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Legislature to Consider Whether Residents Can Possess Guns In Spite of Rental Rules

Legislation allowing apartment dwellers to possess a gun despite lease or apartment complex rules will be considered by lawmakers in January. Sen. Andre Cushing, a Republican from Newport sponsored the bill after a Rockland man, Harvey Lembo, shot and wounded an intruder in his apartment.

 Cushing says Lembo had had problems with intruders before.  "He felt a need to defend himself and acquired a handgun appropriately," Cushing recently told members of the legislature. "(He) saw movement in his house, determined that there was an individual in his property again. Confronted him, attempted to call for the police. Unfortunately this individual lunged towards him resulting in him having to defend himself."

Lembo is also pursuing the matter in court arguing that his constitutional right to possess firearms was violated by the rules of the apartment complex where he lives. Lembo says he was threatened with eviction after the robbery attempt if he did not give up his weapon.

The lawsuit has drawn national attention.