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Zero Tolerance of Gun Owners

You may have thought that zero tolerance had reached a low point with the infamous Pop Tart “gun,” but Lakes of the Four Seasons, an HOA in Indiana, has managed to take it even lower.

According to the reason they gave for firing a worker, even speaking words that indicate you might own a firearm are a violation of their “zero tolerance” on guns rules and is grounds for losing your job. The guy did not carry to work. He did not threaten anyone. He wasn’t spotted with a gun just off the job site. He merely acknowledged that he owned personal firearms at home. And that isn’t acceptable in the Lakes of the Four Seasons community.

For that thought crime, the residents of the neighborhood felt like he needed to be banished and have his source of livelihood cut off. Because he’s one of “them” who dares speak that he lives his personal life a little differently.

34 Responses to “Zero Tolerance of Gun Owners”

  1. Joe says:

    SO……how long till the criminals figure out this HOA is GUN FREE?

  2. harp1034 says:

    Sounds like he can sue for wrongful termination. He would be great if the HOA has to pay him to shut up and go away. I hate those things. They are run by neo-Nazis. I would never live in one if I can help it.

    • Bitter says:

      Click the link for the article and you’ll see that he is suing. His lawyer is arguing that the way they did it, it violated the state law that doesn’t let them fire you just for being a gun owner. The HOA board that fired him is now going into lock down and silence, refusing to answer questions from the press.

      • Ian Argent says:

        “Not talking to the press” is hardly evidence of nefarious intentions. Firing this guy is, but I don’t think ANYONE would advise talking to the press for any reason while there’s a lawsuit outstanding

        • Bitter says:

          I don’t think it’s a sign anything particularly nefarious, but I do think it shows a lack of professionalism. Big companies deal with this all of the time, which is why it’s common to see that they issue a statement saying that they don’t comment on pending litigation. To me, that’s a sign they aren’t prepared to deal with this, and that may be a sign that they also weren’t prepared to follow the law.

          • Ian Argent says:

            Small organization shows signs of lack of preparedness and professionalism? I’ll refrain from being sarcastic and note that because big companies deal with this all the time, they have people for that, ever since the one time they didn’t have people for that.

            I hope the HOA is given the Admiral-Byng-via-Voltaire treatment, so that perhaps other are “encouraged.”

    • Neon says:

      Start with wrongful termination and follow up in Federal Court with first amendment violation.

  3. Erin Palette says:

    Yeah, I had a similar incident happen about 10 years ago when I was temping. I was working up in the DC metro area (as joyless a place as ever exists) and at one point I grumbled “I should have stayed home and cleaned my guns.”

    CLEANED. Not shoot anyone. Not even use them. Just clean them.

    Some brittle individual overheard, complained to the boss, who contacted the temp company and that was it: after working at that assignment for over a year, without a single complaint against me (and many compliments about my competency and work ethic), I was pulled from that location.

    Oh, the temp company kept me on, but they conveniently couldn’t find any openings for me afterwards. I left DC not long after that.

    • Joe_in_Pitt says:

      “I left DC not long after that.”

      And I’m sure like me, you felt your soul was cleansed.

    • Renegade_Azzy says:

      I once got the company all riled up after a stream of paintball guns came into the office and some special snowflake complained to our outsourced HR.

      Its now in our official policy specifically mentioning paintball guns. Among others. Which is interesting, because my boss now sublets to me and I run my business out of our workshop in the office, which as he full well knows, includes firearm engraving.

      I think it was all more to appease the social progress types that we have round here.

  4. Ian Argent says:

    OTOH, I swear my employer’s Zombie Plan ought to be to send an email blast to the company saying “OK, bring ’em with you when you come in to the office.” But, I work in the network engineering part of the company, which tends to be a little more well-armed.

    • HSR47 says:

      Of course, because IT is data oriented: you can’t program based on feelings.

  5. Nick pacific says:

    Something is missing in the story, because that neighborhood is filled with firearm owners.

    Knowing the area, I would leave open the possibility that there were other circumstances involved in his termination.

    • Bitter says:

      That is possible, but the area being filled with gun owners doesn’t mean that the HOA board that fired him is tolerant of those people.

    • Sigivald says:

      Well, the HOA can be run by pretentious anti-gun jerks without the actual home-owners being anti-gun jerks.

      Note that the HOA doesn’t claim it has a zero-tolerance policy on residents owning guns, just its employees.

      Which is still illegal, it appears, and certainly wicked … but different.

  6. Joe_in_Pitt says:

    I think the bigger issue here is how our court system has allowed HOAs to have the power of a de-facto government while also giving them the same legal protections as a private contract party.

    HOAs have gotten out of control and homeowners need more protections from boards that run amok.

  7. Rob K says:

    That HOA is up the creek in a big way. It’s been the law here since 2011 that you can’t ask about or in any way condition employment on (lack of) gun ownership. The law specifically provides for punitive damages. Unless there is a lot more to the story, they have really screwed themselves.

  8. Bobby says:

    Any time that a news story scratches my itch too vigorously, I have to remind myself to pause.

  9. Stuart the Viking says:

    I can’t comment on THIS case, because I really know no more than anyone else. However, I have to second the idea of never living under the thumb of a HOA again if I can help it.

    At a previous residence, I drove a beat-up VW Bus, which I was planning on restoring (eventually). Admittedly, it was not a pretty vehicle, but it was a cheap daily driver until I managed to save up enough to get the ball rolling on the restore. The HOA constantly send letters warning us that they would kick us out of the neighborhood if I didn’t stop parking the VW on the sidewalk or yard (I did neither… EVER), or get rid of the un-registered, non-working vehicle (it was registered and insured, and I drove it daily). Clearly they were working up “evidence” to have me removed from the neighborhood. Then one day, after my Step-Father went and talked to someone in the county government that he knew, the letters stopped. If he hadn’t known someone, I’m sure that eventually the HOA would have tried something.

    My other “bad HOA” story is that we’ve gotten an HOA warning letter at our current home (most of the people in the neighborhood got one). We don’t even HAVE an HOA, but some of the neighborhood busy-bodies banded together and voted themselves the HOA. Yea, we just laughed at that one. Word has it one of our other neighbors didn’t find it funny and had his lawyer go all “This is SPARTA” on them in a response letter threatening all manor of legal pain. Now days they restrict themselves to voting a “yard of the month” every month and complaining to the county whenever they see something they don’t like. Still annoying, but a far cry from the “mow your grass or we’ll do it and put a lean on your house to pay for it” crap.

    • Joe_in_Pitt says:

      I lived under the fiefdom of an HOA when I lived in Northern Virginia (where I swear 90% of all neighborhoods have one). Although I never had any run-ins with them while I lived there, when I started renting my condo out after leaving the area I had to deal with them a few times.

      One instance that comes to mind was when my tenant informed me that the dryer vent fell off the back of the unit. The HOA got a contractor to replace the vent (it was their responsibility) and I thought all was good. That was until the HOA called me a few weeks later to let me know the shade of burgundy for the vent didn’t conform to the HOA code. I told the lady to get lost as it was them who replaced the damn thing. She acted surprised.

      That’s the problem with a lot of HOAs in large metro areas, they are run by these management companies that oversee dozens if not hundreds of neighborhoods and there’s literally no communication between their apparatuses. I had to send my tenant’s lease to the HOA no less than 5 times and when they finally put him in the system they spelled his first name wrong. It’s like dealing with the DMV.

    • Roberta X says:

      Off-topic, but I have seen “…all manor of…” twice recently and it’s getting on my nerves. C’mon, that doesn’t even make sense. It’s “all manner of…” Can’t we hone in on this, and nip it in the butt?

  10. Alien says:

    In Woodbridge, VA the local paper,The Potomac News, used to have a cartoonist who had great fun with “Mr. Montclair’s Neighborhood” cartoons about Montclair which was a “planned community.”

    For a couple months before I moved out of VA there was a running battle between a homeowner and the Montclair Community Committee (or whatever it was called) about his mailbox. Seems there were only a couple of approved paint colors for mailboxes and he had painted it the wrong shade of Williamsburg Blue. The issue? The approved shade of Williamsburg Blue was a Sherwin Williams color and he had used a different brand of paint.

    Kinda like kindergarden without any adults present.

  11. Akatsukami says:

    I live in a development with a HOA. Getting an amendment to the by-laws passed was as easy as pie, as was getting elected to two terms on the street maintenance committee thereby created (in fact, the only reason that I’m not still on it is that my health is too poor for me to have continued).

    I don’t have enough data to make an absolute declaration, but I strongly suspect that the problem, as is often the case in politics at all levels, is that people sit around whining how someone else should be doing something about all this.

    • Rob K says:

      I suspect it’s more that some people are just busy bodies who think stuff needs to be done that really doesn’t need to be done. The rest of us just want to be left alone.

  12. TicTac says:

    When I bought my house an HOA was an instant deal killer and my realtor knew it.
    If the neighbors wanted to control this piece of property, they could have bought it. It had a “For Sale” sign out front and everything.

  13. NotClauswitz says:

    As a former resident and board member of a condo-HOA environment, we specifically bought a detached home with no HOA impediments.

  14. Windy Wilson says:

    I’ve had a couple of clients who had disputes with HOAs. Those are without a doubt the most vicious disputes outside of child custody or will contests. In the case of HOAs, it is because so little is at stake.

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