Firearm ownership in apartments and condominiums

Except for a few states, there does not seem to be any general law or rule regarding restriction of weapon ownership by apartment house renters or condominium owners. So it seems condominium associations and landlords for rental apartments or houses, can legally say “You may not own or possess a weapon or ammunition if you are a condo association member or if you rent an apartment from me.”
I believe the Heller case from the supreme court implies that the federal or state government is not allowed to create such weapon restrictions, or laws, but private entities like condo boards or landlords apparently can legally create such rules and they would be valid.

Does this sound accurate to you in your location?

I find it highly unlikely that an association or landlord can stop you for having firearms in the residence you are buying (condo, HOA) or renting (apt. house). Perhaps @MikeBKY can weigh in…

My location… Nebraska… is no problem and no law trying to restrict firearms in condos, or rentals.

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I haven’t seen any restrictions in my area. I’ve rented few condos in Chicago Western Suburbs and never found firearm restrictions… even I haven’t carried that time.
My son bought an apartment in Cook County (which had the most restrictions) few weeks ago and firearm was welcomed there.

Inside your residence, not so much. They can however restrict carrying in common areas such as rental/association office, clubhouse and pool.

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I believe several private dwelling places tried to impose such crappy rules on renters/residences but I think our legislation passed laws protecting renters.

Thanks for your responses. I think such restrictions (on rentals or condos) would be bad and violate an individual’s right to protect themselves and their families. But whether or not there is a legal basis for such restrictions by landlords or condo boards does not seem so clear to me. Below is a link for one article I found informative in this context.

See also:

You are correct in that Heller only applies to the gubment making restrictions. Private entities can allow or restrict whatever they want.

Best is to read any paperwork before signing it. If the contract says no weapons, and you sign it, you are agreeing to it. If you have the option, don’t sign it, take your business elsewhere and tell them why you don’t want it. If you don’t have the option, you have to either abide by their rules or take the risk of doing it anyway and hope you don’t get caught. Generally, I would think the consequence would just be you are booted out maybe lose your security deposit but IANAL so there could potentially be more than that.


Harvey-I agree with your assessment. I have seen documents like leases and bylaws which include language which, although not explicitly saying “no weapons” has language which I could imagine some tenants or owners interpreting those document as implying ‘no weapons allowed’.

“No (renter or unit owner) shall make or permit any disturbing noises in the building(s), or do or permit anything to be done therein which will interfere with the rights, comforts, or conveniences of other (renters or owners).”

I can imagine a renter or owner named A saying another renter or owner B in another unit owns a weapon, so that interferes with their own (person A) ‘comforts or conveniences’, or that the potential firing of a weapon would make a ‘disturbing noise’ (even if it were in self defense).

There are obvious distinctions between rented property and owned property, however, the law on these would be dependent upon state and local law. There is no Constitutional protections provided that would prevent an apartment owner or Homeowners or Condo Association that would prevent them from doing so.
Kentucky law prohibits public entities from prohibiting weapons in public housing facilities but there are no similar statutes that prevent private entities from doing so, even within the confines of your rented/owned units. Yet here is nothing that prevents you from contracting away your rights, and since these are private entities, there is no Constitutional violation in doing so.
Contractually, the only recourse would be a breach of contract; it would not be criminal.
However, in places like Chicago, where I know there are apartments that prohibit firearms, and I suspect Chicago or IL law criminalize violation of “gun free zones,” this could easily lead to an arrest.




It depends on what part of the country you’re in, and who owns the property. It’s different city to city, state to state, and apartment to apartment. But yes it is technically legal. It’s just like you not allowing certain things into your house. I believe there are a couple states that have laws specifically blocking apartments/condos from doing this, but not many. Even in some places without such laws, many properties will let you do it. You just have to shop around. Needless to say, states like New York, New Jersey, Hawaii, etc are probably not your best bet for this as the culture is unfortunately against liberty. Other places are a lot more sensible, and take an out of sight out of mind approach: it’s not illegal, just don’t tell us about it, and don’t break any actual laws.

Like I said, shop around.

Interesting post. I wonder, for those residential buildings which allow firearms in their units, but have restrictions within certain common areas, how do they deal with when a firearm guardian travels with a loaded firemarm from their unit to their vehicle or outside onto the public sidewalk? Might that be the exception, where they allow CCW?

It’s a good question. I live in an apartment, and I’ve never had this come up, nor is there anything about it in my lease agreement. If the property managers ever came up with a rule restricting ownership I’d probably just use it as a reason to break the lease early, and go live somewhere else.

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Another reason to not purchase in or live in (condos or HOAs) and live in apartments after careful consideration of the owners requirements.