On Monday, the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) filed a lawsuit against Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) for impeding on foster and adoptive parents’ Second Amendment rights.
SAF filed the lawsuit on behalf of two couples: William and Jill Johnson and Brian and Naomi Mason.
The Johnsons were going to take custody of their grandson to keep him from going into foster care. When they went to pick up their grandson, William, a retired, disabled Marine with a Concealed Pistol License (CPL), was searched for a firearm. He was not carrying a firearm at the time. At that point, agency officials told the Johnsons that they would be required to provide all firearms’ serial numbers to the agency as part of a registry. When Johnson questioned agency workers, he was given a surprising response.
“If you want to care for your grandson you will have to give up some of your constitutional rights,” a MDHHS worker retorted.
When the Johnsons appeared before a Gogebic County Court judge, the judge reiterated the agency worker’s statement.
“We know we are violating numerous constitutional rights here, but if you do not comply, we will remove the boy from your home,” the judge said.
According to Alan Gottlieb, the Founder and Executive Vice President of the Second Amendment Foundation, the statements from agency workers and judges were outrageous.
“This amounts to coercion, with a child as their bartering chip. I cannot recall ever hearing anything so offensive and egregious, and we’ve handled cases like this in the past. Blatantly telling someone they must give up their civil rights in order to care for their own grandchild is simply beyond the pale,” Gottlieb said in a statement. “This is a case we simply must pursue,” Gottlieb said. “State agencies and the people who work in those agencies simply cannot be allowed to disregard someone’s civil rights.”
The lawsuit alleges MDHHS’ policy violates foster parents’ right to self-defense inside and outside of the home, which is protected under the Second Amendment.