Colorado apartment complex bans guns, leaving ex-Marine tenant up in arms

Dylan Stableford
Yahoo! News
A Palmetto M4 assault rifle is seen at the Rocky Mountain Guns and Ammo store in Parker, Colorado
View photos
A Palmetto M4 assault rifle is seen at the Rocky Mountain Guns and Ammo store in Parker, Colorado July 24, 2012. The killing of 12 people at a midnight screening of the new Batman movie in the Denver suburb of Aurora may spark a fresh round of soul-searching on America's relationship with guns but few predict any real change in the law. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (UNITED STATES - Tags: CRIME LAW SOCIETY)

Some residents of an apartment complex in Colorado are up in arms after receiving a notice from the building's management banning the possession of firearms.

In a letter to tenants dated Aug. 1, the managers of Oakwood Apartments in Castle Rock, Colo., warned that under new "community policies," the display, use or possession of firearms and weapons anywhere on the property is prohibited and that residents will have until Oct. 1 to comply:

Firearms and Weapons are Prohibited

Resident agrees not to display, use or possess or allow any member of the resident's household, or a guest or other person under the resident's control to display, use, possess any firearms (operable or inoperable) or any other weapons, including but not limited to, night sticks, nun chucks, brass knuckles, anywhere on the property.

Art Dorsch, a 77-year-old retired U.S. Marine who lives in the complex, told Denver's 9 News the new policy is a violation of his Second Amendment rights.

"It upsets me very much," Dorsch said. "I'm a licensed conceal and carry person."

Dorsch, a hunter who keeps several guns in a safe inside his home, said he was told he could "give up the guns and stay, give notice and move out voluntarily, or be forced to move out" if he doesn't comply with the new policy.

A manager at the Ross Management Group, which operates the apartment complex, declined to comment.

But legal analysts say landlords have the right to impose "reasonable regulations" on tenants.

Dorsch doesn't think it's reasonable. "It's unfair," he said.

Colorado has become a key state in the national gun-control debate.

Last month, a pair of controversial new gun-control laws went into effect in Colorado. The laws — inspired by last year's mass shootings in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater — impose universal background checks on gun purchases in the state and limit most ammunition magazines to 15 rounds.

A subsequent lawsuit, filed by sheriffs from 54 of the state's 64 counties, contends the new restrictions violate the Second Amendment.