BELLEVUE, WA – A federal district court judge in Michigan has allowed a Second Amendment Foundation lawsuit against the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to move forward, challenging the agency’s requirement that foster parents keep firearms and ammunition locked up, so as not to be immediately accessible, and thus useless for self-defense.
U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney issued the ruling in a case involving William and Jill Johnson and Brian and Naomi Mason, all of Ontonagon. While the judge dismissed claims from the Masons, he allowed the Johnsons to continue. The judge dismissed a motion by the state to dismiss the case.
In deciding that the Johnsons have a plausible case, Judge Maloney observed, “Storing firearms in an inoperable condition makes them useless for the defense of hearth and home, which implicates the Second Amendment….The need for self-defense rarely comes with advance notice; it occurs spontaneously, often at times specifically chosen for the expected vulnerability of the intended victim.”
The Johnsons’ case got support from Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, who filed an amicus brief on their behalf. “As a practical matter, when a firearm is kept in a home for self-defense, it is always ‘in use’,” he wrote. “Criminals never take a day off, and they never call ahead. To serve its self-defense purpose, a gun must be readily accessible whenever its owner believes he might possibly need it.”
“We are delighted that Judge Maloney and Attorney General Schuette expressed such common sense perspectives,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “This case is really all about common sense, as well as the right of citizens to be able to defend themselves and their homes and families.
“This isn’t the first time we’ve had to challenge such a requirement by a state agency,” Gottlieb added. “We look forward to continuing the case.”