Critics enraged after developer implements gun ban at Newark building

NEWARK — As New Jersey takes steps to address gun violence across the state, in Newark a housing developer is taking the matter into its own hands.

Residents at the Richardson Lofts on Columbia Street were recently notified by RPM Development - the company that owns the upscale building - that as of May 1, the property has been designated “firearm free.”

Tenants were informed that storing or carrying a gun or rifle, or any other type of firearm would be prohibited.

Tenants in violation of the new rule may be ordered to vacate their apartment.

The new policy has gun advocates fuming, as they’re calling if unlawful and a massive over reach of privacy.

“They put a gigantic bullseye on every single tenant living in this building,” Alexander Roubain, President of the New Jersey Second Amendment Society, told PIX11 News.

According to Roubain, outside of jeopardizing the safety of their tenants, the policy violates their Second Amendment right which guarantees an individual the right to possess a firearm in their home for self-defense.

“What RPM is doing right now is a violation of that right and they don’t have the ability or the constitutional right to bar someone from any constitutional right,” he said.

“The Garden State is considered to have some of the strictest gun laws in the nation. While those convicted of crimes and deemed mentally unfit are barred from owning firearms, residents who obtain a permit - do have the right to own a functioning firearm in their home for protection.

It’s unclear what prompted the gun ban notice to go into effect or how it would be enforced at the building. A spokesperson for RPM did not return our calls.

Tenants we spoke to – who did not want to be on-camera – said they thought the policy was a good idea.

Meanwhile, the NJ2AS is threatening legal action, saying it’s currently working to have this policy removed.