LeadingAge answers gun policy questions for senior living

LeadingAge has released Weapons Policies in Aging Services Organizations, new guidance for senior living communities regarding firearms and other weapons. In the wake of the numerous mass shootings, the organization says it has received many questions regarding how senior living communities can implement weapons policies.

The guidance notes that the 2nd Amendment does not prevent a senior living community from banning weapons on its campus. Any private business, including a HUD-assisted housing programs and Medicare/Medicaid-certified nursing homes, can institute a weapons policy. The Requirements of Participation do allow residents to own their own property and furnishings, unless they provide a safety risk, which weapons would fall under.

Home health and homecare providers face different challenges however; most likely, a resident has a legal right to own firearms in his or her place of residence, and the home health agency cannot enforce any weapons policy for the patient or client home. LeadingAge suggests that staff can ask residents to secure their weapons during their visits.

Organizations that are interested in restricting weapons, rather than an outright ban, also have options. LeadingAge guidance addresses this and provides examples of language that can be written into policy.

For more information, visit http://www.leadingage.org/legislation/firearms-policies-aging-services-organizations.

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