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Publicly-Subsidized Housing Complex Disarms Elderly Burglary Victim, Cites Lease Violation

Friday, September 4, 2015

Publicly-Subsidized Housing Complex Disarms Elderly Burglary Victim, Cites Lease Violation

Publicly-Subsidized Housing Complex Disarms Elderly Burglary Victim, Cites Lease Violation

Sixty-seven-year-old Harvey Lembo’s residence had been burglarized four times, he told the Bangor Daily News, so the wheelchair-bound senior finally obtained a handgun. He noted he had learned to shoot one in his youth while serving as a police officer. 

The purchase came none too soon, according to local media accounts. Hours after obtaining the handgun, the Portland Press Herald reported, Mr. Lembo was awakened around midnight by a 45-year-old intruder apparently intent on stealing the retired lobsterman’s prescription painkillers.  “[P]etrified” and “scared he was going to come at me,” Mr. Lembo fired. The round struck the intruder in the shoulder. After police apprehended the suspect, they determined he was still serving a sentence for a felony domestic violence conviction. “It was horrifying,” Mr. Lembo told the Press Herald. “I don’t want to shoot anybody.” 

Having survived his ordeal with the burglar, however, Mr. Lembo soon learned his troubles were only beginning. According to the press reports, the police seized his firearm while they continued their investigation into the circumstances of the incident. Worse, the management of Mr. Lembo’s apartment complex announced it would be conducting its own investigation into the incident and admonished Mr. Lembo that his lease forbids residents from possessing firearms, even in their own units. A management representative told the Press Herald, “’It’s in the lease. … It’s really for the safety of all the tenants.’” He added that “the company handles lease infractions on a case-by-case basis ….” Nevertheless, the management representative also admitted to the Press Herald that “the company is looking into reports of previous burglaries at the building and how to increase security at the privately owned 20-unit complex ….”

In 1995, the Maine Supreme Court ruled in a suit backed by NRA that a lease provision banning residents from possessing firearms on Portland Housing Authority property violated the state’s firearm preemption law. Some 13 years later, of course, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment itself prohibited the District of Columbia from banning the possession of operable handguns within private homes. 

While the complex in which Mr. Lembo lives insists that it is entitled, as a privately-owned facility, to set its own regulations concerning firearms, the legal landscape may not be so clear cut. The apartment complex prominently advertises on its website that it “welcome[s] section 8 vouchers,” and a management representative told a local reporter that all the company’s properties are “subsidized in some form.” It’s far from clear that a private company that is essentially administering a public benefit program can evade the requirements that pertain to other public entities in the state.

Meanwhile, Mr. Lembo remains unarmed and subject to the same flimsy “security” that has repeatedly failed to keep intruders from his premises.  “This is bull,” he aptly noted to a reporter. NRA’s governmental affairs liaison for Maine was just as blunt, stating: “Now we have Mr. Lembo being victimized twice within 48 hours: once by a burglar and second by a landlord.”

Your NRA will be following this case closely and is committed to ensuring that no publicly-funded entity arbitrarily deprives its customers or constituents, especially vulnerable individuals like Harvey Lembo, of their constitutionally-guaranteed right to keep and bear arms for self-protection. 

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Washington: Substitute Version of Gun Control Bill Passes House Committee

Friday, January 19, 2018

Washington: Substitute Version of Gun Control Bill Passes House Committee

Yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee passed Substitute House Bill 1122 out of committee on a 7-6 vote.  This bill, which would require gun owners to lock up their firearms or potentially face criminal charges, will ...

Crossing the Line – Firearm Preemption Protection Under Attack

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Friday, January 19, 2018

Crossing the Line – Firearm Preemption Protection Under Attack

Gun control groups are fond of describing preemption as a doctrine whereby a state has stripped local governments of their power to regulate guns.

Australia: Queensland’s Labor Party Government Targets MP for Gun Control Heresy

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Friday, January 19, 2018

Australia: Queensland’s Labor Party Government Targets MP for Gun Control Heresy

The sorry state of gun politics in Australia was put into stark relief recently, after Liberal National Party (LNP) Queensland Legislative Assembly MP Anthony Perrett took a principled stand in favor of his constituents’ gun rights.

Washington: Trigger Modification Ban Passes Committee

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Washington: Trigger Modification Ban Passes Committee

Earlier today, the Washington state Senate Law & Justice Committee passed Senate Bill 5992 out of committee with a 4-3 vote. As drafted, this legislation has overreaching language that would ban modifications commonly made to ...

Arizona: Signature Gathering Underway For Hunting Ban Initiative

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Friday, January 19, 2018

Arizona: Signature Gathering Underway For Hunting Ban Initiative

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and their front-group “Arizonans for Wildlife” are currently gathering signatures for a ballot initiative that would ban the hunting and trapping of mountain lions and bobcats in ...

New Jersey:  2018 Brings Bigger Challenges for New Jersey Gun Owners

Friday, January 19, 2018

New Jersey: 2018 Brings Bigger Challenges for New Jersey Gun Owners

A new Governor took the reins from Gov. Chris Christie this week, and a new Legislature has been sworn into office. 

Indiana: Rifle Hunting Bill Passes Senate

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Friday, January 19, 2018

Indiana: Rifle Hunting Bill Passes Senate

On Thursday, January 18th, Senate Bill 20 passed the Indiana state Senate by a vote of 47-2 and will now move to the House.  

Washington: House Judiciary to Hear Gun Control Bills

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Washington: House Judiciary to Hear Gun Control Bills

On Thursday, January 25th at 1:30PM, the House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hear several sweeping gun control bills.  NRA Members and Second Amendment supporters are strongly encouraged to attend the committee hearing to voice your opposition ...

Hawaii: Trigger Modification Ban Introduced in the Senate

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Hawaii: Trigger Modification Ban Introduced in the Senate

Today, Senator Karl Rhoads (D-13) introduced legislation that would ban modifications commonly made to firearms by law-abiding citizens.  SB 2046 is currently pending a committee referral.  Please contact your Senator today and urge them to OPPOSE this ...

Eighteen States, Law Enforcement, Doctors, and Firearm Rights Groups File Amicus Briefs in Lawsuit Challenging California 10+ Magazine Ban

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Eighteen States, Law Enforcement, Doctors, and Firearm Rights Groups File Amicus Briefs in Lawsuit Challenging California 10+ Magazine Ban

On Friday, January 12, several amicus briefs were filed in the NRA and CRPA supported lawsuit challenging California’s restrictions against magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds. The lawsuit, titled Duncan v. Becerra, challenges California’s ...

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NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.