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Landlord tells Harvard grad student she needs to move out because she has legally owned guns

A Harvard University graduate student received a letter from her apartment landlord telling her to move out because of her legally owned guns. Apparently, the firearms made her roommates uncomfortable. (EMILY KASK/AFP/Getty Images)

A Harvard University graduate student Leyla Pirnie received a letter from her apartment landlord telling her to move out because of her legally owned guns. Apparently, the firearms made her roommates uncomfortable.

The Washington Free Beacon obtained a copy of the email Dave Lewis, Pirnie's landlord and president of Avid Management, wrote to the students and her roommates.

"Since it's clear that Leyla wants to keep her firearms, it would be best for all parties if she finds another place to live,” he wrote.

How did this happen?

Lewis' request that Pirnie move out came after her roommates searched her bedroom while she wasn’t home and found the weapons.

The roommates' suspicions were reportedly raised because Pirnie, 24, owns a Make America Great Again hat. She told the news outlet she kept her political beliefs to herself, however.

"When I asked them why they were in my room to begin with, they each came up with completely contradicting stories (none of which made any sense), but one comment struck me in particular: ‘We saw that you had a MAGA hat and come on, you're from Alabama … so we just kind of assumed that you had something,'" Pirnie told the Free Beacon.

"I asked why they didn't just call me and ask me before intruding," she said. "One of the girls responded that fear took over her body and she felt compelled to search my room until she found proof ... I cannot make this up."

After the roommates found her guns, they asked the landlord to verify that Pirnie was complying with firearms laws. They also said they weren't comfortable having the guns around.

"We discussed with Leyla that all of us are uncomfortable with having firearms in the house, and that their presence causes anxiety and deprives us of the quiet enjoyment of the premise to which we are entitled," the roommates wrote in the email.

Lewis contacted Capt. James Donovan of the Somerville Police Department to inspect Pirnie's firearms, which were in compliance with all applicable laws, the Free Beacon reported.

“Lewis acknowledged the department's conclusion that Pirnie was not breaking any gun laws in his email telling Pirnie to move out,” the Free Beacon wrote.

Pirnie believes her privacy and her rights are being violated, noting that her roommates admitted to searching her closet, under her bed, and in all her drawers in an effort to find her guns.

Pirnie said that while she was an undergraduate, she was in a physically abusive relationship and that is one reason she has the firearms.

What's next?

She and her father rejected Lewis' request that she move out in the middle of studying for finals.

Lewis stated that his request "was based strictly on practical and not idealogical [sic] terms." He also said that if the other roommates moved out, Pirnie would have to pay the more than $6,000 monthly rent by herself or find other roommates to help foot the bill.

"I'm still very much so being threatened out of my apartment," Pirnie told the Free Beacon. "Either I leave and incur moving expenses or my roommates move and I incur their rent expenses. … Doesn't seem right."

"Not only is this a blatant violation of my privacy, but it's also a violation of my rights," she said.

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