In September, a man broke in to 67-year-old Harvey Lembo's house and attempted to rob him of his prescription medications. Lembo, who uses a wheelchair and who had been robbed before, proceeded to shoot the intruder with his newly-purchased gun. He was then told that guns were not allowed in his apartment complex and that he needed to give up his weapon or face being evicted. Now, Lembo is suing his landlord for the right to bear arms.
A disabled former lobsterman who shot an intruder after buying a gun to defend himself sued his landlord Monday over a policy that prohibits him from keeping a gun in his subsidized apartment.
Harvey Lembo, who uses a motorized wheelchair, was warned by his property management company that tenants are prohibited from having firearms after he shot an alleged burglar in the shoulder after five break-ins.
The lawsuit was filed in Knox County Superior Court.
"We're interested in ensuring that people in Mr. Lembo's position are able to enjoy their full constitution rights, including their right to lawfully possess a firearm in self-defense," said Patrick Strawbridge, his Boston-based attorney.
There was no immediate response from Stanford Management Co., operator of Park Place Apartments.
Like I wrote back in September, it was incredibly irresponsible for the media to broadcast precisely which apartment complex Lembo was living in, as well as publicize the fact that he was in possession of prescription drugs that are often targeted by thieves. Lembo is from a small town in Maine, and it would be very easy for someone to find out where he was living and rob him of his property and medications--especially with the new knowledge that he was no longer armed. Lembo has demonstrated a need to own a firearm for protection, and he should be able to.