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SAF Sues Illinois Over Foster Parents' Civil Rights


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From https://www.saf.org/saf-sues-illinois-over-foster-parents-civil-rights/

 

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BELLEVUE, WA The Second Amendment Foundation today filed a lawsuit against the State of Illinois on behalf of two foster parents, alleging deprivation of civil rights under color of law.

 

The lawsuit is joined by the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA) on behalf of Kenneth and Colleen Schults in U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois. Named as a defendant in the case is George H. Sheldon, in his official capacity as director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (IDCFS).

 

The complaint contends that Mr. and Mrs. Schults have been denied their rights because IDCFS policy substantially prohibits foster parents, and those who would like to be foster parents, from possessing firearms for the purpose of self-defense. This violates their constitutional rights under the Second Amendment.

 

"After the number of times weve had to take legal action in Illinois, including our landmark U.S. Supreme Court Second Amendment victory in McDonald v. City of Chicago six years ago, one would think the state would have wised up by now," said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. "But here we are again, working with ISRA, fighting for the rights of law-abiding citizens in that state."

 

SAF and its co-plaintiffs seek to establish that the state's restrictions on the possession and carrying of firearms by foster parents is unconstitutional under both the Second and Fourteenth amendments.

 

"It was our legal action against Chicagos handgun ban that incorporated the Second Amendment to the states via the Fourteenth Amendment," Gottlieb recalled. "It was another of our lawsuits that forced the State Legislature to adopt a concealed carry statute in Illinois. Now were in court to make sure that the state cannot discriminate against foster parents who merely wish to exercise the rights we've restored in Illinois."

 

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Plaintiffs are represented by--you guessed it--attorney David Sigale, who has been deeply involved in prior successful 2A lawsuits in Illinois as well as a similar foster parent lawsuit in Oklahoma:

 

https://www.saf.org/saf-challenges-oklahoma-department-of-human-services-policy/

 

SAF continues to do very impressive work on behalf of free Americans!

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SAF does a good job of deliberate planning, selecting cases that they can use as building blocks in future endeavors. They'll occasionally even tackle cases that have little or nothing to do with 2A issues.

 

I don't know how FOID concerns factor into their strategy. Perhaps someday, when the timing is right, it will get the level of attention it needs.

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$Everyone knows the FOID act keeps criminals from acquiring firearms so it keeps gun crime super low compared to every other state.$

 

In all seriousness, I doubt it will ever go away. I've come to the conclusion that IL laws aren't meant to actually prevent any sort of illegal activity and are merely there for feel good reasons. If the FOID act was repealed our streets would be flooded with bad guys with guns.

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I was glad to see this today at the top of FoxNews. Good for the SAF. Interesting comment above though. If indeed this is just policy and can be changed by the governor, that would be great. Gov. Rauner is both a smart businessman and at least reasonably pro-2a. It would be a win/win to change the policy and not have to pay to fight the lawsuit...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Father is a firearms instructor, licensed shop manager (by IDFPR). Mother is an RN (licensed by IDFPR) at a correctional institution. But the state implies they're too reckless/careless to have a foster child in a home with firearms. Yeah, ok. It's OK if the kids are "yours," biologically speaking. Not if they're not "yours."

 

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Would be nice to add in the 10,000 home daycare providers in this state that are not allowed to even have a handgun in the house. In a letter we received they are even considering requiring posting.

Not even if they are locked up? I'm tired of the mentality that if you have firearms, you must be crazy. A handgun makes you extra crazy.

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Home day cares cannot have a handgun on the property. "16) Handguns are prohibited on the premises of the day care home except in the

possession of peace officers or other adults who must possess a handgun as a

condition of employment and who reside in the day care home.

17) Any firearm, other than a handgun in the possession of a peace officer or

other person as provided in subsection (a)(13), shall be kept in a

disassembled state, without ammunition, in locked storage in a closet,

cabinet, or other locked storage facility inaccessible to children.

A) Ammunition for such firearms shall be kept in locked storage

separate from that of the disassembled firearms, inaccessible to

children."

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I love how the state has no problem (it does, it just cannot do a bleepin thing about it) if parents own guns. As long as their children are the biological children of the parents. But when you throw in wards of the state, that's when it becomes dicey. Can't trust that they won't get their hands on one of their foster parent's firearms. Isn't that an implicit statement that wards of the state are sub-human, equal protection doesn't apply? Biological children, ok. Foster children, absolutely not. The difference? In the end, nothing. No difference between the two until the state made a statutory distinction, classifying that wards of the state cannot be trusted with anything.

 

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I love how the state has no problem (it does, it just cannot do a bleepin thing about it) if parents own guns. As long as their children are the biological children of the parents. But when you throw in wards of the state, that's when it becomes dicey. Can't trust that they won't get their hands on one of their foster parent's firearms. Isn't that an implicit statement that wards of the state are sub-human, equal protection doesn't apply? Biological children, ok. Foster children, absolutely not. The difference? In the end, nothing. No difference between the two until the state made a statutory distinction, classifying that wards of the state cannot be trusted with anything.

 

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Not saying I agree with the state's thinking, but I think they are looking at this from the angle that says if you are negligent in securing guns in your house and YOUR kids hurt self/other that's tragic and YOUR problem. If you are negligent in securing guns in your house and OUR kids hurt self/others it's OUR problem. I think it's a LOT of "CYA" in the policy. I think it disregards the 2nd and the suit is proper, but I suspect it's less a malicious policy and more a pragmatic solution reached by an overworked social worker who has political leanings toward favoring big government.

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If you're negligent in securing your firearms, then that's an entirely separate issue and DCFS needs to get involved if the couple has children. Period. I do not advocate reckless storage, propping up a rifle against a wall, placing a loaded pistol on a night stand or in the drawer. They cannot make a blanket "Well, you own guns, so you're probably an idiot who doesn't keep them in a safe, so we'll just make some idiotic law...." The road to heck is paved with good intentions.

 

I agree, there is a public safety issue here but they cannot just say "you own guns, bad parents." Bare minimum the provision is unconstitutional as applied, due to the simple fact that both parents hold occupational licenses (the mother is a state employee) and the father is also a firearms instructor. The state claiming that the couple cannot have a foster child because the kid "might" break into a gun safe is ludicrous. I have a child and I store all of my firearms accordingly. She can't get into anything....yet. But she will, and I'm ready for it. Unfortunately this case arises from irresponsible gun owners, parents, mucking it up for the rest of us.

 

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If you're negligent in securing your firearms, then that's an entirely separate issue and DCFS needs to get involved if the couple has children. Period. I do not advocate reckless storage, propping up a rifle against a wall, placing a loaded pistol on a night stand or in the drawer. They cannot make a blanket "Well, you own guns, so you're probably an idiot who doesn't keep them in a safe, so we'll just make some idiotic law...." The road to heck is paved with good intentions.

 

I agree, there is a public safety issue here but they cannot just say "you own guns, bad parents." Bare minimum the provision is unconstitutional as applied, due to the simple fact that both parents hold occupational licenses (the mother is a state employee) and the father is also a firearms instructor. The state claiming that the couple cannot have a foster child because the kid "might" break into a gun safe is ludicrous. I have a child and I store all of my firearms accordingly. She can't get into anything....yet. But she will, and I'm ready for it. Unfortunately this case arises from irresponsible gun owners, parents, mucking it up for the rest of us.

 

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Get the foster kids FOID cards. Put the foster kids who get FOID's into homes of gun owners and those that cannot get FOID's ( disqualified ) to non gun owning families. /light purple

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