while I always trusted my brother to the right ,and the left its civilians in domestic situations I worry about the most,not so much someone breaking in..
There are plenty of people who won’t,and never will own a gun,which makes it easy to find a renter,so I am not worried about that,although if I found out a possible renter was a expert,not just having an concealed license ,as even that doesn’t mean u are,it just means u passed a background check..doesn’t mean ur not going to get pushed too far one night and start shooting…
Anyway I just don’t see a landlord getting sued over it,thats like a movie Theater being dragged into litigation because a person didn’t have a gun due to all weapons being banned,when a nut ball showed up with a shotgun..I haven’t heard of one being sued afterwards for that reason yet..
Plus if a renter didn’t owned a gun before renting,and something happened after moving in,how can they sue me for something they never owned,and most likely never would of..
There are many ways to protect urself besides a gun it’s not the only weapon you can buy for the home,and if that person didn’t purchase anything else,that’s not my fault,or is it my fault if someone broke in,and they got hurt…
plus a gun is just the fastest way to kill someone,not the only way,so it might hold water if I was saying that they weren’t allowed anything to protect themself,and I am not.also anyone who knows anything about home protection knows the number one deterrent To any criminal is a dog,doesn’t even have to be a big one,as long as it can bark,it’s better than any gun from keeping someone away from the house….

Gary on 06/07/2016

What I find sadly amusing about this discussion is that the new law opened up all kind of places where I and other CHL/LTC licensed folks can carry, but not in my own home if I am renting from someone that doesn’t allow it.  For example, its now illegal for a for the state or local governments to ban carrying in their buildings, with the exception of court houses.  For the record, besides being a CHL/LTC, I am also a NRA certified pistol instructor, Range Safety Officer, and former competitive shooter and have several other certifications.  So, admittedly, I am not the typical and admittedly minimally trained CHL/LTC.  However, I’d be willing to bet that I am more proficient and skilled than Mark who seems to think he is more than capable of protecting his tenants.  His comments remind me of a favorite saying in the CHL community, “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.”  I’d be willing to guess that Mark’s ability to protect his tenants would also fall into this category as well.  I’m sure that Mark is a great landlord, but his views on this topic would make me say no thanks to signing a lease with him.  I’m also sure that he is more than capable of finding tenants where this isn’t an issue; I’m just not one of them.  OK, enough said.

James on 06/07/2016

TO: Mark on 05/28/2016

That’s great that you have decided you wish to use a law meant to ban the public brandishing of a weapon in a crowd to try to fit your own particular agenda of gun control. You sir are no gun enthusiast or you would not take such a position concerning a tenant - or anyone for that matter. Otherwise, you would encourage your tenant to show you that he/she is proficient in the use, care and safe storage of a weapon so that they would be able to protect themselves against an armed and dangerous criminal.

Furthermore, you can prepare yourself for a lawsuit from the family of the tenant/victim you purposely disarmed from said danger. They will own your rental homes as these are not protected assets.

30.06 and 30.07 abusers will find out the hard way. Frankly, I hope a Texas jury finds you as guilty of murder as the criminal who broke into your unarmed tenant’s home.

Mark on 05/28/2016

My issue is I am a huge fan of the NRA,AND GUN OWNER rights ,but that said I shoot on my property,but I also have a couple rental homes on my ranch..
I know this is going to sound unfair,and I fully expect comments on both sides of the fence,so while I enjoy shooting I have yrs of experience ,training,and served in the military,and not as a pencil pusher ,I did my tour…
I agree we should be able to ban renters,and guests from open carry and concealed carry if we want to..
I do not want someone with zero talent or experience shooting around me,unless at a someone paid range,which is why I do have my own on my property for myself,and family..
I also worry that because more people die due to gun violence in a domestic setting I would be putting myself in harms way…
As far as them needing to protect themself from crimmals I have trained German shepards, security cameras ,and I am armed…
Like I said its one sided ,but it’s also my property,and if they don’t want to rent from me,that’s up to them,and no skin of my butt,we should all have the freedom to do as we want,it’s what I/we fort for so many,or too many times..

Dan on 05/12/2016

The thin line here is the property owners could face litigation if someone say is assaulted or murdered on said property.

Say I could sue and claim if I was capable of protecting myself or family I would not have been assaulted. So, I think you’d be crazy to force your tenants to live somewhere that allows criminals to have fish in a barrel and no way to defend yourself.

If I rent from someone and I’m told no weapons then they lost a potential customer. I’ve been living in my condo for 6 years but if i was ever told I was not allowed to have my guns then I’d leave.

Rick DeVoss on 02/24/2016

Patrick —-
Thank you for the clarification.

It would seem then that we are having a discussion over who has “control” over the property, ...the tenant or the landlord?  ...And I know that the Texas Property Code has some things to say about that.  (I am not the one to quote it.)  Maybe that is a topic that the TAR attorneys would like to post a blog on, and then all agents can learn some more about the property code.

After all the requests that have been made, you would think that TAR would re-post a comment by one of their attorneys about the gun issue, especially since it has been a month since they posted this last fiasco.

Patrick Connell on 02/24/2016

Rick, while I generally agree with the premise of your post, there is also some information contained within it.

Landlords do not have carte blanche authority to dictate what happens on their properties. Once you decide to lease your property to someone else, there are rules you have to play by. Discrimination is only one thing, and the most often touted, but there are other things a landlord must do and have no say in the matter.

The biggest problem here is that Texas law gives every person within the State the RIGHT to maintain custody of a firearm within property they have direct control over. The question is whether or not a tenant can legally sign away this right, and whether a landlord can request it. Just because two people agree on something and sign the dotted line doesn’t mean it’s enforceable.

The biggest issue here is that TAR is trying to tell landlords how to exclude firearms and flat out, dead wrong. Mostly because what they posted only applies to a person with a LTC and doesn’t address those that don’t. This is something that would have to be settled in front of a judge during an eviction and until then, it’s all speculation on what they might do.

Finally, a sign that says “No Weapons Allowed” on any business is not considered legal notice that carrying a firearm is not allowed. The law is very clear on the exact language that must be posted, how, and where. They can call the police, but you don’t be charged or convicted of anything. If they gave you verbal notice and you still refused, that’s another story.

Rick DeVoss on 02/24/2016

To the folks at TAR:
Realtors pay your salary by our dues.  So maybe it is time you took a survey to see if we (Realtors) want to allow people to write comments on here without having to identify themselves with their first and last names.

To the person whose first or last name is “Confidential”:
You apparently did not read my previous entry.
“Gun owners” are not a protected class of people, and therefore it is Not possible for you to have been discriminated against.
You could not have possibly been “criminalized” for violating the terms of a lease, since that is not a criminal act, it is a civil issue.

What is all this whining about anyway?
  > If the Landlord says “no pets” and you have pets, what do you do??  You sure as heck can’t scream “Discrimination”!  ~You just move on and find a landlord who allows pets.
  > If the Landlord says “no motorcycles”, you just go look for a property where the landlord allows motorcycles.

As a gun owner, maybe you need to go find a landlord who is a gun owner.  And quit assuming that all landlords should have the same rules that will apply to leasing their property.

An attorney is licensed to practice law, but that doesn’t mean I have to agree to lease my house to an attorney.  (He might sue me!)  A policeman is licensed to arrest people, but that doesn’t mean I have to agree to lease my house to a police officer.  (He might arrest me!)  The Landlord might be an animal rights activist, so he wouldn’t rent to you because you kill animals.  ~That is Not discrimination.

Constitutional Law (and the amendments) apply to what Congress can and can’t do.  That has nothing to do with Texas Property Laws that apply to what landlords and tenants can and can’t do.  ~Many people are confusing the two.

When the sign on the front of your bank or favorite store says “No Weapons Allowed”, do you just walk in with your gun collection and shout about your “2nd Amendment Rights”...??    (Try it, and you’ll get arrested by a guy with a gun.)

If you want unrestricted rights to guns in your home, maybe you should sell your guns and use the money for a down payment to buy your own house.

Confidential on 02/24/2016

I am in the real estate industry.  I am also currently a tenant who believes it is an infringement on my 2nd Amendment rights for a landlord to have the ability to dictate whether I can bring a firearm onto the property I am leasing from them.  I am also a responsible, and licensed to carry gun owner.  I don’t own one handgun, or one rifle, or one shotgun.  I own multiple of each.  I am also a woman, and live in urban (not rural) Texas.  If I want to lease a place to live, and the landlord says they do not want firearms in/on their property, I have just been discriminated against.  I have had training, education and practice using my firearms.  I hunt (I prefer organic meat), and shoot for leisure, but I also have firearms for my own protection.  I have had a background check because I have a license to carry a concealed handgun.  I am the epitome of the safest type of gun owner, and a landlord should be glad to have me as their tenant.  Why?  Because not only can I protect myself, but their property as well.  The fact that I passed a background check should also be a relief to the landlord b/c it means I’m NOT a criminal.

So, what’s the landlord going to do if I DON’T admit that I’m a gun owner?  Are they going to write in a provision on my lease stating they can inspect, or go through my living space, or otherwise, to make sure I have not violated their demand for no firearms on the property?  Some do this to check the condition of the property and I can see this being used as a means to check for firearms as well.  What happens to someone who has deer antlers, or other types of things in their living room or elsewhere in the property?  Will the individual going through the home “assume” the tenant is a gun owner based on their possession of antlers or other “like” items?  This could be a problem for me, because all the antlers on my wall belong to my deceased grandfather.  I do not collect trophies, but I do harvest my own meat.  Aside from law-abiding private gunowners, what about police officers, military, or competition shooters?  Landlords should want these types of tenant’s leasing their properties despite the likelihood they will have firearms in their residence.  I believe this opens a whole new door for someone with no common sense to adversely affect a person’s (tenant’s) life who has abided by the law all their life.

Furthermore, what about my right to privacy?  Gun owners are being criminalized for being a gun owner if I violate the landlords’ demand.  This has potential to make my endeavor to find a place to live when I need to relocate, difficult (that is, if I tell the truth, or the provision is added to check where I live for firearms or any other reason).

ROSS MURPHY on 02/23/2016

This can be done on commercial property but not single family or apartments.
The 2nd Amendment is what keeps us safe and protects the 1st Amendment.
Suggest TAR get out of the way and leave us alone.

Simon on 02/23/2016

When I first read this article it gave me a laugh. It was obviously written by someone who is ill-advised on the letter of the law. Here in Texas you don’t have to have a license to own a gun or carry that gun on your property, including a property you have control of (more protections arise specifically if you are walking to and from your car). Landlords and write in a rule disallowing anything, such as firearms but that has nothing to do with concealed carry, as concealed carry is not governed or required by a person at home in a property they control (property extends to the borders of the property line).  I highly suggest this article gets redacted and replaced with a real legal opinion.

Clay Cherry on 02/01/2016

I have to agree with the folks that suggested the article never should have been published. As has been pointed out, 30.06 and 30.07 only apply to handgun licensees. An amazingly small percentage of Texans even have a handgun license. Still, if we’re going to discuss 30.06 and 30.07 we should get it right.

A license holder commits an offense if he/she carries a handgun on someone else’s property without consent, and received notice that the handgun was not allowed on that property. The notice can be verbal or written. If written notice is given it can be a card or “other document” containing the exact verbiage cited in 30.06 and 30.07. Could a lease be considered an “other document”? I’m not a lawyer but it sure seems possible.

A sign doesn’t have to be posted at all, but if a sign is posted it has to meet specific requirements - using the exact verbiage cited in 30.06 or 30.07, contrasting colors, letters at least 1 inch high, in English and Spanish, posted in a “conspicuous manner clearly visible to the public” (30.06), or at every entrance (30.07).

Guns, no guns, signs, no signs, God given rights, 2nd Amendment, dogs, motorcycles… this conversation has certainly wandered into a wide variety of areas. I don’t see the issue as all that complicated (the solutions are complicated as heck, but the issue is pretty straightforward). As I see it, here is the issue:

Texas PC 46.02 clearly gives Texans the right to have a gun on their own premises or premises under their control, in their vehicle, and en route between the two (no license needed). Just as clearly, property owners have the right to control what comes on their property - leases routinely contain clauses that do just that. So the only question is which right takes precedence - the individual’s right to have a gun, or the property owner’s right to control their property.

At the end of the day the real answer will have to come from the courts, not from silly articles published by TAR. I’m a Realtor and I like TAR… they just should have kept out of this one.

Marjy on 01/30/2016

Joe laid. Out a very good argument above. The simple fact is that people have a right to protect themselves and their property even leased property. As a landlord or agent, I would never attempt a tenant from doing so.  One other point to consider is a listing. If a landlord were to attempt to post a sign (even if it is valid) do you expect a potential leader or buyer to disarm to see the property? What about the agent?  (Assuming all are lid ended to carry)

Trying to exert personal gun bias into real estate transactions is a bad idea on multiple levels. For those q but squimish on firearms…a gun handling class might be in order.

Joe on 01/30/2016

I think what really rubs me the wrong way about the question and answer posted by the Editorial Staff is that the Texas Penal Code was referenced as a way for landlords to prohibit tenants from bringing firearms onto the rental property.

#1 - First of all, the cited Penal Code sections are designed to regulate “LICENSED” carry, either Open Carry or Concealed Carry. FYI, here in Texas you don’t have to be licensed to keep handguns in your home.

#2 - Talk to an attorney to confirm, but as I understand it, the cited Penal Code is designed for locations other than people’s homes. When the Penal Code mentions “openly carries a handgun under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, on property of another without effective consent” it’s not talking about whether or not a person’s home is owned by another person. It’s referring to businesses and other places open to public.

#3- How much sense would it really make for a landlord to post signs prohibiting Open Carry or Concealed Carry by tenants? Open Carry and Concealed Carry doesn’t apply to a person’s home. There are no Texas Laws to regulate a person carrying handguns inside their own home, other than something like a Felon in Possession of a Firearm.

So again, the Editorial Staff really should have narrowed the scope of the question and answer, rather than posting a vague topic like this one which is easily misunderstood. Isn’t the purpose of this to help Realtors to become better Realtors, or to add to the confusion?

So again, I really think this whole topic should be deleted!

It really comes down to this.

Landlords, put what you will in your lease directed to your tenants, but signs aren’t required for single family residences.

Multi-family landlords, put what you will in your lease directed to your tenants and post signs to if you want to prohibit licensed handgun carry around the common areas like the pool, club house and parking lots, etc.. Just keep in mind those signs aren’t going to prohibit a person from carrying guns to and from their vehicles directly to their apartment. Those signs aren’t going to apply to everyone, because everyone isn’t LICENSED. A license isn’t required to carry firearms in a person’s vehicle, and from the vehicle directly into their home. A license isn’t required for long guns and the signs don’t apply to long guns.

So the long and the short of this is that it’s complicated. It certainly can’t be fully explored and fully discussed 4 short paragraphs like the “Editorial Staff” tried to do.

Kay Gourley on 01/30/2016

Obviously, the pot has been stirred with this topic which is all the more reason why I feel TAR, ABOR, and TREC should have been more involved when the legislature passed this law, for clarification for landlords and homeowners when opening up their homes for sale or rent.  We do pay dues and ABOR which has a lobbying body called TREPAC.  This law was very short sighted when passed when applied to property owner rights and gun owner rights, it’s not very clear.  Of course, this topic would come up for homeowners and our clients.  We would be dummies to think otherwise, especially if businesses are posting signs in their windows, why wouldn’t our clients seek clarification as well when opening up their homes to the public.

Look we are not going to change people’s minds when it comes to gun ownership or the 2nd amendment, that’s just a waste of time and hot air.  It doesn’t matter what my views are with open carry , guns, and the 2nd amendment - bottom line people have rights, homeowners and gun owners.  My issue with this topic is about responsibility, accountability, and LIABILITY.  Guns owners do not have to carry insurance but homeowners do, so if someone is exercising their 2nd amendment right as a tenant and there is an accident on the property - who will pay?  Gun accidents happen daily and hourly for that matter -even to responsible gun owners.  Who pays?

When a tenant’s dog bites someone on the landlord’s property, the landlord’s insurance is responsible - hence this is why some landlords do not take dogs due to a bad experience.  As a Realtor for 20 years, property owner, and landlord I would never deny anyone of their 2nd amendment rights, however I do want to know if there will be a firearm on the property so all the proper insurance is in place.  BTW - last time I checked with my insurance agent we did not specifically discuss a gun accident scenario on my rented property, so I will revisit this with my insurance agent on Monday. 

I think the options that TAR has given us are poorly advised.  I mean really who is going to advise their clients to put a sign on their door, that’s ridiculous.  And what agent is going to write anything pertaining to this topic in Special Provision - that’s just silly.  The best advice would be to have your clients consult an attorney and their insurance agent. 

We should not be debating or degrading each other on this topic and check in with our insurance agents, on who will be held responsible and accountable - and who is going to sue who, if an accident happens on a homeowner’s property due to the gun not owned by the homeowner. 

We don’t have to get up-in-arms , pardon the pun….  Just be clear, honest,  responsible, and accountable.  If you have a tenant or future tenant that is going to exercise their 2nd amendment right on your property, ask them if they have the proper insurance and if renters insurance covers this….  I don’t know, does it?  Does anyone know if renters insurance covers gun accidents by a tenant on the landlord’s property?  If not, then as the landlord needs to make sure the proper insurance is in place so they don’t get sued out the wazoo.  We all know the injured person will go after the responsible party that holds the insurance policy and will pay out, that’s a no-brainer.

From what I understand, currently there is a case in Oklahoma which has made it’s way to the Supreme Court of OK with this same topic we are discussing and concerning the liability questions I’m raising in this post.  - Again have your clients ask an attorney and their insurance agent - Stay out of it!

Now as Ms. Kitty would say in “Gunsmoke”  when entering The Long Branch Saloon ~ Boys leave your guns and attitude at the door!

 

James DeBerry on 01/30/2016

Rick DeVoss why don’t you go step into your tenant’s home in the middle of the night exercising your Landlord’s right of entry, and when your tenant exercises their 2nd amendment right, let’s see who wins that argument…..

James DeBerry on 01/30/2016

As a tenant, I would propose the following sign to accompany the PE 30 signs:


ATTENTION CRIMINALS
Due to the exercising of the Landlord’s rights under the Texas Penal Code 30.06 and 30.07, the residents of this community are unarmed. Feel free to vandalize, rape, steal, kidnap, terrorize or kill knowing that there is no one armed to stop you. Since we understand that our exercise thereof violates the Tenants’ rights under the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, we as Landlords will take full financial responsibility for any violent acts you commit against any of the residents on this premises.

Charlie Still on 01/30/2016

Okay.  I for one did not assert tenants have a right to guns in my home, but they may(not clear to me & I’m not an attorney).  I do assert it’s a bad idea to attempt to prohibit it for many reasons I’ve stated before, but with good legal advise do what you want.

Try not to freak out so much over “open carry”.  Texas is the 47th of 50 states to have this law, & I don’t see gunfights breaking out in great numbers among open carry or concealed carry individuals.  Lets relax & don’t panic.  The vast majority of people can handle firearms without harmful consequences, & more guns tend to make those with criminal intent less comfortable.

Have a great day!

Sam Gentry on 01/30/2016

This has obviously stirred up a fire ant bed of opinions. Consider that there was no controversy of which I was aware concerning hand guns and long guns in tenant occupied properties. With passage of the open carry law, there is much controversy. And that controversy has immersed “concealed carry” by licensed gun owners into the controversy where previously it was not.

I think the legislature was short sighted in passing this law. It certainly did not think it through.

I don’t think the 2nd amendment covers citizens strapping a six gun to their hip and going anywhere they choose. Or toting rifles and shotguns into restaurants and other public places.

I think Ralph Buller’s suggestion that verbal notice that “open carry” is prohibited might be a good solution for now. If the party does not leave or comply with unstrapping their six shooter, call the sheriff.

Rick DeVoss on 01/30/2016

Wow!  ~Have we ever had this many responses to a topic in such a short period of time?
I guess it is obvious that people will have different opinions about a subject, but what concerns me is some of the ignorance shown in this blog by people who presumably have a Real Estate License, and should be familiar with most laws relating to property.

Maybe TAR should require all participants to disclose their full names, AND, identify whether or not they are a Realtor.  I’m not fond of the concept that Anybody can write an opinion on here, and not even disclose who they are…

And, please, people, stop confusing TAR with TREC.

It would seem that we, as Realtors, and Agents, have a serious topic on our hands.  And if you are going to dally with leasing & managing property, then you’d better get with a good attorney and get some guidance way beyond the scope of this article.  Perhaps there is a difference in leasing out one’s home, vs. managing a large apartment building.  —-Are we confusing the two concepts?

A Landlord who is getting ready to lease his house can write the rules any darn way he pleases,—-as long as he doesn’t violate the Federally protected classes, which we think of as “discrimination.”  —-But gun owners are Not a protected class.  ...And neither are motorcycle owners.  ~So if the Landlord presents a prospective tenant with a lease containing a set of rules that they don’t like, then they just need to move on and rent another house.  (Now it is a different question if a tenant is already in place, because then the Landlord cannot suddenly change the rules until the term of the lease expires.)

It sounds like many people are getting confused over the meaning of the Second Amendment, and the rights of a property owner who decides to allow you to live in his house for a year.  First of all, the Second Amendment can be interpreted in different ways, and don’t we have enough attorneys debating that question??  (Realtors should not get involved in such a debate.)  The Second Amendment was written a long time ago, when the situation in this country was different, and perhaps the authors didn’t mean it to say what many people assume that is says now. 

Many businesses and institutions have outlawed Open Carry.  Why can’t a Landlord do the same thing?  —-Many states have laws that are different than the laws in Texas.  We seem to have a throw back to the Wild West days, when every cowboy had a six-shooter on his hip.  ~Is that appropriate in today’s society?  ...Maybe it is time we re-think the rules that we are willing to live with, ~and that is exactly what the Landlord’s rights are!  Yes, you can pretty much do what you want to do when you are in your own home.  But, when you sign up to live in MY home, then you get to play by MY rules.  As a homeowner, I can discriminate if I want to.  But as a Landlord, the law of the land does not allow me to discriminate against certain classes of people.

Gun Owners are Not one of those classes.

Those of you who think the Second Amendment restricts the Landlord’s rights as a property owner are just plain wrong.  Please go and have a visit with your attorney.  ...A Landlord CAN restrict a tenant from having alcohol on his property, or from having a motorcycle on his property, or pets, or even a gun.  ...And none of the amendments to the U.S. Constitution have anything to do with that.  Go live on your own property if you want to exercise all of your “rights”.  ...And contrary to some opinions, you CAN sign away your right to anything.  It is done every day!  —-I have the right to have 4 dogs and a cat in my own house.  But You do NOT have the right to have 4 dogs and a cat if you are living in MY house!  And, as the tenant who is leasing it, you CAN sign away that right.  If the tenant signs away his right to carry a gun on my property, then I can evict him if he violates the terms of the lease.

I’m not sure that “Bon”, and others, should be taken out to the woodshed, but I do think that we, as Real Estate Agents, need more education & training on the subject of Landlord’s rights and Tenant’s rights.  —-And the Constitution has nothing to do with it.

As my tenant, you don’t have the right to “vote” in my house; you don’t have the right to “assemble” or riot in my house; you don’t have the right to “free speech” in my house (if your profanity offends my neighbors, I will evict you); and, you don’t have the right to “bear arms” in my house.  —-It would seem that there is a whole lot of confusion between Constitutional Law and Tenant’s Rights.

I suspect that any attorneys who are reading this blog are just shaking their heads, and wondering about the training given our Realtors…

Keith Laursen on 01/30/2016

Literally & legally or not, I consider a law abiding gun owner a protected class.  That is, protected by the second amendment,as it should be. 

All the points made here are good ones. This is a subject that should be left alone by TAR.  Realtors have no business what so ever advising owners or writing something in special provisions restricting a citizens constitutional rights.  This is where you should obviously say, I am not qualified to practice law and send them off to their favorite lawyer.

Are we going to write into special provisions, no free speech, no assembly, no write to vote unless you agree with the landlord, etc?  Delete the post or advise Realtors to not take a position on this subject PERIOD.  Either for or against just opens you up to big fat can of legal worms.

Joe on 01/30/2016

Okay, some of these “Editorial Staff Opinions” have moved from being informative to being controversial, possibly politial and quite possibly WRONG!

Editorial Staff, you are now doing a dis-service to the Realtors who will take your opinion as fact and then run with it. You really should stick to the more basic Real Estate 101 type questions.

I’m not going to rehash what has already been stated by a few here, but you would be wise to amend your information or just delete this entire topic. Needless to say, I don’t feel that a landlord should be trying to restrict someone’s constitutional right to keep and bear arms in their own private residence..

Russell Spillers on 01/29/2016

A homeowner’s rights should not “trump”  constitutional rights.  That being said….the proper insurance in the proper amount would mitigate most if not all of these issues.
I encourage my tenants to own a firearm.  At the end of the day it’s the landlord’s call, but it’s also the landlord’s responsibility to make sure they are properly covered.

Kay on 01/29/2016

If gun owners were required to have insurance we would not be having this conversation.  I understand about the liability on if a landlord denied a tenant to have firearms and someone broke into the house.  But bottom line the tenant does not own the house and if the tenant is not required to have insurance and there is an accident on the property, the landlord is liable.  Today, many landlords do not accept certain breeds of dogs because landlords have been sued due to the tenant’s dog biting someone.  Easy solution to all this is to require the tenant to carry insurance, plain and simple.  This way the tenant has their rights and the homeowner has their rights.  Besides, at the end of the day I believe the homeowner trumps the rights of a gun owner.  As a homeowner, I would want to know if someone has a firearm on them if entering my home or living in my home.  I have the right to know this information and I would NOT deny my tenant from possessing a gun, I just want them to have insurance in case of an accident, I don’t want to be responsible.

Gary on 01/29/2016

The key to the signage on both 30.06 and 30.07 is the phrase “prominently displayed.”  I have seen several local business that have put up 30.07 signs that I could easily argue were not prominent and someone could easily walk right past them.  In a few cases I had to actually look for the signs.  Another point is that signage has to be displayed at every entrance to a business.  In the case of a multi-family property, that would most likely mean every entrance into the property.  Another thing I would mention is that 30.06 and 30.07 only apply to CHL/LTC and ONLY for handguns.  So, that would mean that you could still legally openly carry a long gun (rifle or shotgun) as several groups did at places like restaurants in support of the open carry legislation in the past few years.

Curtis on 01/29/2016

In my opinion the biggest thing a property owner should consider when they are thinking of banning CHL or Open carry is that a 30.06 or a 30.07 sign does mean a tenant can not have a gun in the apartment.  These signs only enforce the carrying of handguns in the common areas.  They can not even stop a person from carrying a open or concealed from their auto directly to their habitation, the Motorist Protection act of Sep 2007 and Sept 2009 gives anyone with or without a CHL/LTC license the right to carry their gun to their car/ watercraft ect. from their habitation and return “directly” to their habitation.  And of course these signs do not effect what the person can have in their apartment.  Not to mention almost every sign I see are “Legal” any way the law is very specific about the placement, wording, size and color of the “Legal” notice and other than a few Government buildings everyone I see are not “Legal” notices, I understand that may not keep you from being arrested but case law is substantial in that the charges will not stand once the judge sees the majority of these signs.

Gary on 01/29/2016

Patrick, there is a similar court case to what you are describing making its way through the courts now.  It involves an individual that is living in government housing.  The HUD lease prevents any guns on the property at all.  Of course this is a situation where criminals don’t care about the leases and law abiding residents are without protection from those same criminals.  I believe the NRA is backing the case.

Gary on 01/29/2016

Perry, I couldn’t agree more.  There’s a favorite expression I’d like to share with everyone:  “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.”  Of course that assumes that you have the opportunity to call the police in the first place.

Perry Kelly on 01/29/2016

Firearms are not the problem. In many cases, they are the best solution to a problem caused by an ARMED CRIMINAL. The police are called “first responders” for a reason, in general, they are not present when the crisis occurs.  Each person needs to ask themselves one very simple question” if someone is breaking into your home, do you want the CHOICE of being able to protect your family with a firearm or do you want to HOPE the criminal goes away while you dial 911 attempting to get an armed responder to your house”.  No matter how you answer, you should realize, you are making your personal choice. You should not feel it is your place or responsibility to make that choice for another free citizen of these United States of America! Land of the Free (for now) and Home of the Brave ( for how long?) .

Patrick Connell on 01/29/2016

Carl, you can put anything you want into a lease and the tenant can certainly agree to it, the question is whether or not the provision is legally enforceable.

Just because it’s in the lease and the tenant accepts it doesn’t mean it’s enforceable. You get in front of a pro-2nd amendment judge during an eviction hearing and the tenants bring a good argument that the provision violates State law and the Constitution, the judge could very well deny the Landlord the eviction.

Some things you just can’t sign away, even if you want to. Not to mention, as others have mentioned, the HUGE liability should someone break into a home and hurt the tenant; who was denied the ability to protect themselves. It would be ill advised for any agent to “allow” their landlords to have such a policy, because that lawsuit will surely include the PM name, company, and Broker.

Carl Harkrider on 01/29/2016

Well, I spoke to my attorney who said the landlord can include this provision in the lease and the tenant can accept it or not lease the property. If the tenant accepts the lease and subsequently violates this provision the Landlord can terminate the lease..

Carl Harkrider on 01/29/2016

Texas SB 378, commonly called the “Castle Doctrine” says all Texas residents have a right to protect their dwelling and extends to vehicles, boats, etc. I am not an attorney but it would seem a landlord that denies a tenant their legal right to protect themselves and their families would be in violation of state law.

When in doubt CYA (call your attorney.

Chad on 01/29/2016

A landlord or private property owner can restrict access of open and concealed carry to outsiders on their property. They can restrict their agent, prospective buyers and any outsiders from carrying. However, they can’t restrict someone who is living at the property from owning or carrying a gun.

Even a hotel is unable to restrict those who stay there from possessing a gun in their room.

S. Eric Jackson on 01/29/2016

If you like (sarcasm in case you wondered) this article check out this response to a seller asking a similar question on the consumer blog.

https://www.texasrealestate.com/advice-for-consumers/article/can-i-prohibit-handguns-from-my-house

Chad on 01/29/2016

This article is not factual and should have never been posted. It deals with people who are licensed to open or conceal carry and it even gets that wrong.

http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/PE/htm/PE.46.htm

Sec. 46.02.  UNLAWFUL CARRYING WEAPONS.  (a)  A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his or her person a handgun, illegal knife, or club if the person is not:
(1)  on the person’s own premises or premises under the person’s control; or
(2)  inside of or directly en route to a motor vehicle or watercraft that is owned by the person or under the person’s control.

(a-2)  For purposes of this section, “premises” includes real property and a recreational vehicle that is being used as living quarters, regardless of whether that use is temporary or permanent. In this subsection, “recreational vehicle” means a motor vehicle primarily designed as temporary living quarters or a vehicle that contains temporary living quarters and is designed to be towed by a motor vehicle. The term includes a travel trailer, camping trailer, truck camper, motor home, and horse trailer with living quarters.

Bob on 01/29/2016

Can landlords ban concealed carry and open carry from their property?
Well…....this very question is arbitrary and irrelevant. The second amendment says so.
If you’re going to ask if a landlord can restrict your rights protected under the constitution, then why not ask if they can restrict certain political speech, or make a rule concerning the viewing of porn or how about a rule prohibiting sweet tea?

Scott McDonald on 01/29/2016

Respectfully to all commenters and authors: What may be legal, and what is wise, may be, in this case, two widely divergent actions.

Would it not make better Liability sense, to allow those parties (Tenants or Landlords!) objecting to Handgun Carry, to Notify at Application? And those Multi-Family Tenants who object to Open Carry (they would not otherwise know), should THEY not take action if ‘alarmed’?

To invite Litigation by restricting Statutory Law after the signing of a Lease, is that not asking to pay Attorneys large and unnecessary amounts of money?

Smart money says: Stay OUT of this dispute from the beginning! Let the Law rule!

 

Bob on 01/29/2016

Jill,

That’s YOUR opinion. Obviously most of the people posting here disagree with you. As do I.

Charlie Still on 01/29/2016

Just for clarification, since the TREC Broker Lawyer Committee has nothing to do with the TAR Residential Lease forms, & I think the special provisions section in all forms is intended specifically to allow things to be written in.  One must careful what is written in & as most everyone else seems to agree, prohibiting guns to limit liability probably opens up more liability than it prevents.

Jill on 01/29/2016

I think this question is pretty broad:

Can landlords ban concealed carry and open carry from their property?

I think it might be useful to look at specific situations:

In an instance near me, a very low-income apartment complex has a children’s learning center.

Is it reasonable to for the management to say that no guns are allowed in the children’s area? 

Some people will argue that it is inappropriate for anyone to have guns around children.  Others will argue that a responsible gun owner may be able to avert a mass-shooting.

One comment I thought was important was that gun ownership is not a protected class.

If you look at a lease as “In exchange for money l let you live on my property” then since it is still the landlord’s property, the landlord can set the rules.

I doesn’t necessarily make it a good or profitable business practice, but from the point of view of “my house, my rules,” it makes sense.

JTODEN on 01/29/2016

DEAR TAR staff writers, would it have killed you to say “Of course, tenants can legally posses any legal anything within their leased properties as long as it is not specifically prohibited by the lease”???  This article ABSOLUTELY leaves the reader thinking that 30.06 signage could keep my tenant from having a legal firearm in his rented home.  Finally, I’m sure the Broker Lawyer Committee loves it that you are encouraging us to write made up stuff in Special Provisions.  They love that.  You guys missed it by THAT much…

Enrique Escobar on 01/29/2016

I believed TAR needs to research about this article and re-post it.

Bob on 01/29/2016

Maybe TAR’s opinion is meant to apply only when marketing a house for lease, and the author is confused.

Patrick Connell on 01/29/2016

Well this is about the most uneducated thing I’ve ever seen come out of TAR, and there’s been some doozies.

It’s already been mentioned but it’s worth mentioning again, 30.06 and 30.07 ONLY APPLYTO THOSE WHO HAVE A LICENSE TO CARRY A HANDGUN.

So, TAR recommends providing this language to ban firearms, BUT it would only apply to a very small amount of Texans. 30.06 and 30.07 signs DO NOT apply to those who aren’t licensed; which is most Texans.

Besides that, the LAW gives you the right to keep and bear arms within property you have care, custody, and control over. This is not a right that you can sign away.

Finally, from a practicality standpoint, you as a landlord or PM, would have a very hard time defending your decision in a Court when you try to evict a tenant based on this lease provision if they are otherwise excellent, current tenants.

Smh…...

Dana Cassidy on 01/29/2016

I believe the second amendment of the constitution allows individuals to bear arms especially for protection within their home.  I believe we need to rethink before writing this into a landlord contract with the tenant.

Bon on 01/29/2016

Rick Devoss,

Not trying to pick on you or pick a fight. But what comes to mind when reading your post us that there is no constitutional right to own a motorcycle as there is guns.

Also…

If a landlord can restrict your rights under the second amendment on a property that you basically are supposed t enjoy all rights of possession, then perhaps a law could be written to prohibit certain speech or something under a different right protected under the constitution.

I have a feeling I’m about to be taken out to the wood shed.

Mariangel Wilkinson on 01/29/2016

I suspect that the writers of this article are speaking (I would hope) of apartment complexes where I suppose (I am not an attorney) you could post for not open or concealed carry, which would mean CARRYING around the property. And the posting must be legal, conspicuous posting. That is different that owning a gun and keeping it in your car or home (even a rental). You DO NOT need a permit to do either of those. I also cannot imagine this applies to a single family home. They can’t just post things on/in the home you live in. Can you imagine??? Furthermore, anyone that is interested in carrying a firearm, should educate themselves about the law; posting laws are complicated and even talking to a police officer may not get you the right answer! TALK TO AN ATTORNEY IF THIS COMES UP WITH YOU OR YOUR CLIENTS. Even calling TREC may not get the right answer yet, as many attorneys still are arguing about what applies when and where and how.

One final thing.

Gary on 01/29/2016

Open or Concealed Carry only applies to the licensed carrying of a handgun in a public area.  Castle Doctrine is a separate issue and deals with the use of a firearm for protection inside a home or on private property.  Castle Doctrine also applies to a hotel room or a vehicle.  I think these are being confused here.  So a 30.06 or 30.07 sign would not necessarily prohibit the legal possession of a firearm inside the rental property itself.  However, I could see how the lease could.  I have heard of some recent incidents where landlords are adding that provision to their leases.  Government housing has always had such a provision and that has turned into a big issue in some areas.

Walt Loonam on 01/29/2016

I’m with Lane Mabray on the repercussions.  If the landlord denies the tenant from having a weapon, then there HAS to be a searchable field for this on the MLS and it needs to be made aware to prospective tenants BEFORE they submit an application, all fees refunded if not disclosed before application, and proper posting on the properties. That in turn would be a way for criminals to research where people legally may not be able to defend themselves which would increase crime in those areas.  TAR should not be involved in this… should be another “please consult your attorney, I can not give you legal advise!!!”

Susan Albertson on 01/29/2016

Surely they’re only referring to the leasing office and common areas.  They can’t prevent me from having my gun in my apartment home.  I think this article is wrong and should be corrected.

Paul Montandon on 01/29/2016

Why then do tenant leasehold rights of the leased property and Texas Castle doctrine seem to be at odds?

Craig Walla on 01/29/2016

First I would like to thank folks who have taken time to write because your opinions help me personally see both sides of the argument and hopefully ask the right questions and formulate a legally sound strategy that will protect my liabilities as a landlord while letting my tenants enjoy their rights. Although personally I did not grow up with guns or firearms so my general tendency is to be anti firearms but I do understand the other sides need to be armed since we do not live in a ideal society without weapons. Obviously it sounds like it is best to have an attorney explain what potential liabilities we could face and how best to insure against it. I would think that denying a tenant the right to bear arms at your property could potentially also be a liability in the event that they could not protect themselves at your property (their home).

Jackie Schafer on 01/29/2016

I would think that all of this is a mood point especially when we all should be aware of the Castle Doctrine.  TREC,  do you have any information concerning all of this and the above comments concerning the leased property to also qualify under the Castle Doctrine. Or does it just go for home ownership?  This particular topic really needs to be hammered out before someone does something wrong or against the law and then looses their licenses or is fined by TREC. Maybe the attorneys on staff should read the Doctrine and see if there is an understanding one way or another and let all of us know.

Carmen Arif on 01/29/2016

The editorial staff should NOT be writing about legal positions unless they are attorneys and are using legaly binding opinions.

TAR is practicing law without a license.

Now you could say the editorial staff would like to stir up a debate that is totally not binding and worth no more than .02 cents. 

But when presented in this fashion leads us realtors to believe they are valid legal opinions that we can count on is in one concise word ILLEGAL and Misleading.

A licensed attorney needs to write these and they must be legally binding or you need to post that they are merely for entertainment and debate purposes.

Ward Lowe, TAR staff on 01/28/2016

@Ralph: All posts containing legal content are written by TAR editorial staff with guidance and approval by TAR attorneys.

Ralph Buller on 01/28/2016

How many attorneys are on the editorial staff?  I would rather read legal opinions written by staff attorneys who have the education in both property law and state rules for carrying weapons.  What about weapons that are not carried but kept in the home like a shotgun used for bird hunting or a deer rifle?
I feel we should advise any landlord to get a written opinion from their attorney and to supply us with a copy consigned by them and their attorney.

S. Eric Jackson on 01/28/2016

Just as a follow up.  There is one other bit of information here that might need clarification.  The article makes the statement, “you must post two signs” at one point.  That is correct, if one is wanting to prohibit both behaviors.  Both signs are not necessary if one simply wants to stop open carry. 

These are separate statutes.  According to one attorney’s opinion the property owner can prohibit open carry while allowing or ignoring concealed carry.  That might be a solution for those wanting to prohibit people from openly carrying in a common area of a multi-family complex.  Simply posting the 30.07 notice, as stated in the statute will suffice for notice to those who want to carry their six-gun on their hip or in a shoulder holster.

I work with a security group for a facility that has decided not to post any signs, but has a policy that security personnel will advise people seen openly carrying a weapon that it is not allowed.  In this case, the verbal warning will be reinforced by a business card sized written notice, but that is not actually necessary.  One large hospital of which I am aware has adopted a similar policy.

Another attorney during a briefing on the statutes noted that the conflict I mentioned in my earlier post between one’s right to possess a handgun in his or her vehicle could come into conflict with the new statutes on licensed carry.  She believed it would take a court case or two to settle the question of whether one could park a vehicle with a handgun in it on property that was posted such as a parking lot.  Technically, having a weapon in your car is not carrying of any sort.  Employees can be ordered not to have weapons on company property, including the parking lot, but that is a different relationship than we are discussing here.

One final comment for those who think they might want to prohibit carry by adding something to the lease.  These statutes are in the Texas Penal Code under the trespass section.  The law specifically says the property owner can give written notice by using the exact language of the law. To me adding that language to a lease, possibly as an addendum, not in Special Provisions, would not be practicing the law, it would be following the law of giving notice.  Just my two cents worth on that.  Ask your attorney if you find yourself in this position.

Just FYI.

DAVID ROSS on 01/28/2016

In spite of the seeming conflict in the argument between [a] Property Rights [owners’ control over his property, even rentals], and, the correct logic to bear arms, which is supported by Natural Law, it is so wrong, dangerous, and, I would think, rife with legal consequences to bar a tenant from bearing arms.  It is an unalienable, natural right to defend oneself.  The best answer to being shot at, is… to shoot back.  Further, “no-gun-zones” is an illusion and ultimately contradictory.  Armed criminals target these zones. Posting “no-gun” signs ATTRACTS crime.  Post this sign, and that place has just been made a dangerous place.  Criminals ignore the prohibition in these signs, because…well, that’s what criminals do;  And the reason to carry—notwithstanding those dangerous signs—is only magnified.

Susan Heath on 01/28/2016

Seems liberals are meddling here…perhaps stirred up by the recent open carry law.  Leave Americans 2nd Amendment rights alone.

Dee Hughes on 01/28/2016

Really appreciate all the very valid comments and I’ve been thinking about this for some time.  I am curious as to what my legal obligations are, as a property manager, to my landlords, and ultimately to me if I didn’t consult with them and something tragic happened.  Am I responsible to ask and advise them to get legal advice?  Many of my landlords are out of state and probably are not aware of what Texas laws are.  I see many problems coming with this issue and my broker was advised that, “We can’t ask at application.  However, if the landlord chooses to have a policy, (written) on prohibiting CHL on the property then he can provide that to the tenant at time of accepting the application.”  Makes no sense at all and seems like another set of laws that are poorly written and who can enforce them?

Rick DeVoss on 01/28/2016

While I will not pretend to be an expert on gun ownership and/or the carrying of guns, I think that some of the statements made herein are needing some clarification.

“TAR” does not make the laws governing Real Estate Agents; that is done by TREC.  We need to be sure that what we are writing in here is correct.

The “Second Amendment” has got nothing to do with the rights of Landlords and the rules governing their property, or rules they give to tenants.  As long as he is not discriminating in any way, the Landlord has the right to make any rule for tenants that he wants to.  (For example:  He could say “No Motorcycles Allowed on My Property.)  ~If you don’t like his rules, you don’t rent his property.

An “Agent” should not “attempt” to write in anything on a promulgated form.  But the last time I looked, TREC has not promulgated a lease form.  TAR has no legal standing, as it does not make laws.  It is a professional organization, and it has a Code of Ethics for Realtors to abide by.  (Which does not apply to all Real Estate Agents.)  ...If the Landlord you are working for wants to write the rules for tenants on his property, he has the right to do so.  But if it is going to get as complicated as outlawing guns, I suggest you get an attorney involved, and let the Landlord pay for it.
 

Robert Crain on 01/28/2016

From the TAA apartment lease:
” Prohibited Conduct: ...“possessing a weapon
prohibited by state law; discharging a firearm in the apartment community;
displaying or possessing a gun, knife, or other weapon in the common area in
a way that may alarm others..”

Some folks are easily alarmed.

Charlie Still on 01/28/2016

What is referred to in the article to be put in special provisions are specifically worded notices the legislature came up with in the law that if copied word-for-word shouldn’t conflict with the “no practice of law”.  You’re not interpreting anything or wordsmithing a phrase.  I still contend it may be ill advised, but I don’t think the “unauthorized practice of law” is an issue.

Sam Gentry on 01/28/2016

An agent attempting to write in prohibition of either concealed hand guns or open carry would seem the practice of law.
Perhaps we need a revision of lease applications and/or leases to deal with this by checking boxes. TAR has long warned agents about unauthorized practice of law.

What was TAR position on open carry as it went through the legislature. I don’t recall any discussion of this by TAR.

ROSS MURPHY on 01/28/2016

The 2nd Amendment speaks for itself.  This is getting ridiculous.

S. Eric Jackson on 01/28/2016

I am not certain how the association came up with this opinion, but there are some problems with it.  Either their understanding of firearms related laws in Texas is bad, or the piece is poorly written. 

If this piece is aimed at multi-family property managers, it may have some validity.  In the case of single family properties, it would be difficult to enforce such a provision. Under Texas law, a person who can legally own a firearm is allowed to possess it in real property they own or that is under their control.  They may also possess a firearm, including a handgun, in their vehicle or recreational vehicle, even if that vehicle is rented.  Of course, I am quoting from the criminal and administrative statutes covering gun ownership and possession, not the property code. 

Gun owners are not a protected class. If a landlord wished to ban gun ownership or possession to their background checks and leases, they might be able to turn a tenant down for that reason.  If someone lied on their application or violated the lease restrictions the violation would need to be handled through the eviction process. This is not a course of action I would recommend to a client, but it is a possibility.

As for sections 30.06 and 30.07, those sections specifically apply to someone who is licensed to carry a weapon.  In a multi-family setting, it may be possible to prohibit concealed or open carry in common areas or nonresidential areas.  However, it would seem unlikely a manager could legally prohibit someone from carrying a weapon between his or her residence and vehicle by trying to invoke these statutes.  If a multi-family manager wished to forbid firearms possesion under the terms of the lease, it may be possible as noted above.  Again, it would an eviction situation. If ownership is not prohibited, I do not believe management could stop someone from carrying that weapon between their vehicle and their residence. 

As for the notice, under the current law effective written notice can only be given by posting the property as specified in the statutes.  This means a sign at every entrance that complies with the statute.  Notice in the Special Provision section of a lease will only be valid if it is accompanied by verbal notice.  That means if one wants to try this by putting such wording in the lease, they must be able to prove they have given verbal notice as well.

Finally, the very wording of this piece is misleading.  It would be funny if it wasn’t so serious.  Banning someone from concealed or open carry under 30.06 or 30.07 is senseless inside their residence.  Also, those statutes only apply to licensed individuals.  Anyone else is governed by the criminal codes.  The license statutes, 30.06 and 30.07, are just exemptions to those codes.  Again, it might make some sense in common areas of multi-family complexes, but it in residential units it is worthless. 

Now my legal disclaimer.  I am not an attorney, just a retired chief of police.  Before anyone makes a decision either way, I would suggest consulting an attorney that is knowledgeable in the property code as well as the penal and administrative codes governing weapons.  Also, be aware there are several organizations ready to step in and help anyone who feels their rights are being violated in this area.

Ann Marie on 01/28/2016

I have to say this was quite a shock. I would have thought just the opposite. Renting or not, it’s still that tenants home and they have the right to protect themselves.  The landlord would in effect be denying them. I certainly would not rent from a landlord who would ban this from the property.

Lane Mabray on 01/28/2016

Charlie Still, I completely agree, I would never deny a tenant any means to protect himself. I was just throwing out some scenarios….

Charlie Still on 01/28/2016

I don’t see much chance of liability for a tenants wrongful use of their gun, especially if the state licenses them to carry it.  I am uncomfortable with prohibiting a gun on a property a tenant leases to be their home.  If they cannot have a gun there, I am effectively denying their right to own a gun.  Where else would they keep one?  In their car?  Don’t drive to a school then.  Also a public sign prohibiting guns at a residence certainly makes it a lot easier to choose which one to burglarize or rob.  Very bad idea.

Lane Mabray on 01/28/2016

Hum? I see some upcoming problems with this. Landlord doesn’t allow handguns. Burglar breaks in. Tenant can’t protect themselves or their personal property. Burglar might even harm or kill tenant…..Lawsuit? Or Landlord does allow tenant to have handgun or has no rule against….child or someone gets shot due to the fact that tenant does have a handgun on the property….then what? possible lawsuit. It’s a dilemma.


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Legal disclaimer

The material provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be considered as legal advice for your particular matter. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Applicability of the legal principles discussed in this material may differ substantially in individual situations.

While the Texas Association of REALTORS® has used reasonable efforts in collecting and preparing materials included here, due to the rapidly changing nature of the real estate marketplace and the law, and our reliance on information provided by outside sources, the Texas Association of REALTORS® makes no representation, warranty, or guarantee of the accuracy or reliability of any information provided here or elsewhere on texasrealestate.com. Any legal or other information found here, on texasrealestate.com, or at other sites to which we link, should be verified before it is relied upon.

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