Lawsuit to allow unlocked guns in foster homes will proceed
By Christen Smith
A lawsuit filed in a Michigan federal court last year challenging a state policy mandating foster parents store guns locked and unloaded will proceed, according to documents filed last week. U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney sided with William and Jill Johnson, residents of Ontonagon — a village bordering Lake Superior on Michigan’s upper peninsula — who claim the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services threatened to revoke their foster parent license if they didn’t comply.
“The policy of the MDHHS, by implementing requirements and restrictions that are actually functional bans on the bearing of firearms for self-defense, both in and out of the home, completely prohibits foster and adoptive parents, and those who would be foster or adoptive parents, from the possession and bearing of readily-available firearms for the purpose of self-defense,” Maloney wrote in a 28-page opinion filed last week. “This violates Plaintiffs’ constitutional rights under the Second and Fourteenth Amendments.”
The Johnsons became foster parents at the request of the state after taking custody of their grandson last year. When the couple arrived to pick up the boy from MDHHS custody, however, caseworkers searched William Johnson, demanding to see his concealed pistol license and a list of serial numbers