A retired disabled Marine and his wife are plaintiffs in a lawsuit alleging a request made by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services violates their second amendments rights. The couple were asked to foster their grandchild but were told to provide their Concealed Pistol License and the serial numbers of all firearms in the household to do so.
As reported by Fox 2 Detroit, the state of Michigan requires all foster parents to register their handguns with the state. Additionally, the firearms must be kept unloaded and secured in a safe with the ammunition stored separately.
The lawsuit, which features William Johnson, 54, as a plaintiff, says a judge informed him he had to “give up” his guns as a condition of fostering his grandson.
When Johnson questioned the assigned caseworker about the need to provide the serial numbers associated with his firearms, he was told, “if you want to care for your grandson, you will have to give up some of your constitutional rights.”
Johnson also alleges that the caseworker said there “would not be a power struggle, that they would just take his grandson and place him in a foster home.”
During a court hearing where Johnson’s grandchild was to be placed formally in his care, the lawsuit states a judge with Gogebic County Court said the couple would have to comply with the restrictions. The judge reportedly stated, “We know we are violating numerous constitutional rights here, but if you do not comply, we will remove the boy from your home.”
The lawsuit states the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is restricting current and prospective foster or adoptive parents from exercising their Second Amendment right to possess and bear readily available firearms for the purpose of self-defense and defense as the amendment allows.
Two additional plaintiffs, Brian and Naomi Mason, also state the regulations are preventing them from becoming foster parents.
The complaint was formally filed with the United States District Court for Michigan’s Western District. The hope is that the court will be able to clarify the issue regarding the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ right to make such requests.