Gun Laws & Legislation

Michigan Couples Sue Over State’s Attempt To Disarm Adoptive And Foster Parents

Most media savvy gun control advocates try to insist that nobody wants to ban guns in America and that anybody who says otherwise is either paranoid or guilty of fear-mongering.

According to a lawsuit filed in a Michigan federal court, however, anti-gun bureaucrats at the state’s Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) are subjecting gun-owing adoptive and foster parents to a stark choice: their Second Amendment rights or their kids.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit include William Johnson, a disabled veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, and his wife, Jill. The Johnsons were asked by the state to serve as foster parents for their grandson.

According to the complaint, when the Johnsons arrived to pick up the child at a MDHHS facility, William (a Michigan concealed carry licensee) was searched and ordered to produce his concealed carry license, even though he wasn’t carrying a gun.  It also says he was told by caseworkers he would have to provide them with the serial numbers of all of his guns.

The complaint alleges that both MDHHS caseworkers and a judge involved with the placement told the Johnsons that as a condition of fostering the child, they’d have to surrender certain constitutional rights, including the right to have an accessible, loaded firearm inside or outside of their home.

The complaint quotes the judge as stating, “We know we are violating numerous constitutional rights here, but if you do not comply, we will remove the boy from your home.” Likewise, the Johnsons claim, MDHHS caseworkers told them “there would not be a power struggle, that they would just take his grandson and place him in a foster home.”

Another complainant in the lawsuit is a pastor at a Baptist church, chair of a county DHHS board, a Michigan concealed carry pistol licensee, and an NRA certified range officer. His wife is a published author and librarian. They would like to foster children at their home but have refrained from doing so because of the requirement to surrender fundamental rights under the Second Amendment.

The lawsuit claims violations of the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights to equal protection and to keep and bear arms. It asks the court to permanently bar enforcement of the MDHHS anti-gun policies and to award the plaintiffs’ attorney’s fees and costs for bringing the suit.

This is hardly the first time state officials have threatened adoptive or foster parents over their possession of firearms. A similar lawsuit was filed last year in Oklahoma, and the NRA has championed legislation to prevent discrimination against lawful gun owners who wish to adopt or foster children, including in FloridaNevada, and Texas.

It says something about gun control advocates that they will insist their agenda is necessary for the well-being of children, at the same time they will coldly rip kids from caring homes or banish students from school for purely symbolic anti-gun purposes. The sad case of the Johnsons and Masons also demonstrates how deeply entrenched anti-gun orthodoxy is in official bureaucracies, even in places – like Michigan – where lawful gun ownership is considered part of the social fabric.

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.