Illinois gun restrictions unfairly target foster parents, lawsuit claims

by Malia Zimmerman | FOXNews.com  |  published on July 17, 2016


Kenneth and Colleen Shults want to permanently welcome a foster child into their Fairmount, Ill., family, but claim in a federal suit filed this week they are being forced to surrender their Second Amendment rights to do it.

Already parents of three, the couple is in the process of formally adopting a daughter through the state foster care system and is fighting Department of Children and Family Services rules they say severely restrict their gun rights. The couple charges that the firearm restrictions aimed at safeguarding foster children violate their constitutional rights and threaten their ability to keep their family safe.

“Our family has always owned and used firearms,” said Kenneth Shults, 37, who is a firearms safety instructor and a machine shop manager. “No foster parent should have to forfeit their constitutional rights in order to be a foster parent.”

Prospective Illinois foster parents must either certify that there are no firearms in their home or complete a form called the Foster Family Firearms Arrangement. That document requires a list of all guns and ammunition in the home and locations where they are stored. Would-be foster parents also must certify the guns have trigger locks and are stored unloaded, separate from ammunition and in locked containers accessible only with a key kept off the premises or on the owner’s person.

The rules can be enforced by involuntary home inspections, according to the lawsuit.

  • headonstraight
    • Joann Wright

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  • Rodney Steward

    This is another Unconstitutional act by the Gov. to please Opey! If they hand been black guns would have never been mentioned!

  • Shelly Shannon

    I’m sort of confused here. Wouldn’t any parent that owns a firearm keep it locked away from children? I don’t understand why this is a violation of their second amendment right. They aren’t being told they can’t have the firearms. They are being told that because this is a foster child who does not belong to them legally she cannot be exposed to open firearms. Could someone explain this to me? I personally don’t own a firearm and never have, but I totally believe people should be able to own them.

    • graylens

      they would be required to submit to “involuntary” searches of their home. That means no search warrant, no probable cause, no judicial oversight, no due process, no privacy.

      • Shelly Shannon

        Thank you. Now I see what the lawsuit is about.

        • Rodney Steward

          If I were the lawyer I’d take the case for nothing!

          • Shelly Shannon

            I get everyone’s point now. I probably would too if I was an attorney.

      • headonstraight

        Guess what? Most, if not all, state child protective agencies already have authority to conduct unannounced inspections of homes with foster children. There have been no legal challenges to this arrangement and any such challenge would fail.

        https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=foster+care+agency+unannounced+inspections

        No one is forced to become a foster parent.Those who wish to be foster parents should be more than willing to permit such inspections. If they ignorantly consider such inspections to be in violation of their Constitutional rights, then they can simply decline to be foster parents.

        • andrew

          I’ll remind you again, sir… We on Disqus, now have the option of blocking mendicants such as yourself, Tho’ I have YET to do so… I enjoy your unimaginable idiocy.

          I have legal custody of my grandchildren, with CPS noses interfering in the process, and NO attempt has been made, or will be allowed, to “inspect” MY PROPERTY for firearms.
          My 10 y/o Grandson, and 14 y/o/ Granddaughter have both been thoroughly trained in the respect and use of their own .22 caliber rifles…
          Remember my idiot friend…… NO one is, or has to listen to anything you say anymore… [ crickets… ]

          • headonstraight

            You obviously do not know the meaning of the word “mendicant,” or you would not have used it inappropriately and irrelevantly in your reply. Perhaps you should stick to words of one or two syllables.

            Your grandchildren are not foster children and it is foster children about whom we are dealing here. My post said that MOST, IF NOT ALL, CPS agencies have authority to make unannounced inspections. Your state might be an exception or they might HAVE that authority without having used it in your particular circumstance.

          • andrew

            Definition of mendicant, In the context I applied to you… Beggar…

            My Grandchildren, were in jeopardy of becoming wards of the State
            [ of NY ] which would have stuck them in the foster system.
            My Wife and I petitioned the court for custody, and received it, with their mothers’ blessing.
            CPS, wisely, never asked if I had any guns, though they most certainly had the prerogative to do so…
            So as per usual, with your unresearched , uneducated bloviation…
            You Lose !!

        • graylens

          Foster children are wards of the state, meaning the state is responsible for their wellbeing. The state has the obligation to protect the child. Foster patents waive their rights when they sign up, they also do get paid

    • headonstraight

      There is no explaining the gun nut mentality. There will always be the paranoid extremist wingnuts/gun nuts who object to any and all reasonable, responsible–and yes Constitutional–measures for gun safety.

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