Should a lease prevent you from having the means to defend yourself with a lawfully owned firearm?

That’s the question at the heart of a lawsuit in Missouri against the East St. Louis Housing Authority by a female resident and the Second Amendment Foundation. It seems the House Authority has a clause in its leases where residents are barred from having a firearm in their residences, even if they can legally own one.

The woman said she fears her abusive ex-husband who was recently released from prison on a murder conviction. She has a valid Illinois firearms card but is barred by her lease at ESLHA’s Auburn Terrace complex from having a gun in her home even though it was used to save her life previously.

“This situation is made even more outrageous considering what has happened to Ms. Doe while living at Auburn Terrace,” said Alan Gottlieb, head of the Second Amendment Foundation, one of the groups backing the woman. “We’ve explained how she was beaten and raped in January 2017, and her children stopped the attack only by threatening to use a gun. On two other occasions, Ms. Doe had to call police due to shootings in nearby residences. When the housing authority threatened to terminate her lease due to the gun in her residence, they insisted that the building is safe, so she doesn’t need a gun.”

The lawsuit, prepared by attorney David Sigale in conjunction with the Illinois State Rifle Association, names the housing authority’s director, Mildred Moffat, in her official capacity as a defendant. The filing notes that the authority’s lease specifically restricts firearms possessed by the renter or guests “anywhere in the unit or elsewhere on the property” and the units are subject to “special inspections” at any time. This, argues Sigale, amounts to a program that denies people their Second Amendment rights simply because they are at a financial disadvantage and need government housing.

“Wealthier persons who can afford to live in private housing are not deprived of this right,” Sigale says.

The problem with clauses like this is similar to many of the gun control regulations being proposed time and time again; they only apply to those inclined to follow the rules in the first place.

In this case, Ms. Doe is being penalized for her place of residence despite having a history of only using a firearm in self-defense. The authority claims the building is safe, but that’s ridiculous. Unless there is 24-hour armed security on the premises, there’s absolutely no way to guarantee all of the residents’ safety, and I think we all know there’s no such security.

While I’m not a fan of government housing, people shouldn’t have to give up their basic human rights because bureaucrats are uncomfortable with them having the means to defend themselves.

The fact of the matter is that the right of self-defense is a basic human right, and it’s well past time that it be recognized throughout the world once again. Depriving a citizen of their rights without due process is a travesty, and that’s all that appears to be going on here.

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