An aggressive anti-gun campaign that already has named veterans and recipients of Social Security benefits as targets apparently is being expanded to include foster parents.
And it’s already drawn a lawsuit.
The Second Amendment Foundation confirmed a lawsuit has been filed against the Oklahoma Department of Human Services for two residents “whose civil rights have been deprived under color of law.”
The suit explains that the state agency’s rules prevent citizens from serving as foster parents while “legally possessing functional firearms for personal protection.”
“This mandate for foster parents is not just restrictive, it’s ridiculous,” said Alan Gottlieb, founder of the the Second Amendment Foundation. “Why should a foster parent be stripped of his or her right to self-defense, or their ability to defend their foster child, simply to appease some bureaucrat’s anti-gun philosophy?”
He continued: “We’re in a new era, when people not only must be concerned with violent crime, but also acts of urban terrorism. How would it look for Oklahoma if foster children came to some harm because OKDHS regulations disarmed their foster parents?
“We’re asking for an injunction against this requirement because it puts foster families at serious risk while denying parents of their constitutional rights.”
The case comes on behalf of Stephen and Krista Pursley of Moore, Oklahoma, who have served as foster parents to nearly three-dozen children.
For at least two years, however, the state agency has issued a form to prospective foster and adoptive parents titled “Weapon Safety Agreement for Foster or Adoptive Family,” which “prevents the carrying of firearms in the child’s presence ‘unless the employment of foster/adoptive applicant or parent requires when on-duty.'”
An attorney working with the plaintiffs said it’s not only unfair but unconstitutional “that those persons who are providing a better life and environment for children, through the state’s DHS foster care and adoption process, would have to give up the fundamental rights of self-defense and defense of family in order to do so.”
A spokeswoman for the state agency, Sheree Powell, told the AP that the goal is “reasonable safety measures.”
“Agency leadership has, in fact, been diligently working in recent weeks to review and, if necessary, revise its foster care weapons policy in order to address the interests of foster parents who are appropriately permitted to possess firearms,” Powell said. “Any revisions to agency policy, however, will always make the safety of children its first and foremost priority.”
The couple has adopted one foster child and is in the process of adopting a second. Another foster child lives in the couple’s home.
Stephen Pursley has been licensed to carry a concealed weapon for more than a decade.
The Los Angeles Times reported the Obama administration was pushing to ban Social Security beneficiaries from owning guns if they “lack the mental capacity to manage their own affairs.”
That is a virtual copy of a Veterans Administration plan, as WND has reported, being used against military veterans by the Obama administration.
Michael Connelly of the United States Justice Foundation has been working on the VA case since several veterans contacted him to say they had been determined incompetent without a hearing and wanted to fight back.
According to the Social Security plan, the federal benefit recipients would be told they are incompetent and can no longer have weapons. Their names would be added to the National Instant Criminal Background Check system, which is used by governments to keep weapons out of the hands of felons, drug addicts, illegal aliens and others.
An estimated 4.2 million adults get Social Security payments that are managed by “representative payees.”
The Times said the move is part of an effort by the Obama administration after the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, to strengthen gun control.
After Congress shot down virtually every legislative change Obama wanted, the president began to makes changes through rewriting rules and definitions.
In recent weeks, he’s ramped up his plans once again to do things by executive order, or administratively, that he cannot get Congress to agree to.
The National Rifle Association has been unhappy with the Obama administration’s gun-control maneuvers.
“If the Obama administration attempts to deny millions of law-abiding citizens their constitutional rights by executive fiat, the NRA stands ready to pursue all available avenues to stop them in their tracks,” the organization said at the time.
Connelly had told WND that if the government is successful in its restrictions on Social Security recipients, there will be other targets soon.
“They could go after student loan recipients. What about people getting food stamps? Medicaid? Potentially anybody working for any government contractor,” he warned.
He said he’s been warning on on his blog since earlier this year that the Social Security move was coming.
He said the government was using veterans “as guinea pigs to develop methods that can be used to steal their constitutional rights.”
“Veterans get the letter from the VA telling them that because of physical or mental disabilities they are going to be declared incompetent to handle their own financial affairs, and the VA will appoint a fiduciary for them. The veterans are given 60 days to prove they are competent, which is a direct violation of the due process clause of the Constitution that requires the burden of proof be on the government,” he wrote.
“In none of the cases that we know of has there been an adjudication process with a hearing before a judge or an administrative judge. Nor have the veterans in most cases been examined by a psychiatrist, psychologist or even an MD,” he continued. “[Then Attorney General]-Eric Holder decided that anyone who works for the VA can declare veterans incompetent for any reason including having their bills paid automatically out of their bank accounts.”
Lately, he said, some veterans “have never gotten any letter or official notification from the VA.”
“They find out they are on the NICS list when they try to purchase a firearm. Often they can’t even find out why they are on the list.”
WND broke the story that the Obama administration insisted it was routine for officials to send out letters informing veterans that an unidentified “report” indicated they may be declared incompetent and consequently stripped of their Second Amendment rights.
It’s the same administration that in 2009 warned that “returning veterans possess combat skills and experience that are attractive to rightwing extremists.”
The 2009 report from the Department of Homeland Security was called “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.” It also said Obama’s governmental managers were “concerned that rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to boost their violent capabilities.”