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The Second Amendment Foundation has scored another procedural win in Illinois. Under the state’s Department of Children and Family Services rules,

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.

But after a motion by the state to dismiss it, a judge has ruled that a lawsuit challenging the policy, Shults et al v. Sheldon, can go forward.


A federal district court judge in Illinois has denied that state’s motion to dismiss a legal challenge by the Second Amendment Foundation of its foster parenting rules that place restrictions on the possession of firearms for personal protection.

SAF filed the lawsuit last summer on behalf of Kenneth and Colleen Shults 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). SAF is joined by the Illinois State Rifle Association.

On Tuesday, District Judge Colin Stirling Bruce ruled that there are “sufficient factual allegations to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” The complaint alleges that the state has deprived Kenneth and Colleen Shults of their civil rights under color of law.


David Sigale is arguing the case for the Second Amendment Foundation and is the attorney who won the Second Amendment case in the the Northern Mariana Islands among other gun rights actions. In 2014, he was awarded the Gun Rights Defender of the Year by the Citizens’ Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, at the Gun Rights Policy Conference.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

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  1. Illinois is broke(actually had credit rating downgraded AGAIN) . But bar good people who want to foster kids in need to “protect” them. I hope this BS is overturned. Illinois indeed sucks?

  2. What they really want is to mandate storage rules like this for all residents, not just people trying to help unfortunate kids.
    Shame on them.

  3. We have the same law in California, guns and ammo both locked up separately. I’m not unsympathetic to both sides here, but there is a big difference between a family fostering a baby or toddler and one who fosters 4 teens all being very street smart. As a social worker in a different life, I’ve had teens run away only to be seen hooking a couple blocks down, others had stolen laptops. Dozens of teens with babies and 20 something fathers in the picture once or twice a week in the foster home as they see their child. Being a foster parent is one of the toughest jobs I can imagine, 24-7 for just a few hundred a month. Maybe it’s not so bad to have these extra restrictions? Honestly I don’t know. I do know I love my AR and Win94 !

    • Joshue, in the particular circumstances you describe the very careful storage of firearms may well make a lot of sense. The problem in Illinois is that those storage requirements are mandated by govt for any and all foster homes, even those where they are ridiculously over-wrought. I’m sure that most foster parents are committed to keeping themselves and their families safe, and I don’t want a bureaucrat both second-guessing them and infringing their 2A rights.

      • Well shucks, how dare you make sense. Actually the laws here are much more restrictive. FP had to lock up steak knives and Clorox. Same with alcohol, cigarettes only outside the home. Applicable to a homes with infants or 18 yr olds. Foster parents hated it, almost as much lice and shrinks (or me), telling them how to raise their sexually abused/neglected child. You sort of overlook a few things out of common sense, except on inspection days…thank heavens I’m out of it now. It really does make no sense with infants in the house to mandate the 2 lock boxes, but there you are.

  4. Alan Gottlieb and SAF do some good work. Unlike NRA, they actually try to win. The problem is what happens after SAF wins their cases. After doing NOTHING to promote concealed carry in Illinois for thirty years, Richard Pearson from ISRA (IL state rifle association, the NRA state tumor) had a small part in conning Otis McDonald into signing on to Alan Gura’s lawsuit against the city of Chicago handgun ban. Now he thinks concealed carry was his idea all along.

    After Gura took Otis to the Supreme Court and won, the U.S. Federal Appeals Court in Chicago overturned Illinois’ FIFTY YEAR old UUW statute in 2012, and forced the Illinois legislature to pass some sort of carry bill within six months. With the United States government behind them, Pearson and the “law abiding” good old boys from Chatsworth did what they do best: cut deals with police unions and lose. They always fumble the handoff.

    How many people are these foster home rules going to affect? Right now there are over 2,000 people who have been waiting over a year for review from the Illinois Concealed Carry Licensing Review Board, because some cop decided to file an anonymous objection to their application. What are the good old boys doing about that? Nothing. There “won’t be a problem” with your concealed carry application, if you’re “one of the good guys” and “everyone knows me around here.”

    How about if the brain trust at ISRA World Headquarters in Chatsworth put some effort into getting rid of the ban on public transport carry and the Duty to Inform? Nah, that stuff only affects black people in Chicago, not the trailer park crowd, so who cares? Get state Rep. Brandon Phelps to sponsor a bill to “improve” his carry bill? Maybe not, Phelps is from Harrisburg. That’s thirty miles from Kentucky in southern IL, and he doesn’t care about black people in Chicago either.

    Are these plaintiffs black? If so they should be careful. Pearson is one of the downstate types that used and sold out Otis McDonald, along with NRA and ISRA.

  5. Just another stealth ban by encumberance.

    Don’t the kids have standing, if someone makes it harder for them to get out of their current hell hole, say by stopping willing people from helping? This sure looks like the anti’s are willing to leave kids worse off, to harvest political gains from an unrelated constituency.

    How’s this. I’ll believe it’s “for the children” when for every household prevented from fostering by this policy, Mothers Against Only Some Violence takes the kids that aren’t placed. They’re mothers. They care about kids. It’ll be good.

    Bloomie can cover the costs. Maybe he can throw a bit less money at the Colorado A G race, next time.


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