A federal judge has given the OK to a lawsuit filed against the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services over its rule that foster parents in the state do not have Second Amendment rights.
Well, the rules say they can have guns, but they have to be inoperable.
The state asked the Johnsons to be foster parents for their grandson. But during the course of the necessary paperwork for the placement, a local judge stunned them with the warning that they no longer would have all of their constitutional rights.
The judge explained bluntly: “We know we are violating numerous constitutional rights here, but if you do not comply, we will remove the boy from your home,” according to a complaint filed with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan.
Now the SAF has confirmed that U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney has refused to dismiss the complaint, as the state wanted.
“In deciding that the Johnsons have a plausible case, Judge Maloney observed, ‘Storing firearms in an inoperable condition makes them useless for the defense of hearth and home, which implicates the Second Amendment….The need for self-defense rarely comes with advance notice; it occurs spontaneously, often at times specifically chosen for the expected vulnerability of the intended victim,” SAF reported.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette already had sounded off on the fight, siding with the Johnsons.
“As a practical matter, when a firearm is kept in a home for self-defense, it is always ‘in use’,” he wrote. “Criminals never take a day off, and they never call ahead. To serve its self-defense purpose, a gun must be readily accessible whenever its owner believes he might possibly need it.”
“We are delighted that Judge Maloney and Attorney General Schuette expressed such common sense perspectives,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “This case is really all about common sense, as well as the right of citizens to be able to defend themselves and their homes and families.”
WND reported in 2017 when the case developed it alleged civil rights violations under color of law “for enforcing restrictions on the Second Amendment rights of people who want to be foster or adoptive parents.”
The complaint explains the rule first was introduced to the Johnsons by social workers, who said, “If you want to care for your grandson, you will have to give up some of your constitutional rights.”
They explained, when the Johnsons raised questions about their agenda, “there would not be a power struggle, that they would just take his grandson and place him in a foster home.”
“The Johnsons would possess and bear loaded and functional firearms for self-defense and defense of family, but refrain from doing so because they fear their foster child/grandchild being taken away from them by the state,” the case explains.
WND reported earlier when a federal judge took the side of the Constitution in a similar dispute.
The state of Illinois at that time had demanded that a lawsuit challenging its gun rules as applied to foster or potential foster parents be dismissed.
U.S. District Judge Colin Stirling Bruce said there were “sufficient factual allegations to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
When the case arose, WND reported the Shults family decided a weapon was needed.
Colleen Shults works as a nurse at Danville Correctional Center under the state Department of Corrections. Months earlier, she received a letter from her employer’s Central Intelligence Unit “that prisoners in the IDOC system were using people locator websites on the Internet to learn the home addresses of IDOC staff, including correctional officers and nurses.”
“The letter warned Colleen and those like her to be careful and diligent for their safety,” that complaint said.
The simple answer would be to possess a firearm for defense, and generally under state law that is possible.
But the couple also has been providing foster care in the state for many years, and the policy of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services suspends their Second Amendment rights, their lawsuit says.