foster care

Firearm Ownership Wouldn't Be a Factor in Foster Care Eligibility Under New Michigan Bill

This representative says she doesn't see how exercising a constitutional right should count against you.

Michigan lawmakers have referred a new bill to the judiciary committee aimed at protecting gun rights of foster parents.

"With the shortage of foster parents for kids in need, why should we keep kids from a loving home over a Constitutional right guaranteed by our country's founders?" Republican representative Holly Hughes told She was the one who originally introduced the bill.

House Bill 4955 in its entirety reads:

"When making any type of placement of a child in foster care or of an adoptee, a supervising agency shall not consider the legal ownership or legal possession of a firearm or the possession of a concealed pistol license."

The bill comes in direct response to a July lawsuit filed by potential foster parents. According to, William and Jill Johnson of Ontonagon were trying to become foster parents to their grandchild. Then a caseworker asked for serial numbers to all their firearms.

"If you want to care for your grandson, you will have to give up some of your constitutional rights," the worker allegedly told them.

The Johnsons responded by filing a lawsuit against Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon.

The department does have licensing rules for guns having to be securely locked away from children. But the Johnsons claim the state is infringing upon their second amendment rights, as its requirements are too stringent. Hughes agrees.

"My bill eliminates an obstacle that serves as disincentive for prospective foster parents and ensures that loving families are not unfairly punished for exercising a fundamental right," she told the news site.

This isn't the first time there's been controversy regarding potential foster parents and firearms ownership. A Nevada couple claimed the state denied their application to be foster parents in 2015 because they had concealed carry permits.

This bill is likely to be the subject of much debate in the near future. We'll bring more news here at Wide Open Spaces if and when the bill progresses.