Michigan Man Sues Dept. of Health and Human Services, States Agency Forced Him to Choose Between Gun Rights and His Grandson
A Michigan man is suing the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) for violating his rights during a custody case involving his grandson.
According to lawsuit, William Johnson, a 54-year-old disabled Marine Corps veteran with a conceal carry permit was forced to choose between constitutional rights and his grandson after the state agency asked him and his wife to become foster parents.
As reported by Fox News, Johnson’s nightmare began after he arrived at the MDHHS facility to pick up his grandson and was searched for firearms as officials demanded he show his CCW permit. Despite the fact Johnson was not carrying at the time of the incident, MDHHS officials allegedly demanded that he provide the agency with the serial numbers of ALL firearms that he owned and register them with MDHHS.
Naturally confused by the situation, Johnson asked one of the caseworkers why MDHHS was requiring that him to register his firearms with the agency, to which the individual allegedly replied “if you want to care for your grandson you will have to give up some of your constitutional rights.”
At this point in time Johnson alleges that after he objected to the premise he would have to ‘give up’ his right to keep and bear arms, officials then stated they would not allow a “power struggle,” adding that if he refused to comply MDHHS “would just take his grandson and place him in a foster home.”
Two weeks later, during a hearing on placement of the child, Johnson said a Gogebic County Court judge similarly told him, “if you want to care for your grandson you will have to give up some of your constitutional rights.”
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. 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. The case against MDHHS also features plaintiffs Brian and Naomi Mason, who said the gun regulations keep them from becoming foster parents.
Johnson’s complaint can be read in full here.
Thoughts on this case? Should owning firearms be prohibited during foster care placements or is this another example of government overreach? Let us know in the comment section below.