A retired Marine was warned by a Michigan judge that if he did not get rid of his guns that he keeps for protection, he and his wife would not be allowed to be the foster parents of their grandson.

William and Jill Johnson were asked by the state of Michigan to be foster parents of their grandson to keep him from not going into foster care with parents outside his family, and the couple happily agreed. However, one stipulation was given.

“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,” WND reported.

Give up your gun rights or else …

The judge in the case – filed with the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan – candidly admitted that the court was denying the veteran’s rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution … if he wanted to keep his grandson.

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“We know we are violating numerous constitutional rights here, but if you do not comply, we will remove the boy from your home,” complaint the judge stated, according to the complaint.

Of course, the Johnson’s – and other Americans’ – right to bear arms was the issue at hand.

“The Second Amendment ‘guarantee[s] the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation,” the complaint asserted, citing U.S. Supreme Court precedent. “This is an action … for deprivation of civil rights under color of law, which seeks equitable, declaratory and injunctive relief challenging the State of Michigan’s prohibition on the bearing of firearms for self-defense by otherwise qualified Michigan residents who are or wish to be foster or adoptive parents.”

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the Johnsons, aspiring foster parents Brian and Naomi Mason, and the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF). . The Masons claim that the gun control policy is keeping them from being foster parents.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Director Nick Lyon is named as the defendant in the lawsuit, which accuses him of enforcing the government agency’s “draconian rules” on foster and adoptive parents regarding gun possession

Social workers threatened the Johnsons, saying that if they did not give up their constitutional right to bear arms, their grandson would be removed from their home.

“If you want to care for your grandson, you will have to give up some of your constitutional rights,” the government agents warned.

After the Johnsons asked the social workers about their agenda, they just reminded the couple of the consequences their noncompliance would bring.

“[T]here would not be a power struggle … they would just take his grandson and place him in a foster home,” the lawsuit noted, according to WND.“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 judge’s and social workers’ statements were called “simply outrageous” by SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb.

“This amounts to coercion, with a child as their bartering chip,” Gottieb contended, according to WND. “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.”

The legal expert insisted that the state must be stopped – stressing that it is not above the law.

“This is a case we simply must pursue,” Gottlieb impressed. “State agencies and the people who work in those agencies simply cannot be allowed to disregard someone’s civil rights.”

It is argued that the Wolverine State is putting adoptive and foster parents and their families at risk because of their unconstitutional requirement.

“[T]he 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,” the lawsuit states. “This violates plaintiffs’ constitutional rights under the Second and Fourteenth Amendments.”

More problems with Michigan’s gun control

The state of Michigan’s restrictions on foster parents concerning its gun control policies have even more problems – problems that have been challenged in other states, as well.

“Michigan requires that anyone who wants to be a foster parent must register his handguns with the state, as well as keep the guns unloaded and locked in a safe separate from the ammunition,” The Washington Free Beacon reported. “Foster parents in states like Nevada and Oklahoma have challenged similar laws in recent years after being denied foster children over their legally owned firearms.”

When asked for comment about the allegations made against it in the lawsuit – of coercing the plaintiffs to surrender their constitutional rights in order to be adoptive and foster parents – the MDHHS refused to respond while the case moves forward.

“Our department generally does not comment on pending litigation,” MDHHS Public Information Officer Bob Wheaton told the Beacon.


Copyright American Family News. Reprinted with permission.

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