Maine state senator Andre Cushing III (R-Hampden) has introduced a bill disallowing landlords from banning guns in public housing if said landlords receive “public money” for subsidization.
Cushing’s gun rights bill is a response to the plight of Rockland’s Harvey Lembo — a wheelchair-bound, 67-year-old resident of Section 8 housing who used a gun for self-defense, only to have his landlord tell him he had to get rid to of the gun.
According to the Portland Press Herald, Lembo was tired of having his apartment repeatedly burglarized, so he bought a gun. The first night he owned the firearm, Lembo heard a familiar sound — the sound of an alleged burglar coming into the apartment. Lembo wheeled himself in front of the suspect and held him at gunpoint. When the suspect tried to flee, Lembo shot him in the shoulder. Breitbart News reported that the company that manages the apartments responded to the news by ordering Lembo to get rid of the gun.
According to the Maine Sun Journal, Sen. Cushing said:
My feeling is when you have individuals who are in subsidized housing, in essence what you are looking at is housing of last resort for some people. So they have a different position than a private-sector tenant who has discretion to perhaps move to an alternate location if their landlord doesn’t allow smoking, pets, guns, parties — you know.
He says landlords who accept “public money for programs — i.e., tax dollars for Section 8 housing — should not be allowed to squelch an individual’s constitutional rights.” Cushing explained, “This is an area where the landlord is receiving public monies to subsidize the rolls of their tenants and they are denying that person the right to have ownership either for hunting or personal protection.”
Cushing’s bill is titled, “An Act to Ensure Nondiscrimination Against Gun Owners in Public Housing.” It is expected to be heard in committee in mid-February.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.