TN Court Rules In Favor Of Second Amendment Rights For Public Housing Tenants
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The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –
A three-judge panel in the Tennessee Court of Appeals unanimously ruled on Thursday to protect the second amendment rights of those living in public housing.
The new ruling means that Tennessee public housing authorities are no longer allowed to prevent tenants from owning guns in order to secure a lease.
This verdict was handed down in response to a case involving the eviction of Kinsley Braden, a resident of Creekside Acres apartments, by the Columbia Housing and Redevelopment Corporation in Maury County after they found that he had a gun inside of his residence.
Lower courts sided with Columbia Housing in the original case and an appeal, but Braden asked for a review of the case.
According to Appellate Judge Frank G. Clement, Jr., “As a threshold matter, we recognize that Columbia Housing is a government entity acting as a landlord of the Creekside Acres residences. For this reason, the actions of Columbia Housing and the policies of Creekside Acres must conform to the Constitution.”
Records show that Braden signed a lease with Columbia Housing in 2018. That lease stipulated that tenants could not have guns on the property. Braiden was evicted two years later after the housing authority “learned that Mr. Braden had been keeping a handgun in his residence.”
Braiden invoked his second amendment right as a “law-abiding citizen who was otherwise qualified to possess a firearm,” according to the opinion of the court. His attorneys, David Sigale and Eugene Hallworth, argued that the agreement signed by Braden was not valid because the stipulation should not ever have been included.
The court also stated that a government body cannot force a person to give up a right that is protected by the Constitution.
“The unconstitutional conditions doctrine provides that a government entity may not deny a benefit to a person on a basis that infringes his constitutionally protected interests. Thus, unless an exception applies, requiring Mr. Braden to surrender the central component of his Second Amendment rights for the benefit of public housing is an unconstitutional condition,” read the opinion.
While the court did acknowledge that other courts have allowed laws that forbade individuals from carrying firearms into certain places such as schools and government buildings, they also noted that “the (nation’s High Court) has continued to emphasize that the Second Amendment must protect the right of law-abiding citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home.”
Judge Clement continued in the opinion, “We conclude that a total ban on the ability of law-abiding citizens like Mr. Braden to possess a handgun within their public housing unit for the purpose of self-defense is unconstitutional under the Second Amendment.”
Columbia Housing could attempt to have the decision reviewed, but if no appeal is made or if the Tennessee High Court is not willing to hear one, this decision will stand in state law.
About the Author: Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative ~ Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career. Most recently, he served as Deputy Director for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others. He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History. Contact Jason at news@TennesseeConservativeNews.com
One thought on “TN Court Rules In Favor Of Second Amendment Rights For Public Housing Tenants”
Our Public Housing has become a violent place to live. Legal gun owners with no prior criminal convictions should be allowed 2nd Amendment rights.