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Apartment building tenants in a Colorado town were told to give up their guns, or vacate the building.
The Oakwood Apartments in the town of Castle Rock issued a notice to residents earlier this month informing them of the new gun ban at the complex. The complex is located in a Denver suburb and is managed by the Ross Management Group.
Oakwood Apartments residents were sent a notice which stated they had until Oct. 1 to get rid of their guns, or pack their bags. Art Dorsch, a nearly 80-year-old Marine Corps veteran told local news media that he is afraid that if he tried to keep his guns, he would lose his home. Dorsch is a concealed carry permit holder and avid hunter.
“It upsets me very much,” the retired Marine told 9News. “They want to take them all away from me, they say I can’t live here. … I’m vulnerable. I’m not safe.”
Dorsch said he barely has enough money to live on each month, much less to hire an attorney.
“Yeah it’s emotional. Because I don’t think it’s fair.”
Dorsch planned on storing his firearms at a friend’s home about 30 miles away so he could continue to go hunting every year.
Having his guns safely stored inside his apartment made him feel safe, Dorsch said. All the other gun owners at the Oakwood Apartments in Castle Rock likely felt the same way.
In the end, following a flood of criticism, the apartment complex backed down and reversed its policy. The facility was “purchased with federal funds and is supported by local, state, and federal tax dollars,” 9News reported. Douglas County Housing Partnership, which owns the complex, held a board meeting and voted to overturn the rule.
“These community policy changes were distributed without the knowledge or authorization of the Board of Directors of the Douglas County Housing Partnership or its staff,” a Douglas County Housing Partnership release said. “This board does not support any action that infringes on an individual’s rights and will not allow Ross Management to implement these changes.”
Ross Management Group owners Debi Ross and her husband have donated approximately $9,000 to only Democratic candidates since 2006, 9News said. Some following the developments felt a political motive could have been at play at the Colorado housing complex.
The stark difference in mindset in reference to Second Amendment issues is part of the reason some rural Colorado residents are calling for the creation of a state known as North Colorado. As previously reported by Off The Grid News, the 51st state movement is focused primarily in the Eastern Plains region of Colorado.
“Our very way of life is under attack. This is not a stunt,” North Colorado secession supporter and Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway told 9News. “This is a very serious deliberative discussion that’s going on. There’s a real feeling that a lot of folks who come from the urban areas don’t appreciate the contribution many Coloradans contribute. Our vision and our morals are no longer represented by the state [legislature] and the current administration, and we think it’s time we do take seriously what our options are. This is just one of our options, but we will be moving forward with it.”
Legal analyst Scott Robinson said the court system has routinely supported a landlord’s decision to draft “reasonable regulations” on tenants, and outright gun ban might not fall into such a category. Earlier this year Colorado passed a gun control bill which imposed background checks on all gun purchases and limited high-capacity magazines.
If the complex was entirely funded and maintained by a private individual or company, constitutional infringement may not have come into play. Landlord decisions to prohibit smoking, pets and other types of habits or activities have almost always been upheld in the face of resident complaints.
The Colorado legal analyst also told 9News that gun ban policies at apartment complexes are rare, but he expects more such scenarios to begin popping up given the current gun control climate in America.
How do you feel about the Oakwood Apartments gun ban and its ultimate reversal?