Today, August 23, 2016, a settlement by the parties involved in Harvey Lembo v. Park Place Associates, et. al, was filed with the court dismissing the case. The settlement recognizes the validity of Legislative Document 1572 and Mr. Lembo’s rights under it.
Harvey Lembo, an elderly wheelchair bound Maine resident who lives in affordable housing, filed a lawsuit with help from the NRA against Park Place Associates after being threatened with eviction for lawfully possessing and using a firearm for self-defense. Since moving to his apartment in 2009, Mr. Lembo’s home had been burglarized five times. On August 31, 2015, Mr. Lembo decided to purchase a firearm for self-protection, and less than 24 hours later, he was forced to use that firearm to defend himself during a home invasion. Following this incident, Mr. Lembo’s landlord forced him to decide what was more important: affordable housing or his right to self-defense.
Shortly after this incident, NRA came to the assistance of Mr. Lembo through a court action to vindicate his rights under the constitution and laws of Maine. Also as a result of Mr. Lembo’s situation, NRA-ILA supported LD 1572 through the legislature during the 2016 session. LD 1572, signed into law by Governor LePage in April, prevents public housing authorities and private landlords from adding provisions in rental agreements or facility policies to ban the lawful ownership, use, possession, bearing or transportation of firearms by tenants.
Because of the passage of the new law, the parties involved in Harvey Lembo v. Park Place Associates, et. al, were able to reach an agreement. Law-abiding gun owners should not be denied the right to Keep and Bear Arms, regardless of their economic status or street address. This case is a shining example of how NRA’s litigation and legislative operations can work hand in hand to make real change for gun owners.
Your NRA-ILA would like to thank the bill sponsor, Senator Andre Cushing, Governor LePage and everyone who reached out to their legislators in support of this critical bill.