Renters’ Second Amendment Rights Are in Danger. Here’s How to Protect Them

Published November 30, 2023

Since the Great Recession, the total number and percentage of U.S. renters has hit an all-time high.1 Moreover, the Federal Reserve has raised interest rates several times since the start of 2022, making owning a home, considered by many to be “the American dream,” unattainable for millions. Due to these and other extenuating circumstances, more Americans than ever are now renting.

Simultaneously, the United States, especially in urban areas, is experiencing a surge in violent crime, causing more Americans to purchase firearms as a last resort for self-defense. The defunding of police departments, along with the unwillingness of many district attorneys to hold criminals accountable for their actions, has contributed to a rise in gun sales. Many Americans no longer believe they can count on police to quickly respond in the event of an emergency.

Despite the growing interest in gun ownership, however, many states do not protect renters’ Second Amendment rights. In most states, landlords, including large corporate landlords, can choose to ban gun possession on their premises. This means that, in practice, millions of Americans cannot own a gun, or that gun ownership is extremely burdensome.

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