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Thread: Virginia Department of Social Services bans gun owners from adopting

  1. #1
    Regular Member Repeater's Avatar
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    Virginia Department of Social Services bans gun owners from adopting

    Well, not exactly, but the new regulations may as well be regarded as a ban on adoption for gun owners.

    This alert comes, not from VCDL, but from John Lott:

    New rules for adoptions or foster children in Virginia
    5/04/2012

    My research shows that such mandatory rules will make families less safe. Accidental guns deaths involving children are very rare, when they do occur they don't involve the child firing the gun, and the locks make it difficult for people to use the guns defensively. The new Virginia rules are available here:

    R. Possession of any weapons, including firearms, in the home or independent living arrangement shall comply with federal and state laws and local ordinances.

    1. Any firearms and other weapons shall be unloaded and stored with the weapon's safety mechanisms activated in a locked closet or cabinet.

    2. Ammunition shall be stored in a locked location separate from the weapon.

    3. The key or combination to the locked closet and cabinet shall at all times be maintained out of reach of all children in the home.
    So, "Lock Up your Safety" or no adoptions permitted for you.

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    Holy moley this seems like the kind of crap one might expect out of California, New York and New Jersey! Full state agency pre-emption adds finds itself potentially more supporters (those who would hunt or just sport shoot, but wish to adopt kids).

    I'd love to hear our dear Governor McDonnell on this.

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    I live in Texas and was denied fostering me nieces in Wisconsin because the Texas regulations is exactly the same as this.


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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    This is straight out of the Virginia Administrative Code.

    Someone needs to tell them about 15.2-915, and the fact that there is no such thing as a local ordinance regarding possession of firearms.

    Someone also needs to tell these folks about a really neat document called the Constitution of Virginia.

    TFred

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    This is the kind of crap that flies back into the face of groups like the NRA who like to say "We don't need new laws, let's enforce those we already have!" Well this regulation incorporates Federal law into state law for the distinct purpose of controlling gun owners who might wish to foster or adopt children.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    The problem I see is that it doesn't address the use of firearms for the defense of the home.

    I don't think you will win an argument in the court of public opinion that guns in homes with small children should not be locked up when they are stored. But what about the one you carry, or keep by the bed at night?

    How do people with small children handle that?

    The regulations don't address it all, and they need to be changed to address it, but how? How would you write it?

    TFred

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    Frankly you could probably provide a challenge of that law in court using the findings of Heller v. DC. DC (an entity of the federal government) law required that firearms be locked up and unloaded such that they were not available for ready use within the home and the court case found that the requirement distinctly violated the US Constitution Amendment II. The court found at least that the law banning one from having a firearm ready at hand within the home was not lawful. It appears that this law does the same, but spreads it across the whole of the land if the US Government were willing to prosecute.
    Last edited by jmelvin; 05-04-2012 at 04:42 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmelvin View Post
    Frankly you could probably provide a challenge of that law in court using the findings of Heller v. DC. DC (an entity of the federal government) law required that firearms be locked up and unloaded such that they were not available for ready use within the home and the court case found that the requirement distinctly violated the US Constitution Amendment II. The court found at least that the law banning one from having a firearm ready at hand within the home was not lawful. It appears that this law does the same, but spreads it across the whole of the land if the US Government were willing to prosecute.
    I had that exact same thought; it seems that the Heller case could definitely be applied here. The Court very clearly ruled that access to a loaded, fully functioning firearm in the home is a Constitutionally protected right. How can you be denied equality here based merely on the fact that you exercise your Constitutional rights.

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    Virginia Senate Bill 324 was 'Laid on The Table..., until 2013' by The Virginia Committee of The Courts of Justice during The 2012 Legislative Session!

    That Link is Viewable here: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp...?121+sum+SB324

    It is Important to Remember that Virginia Code 15.2-915 Stops Local Governments from Regulating Firearms, HOWEVER; State Administrative Agencies still may under The Failure of Senate Bill 324!
    Last edited by aadvark; 05-04-2012 at 06:04 PM.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aadvark View Post
    Virginia Senate Bill 324 was 'Laid on The Table..., until 2013' by The Virginia Committee of The Courts of Justice during The 2012 Legislative Session!

    That Link is Viewable here: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp...?121+sum+SB324

    It is Important to Remember that Virginia Code 15.2-915 Stops Local Governments from Regulating Firearms, HOWEVER; State Administrative Agencies still may under The Failure of Senate Bill 324!
    Yep...and I expect that if you get through the top soil with the DSS, you'll find they get a report on who has a CHP along with a criminal history check.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Since the Virginia Department of Social Services is a state agency, 15.2-915 does not apply.

    Perhaps, instead, someone should inform them of McDonald v City of Chicago http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/09pdf/08-1521.pdf .

    Seems those rules about storage are just a teensy-weensy litle bit contrary to what the Supremes had to say about what the States could not do, once they had settled what the Federal Government could not do.

    stay safe.
    Last edited by skidmark; 05-04-2012 at 06:52 PM. Reason: fimgers slipped on number pad
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    ..., [a]nd I Agree with Skidmark, that The United States Supreme Court said that Loaded Operable Firearms within The Home was Constitutionally Protected.

    HOWEVER, unless and until it is Established under Virginia Code, as was Proposed under that Legislative Proposal, then, Virginian Administrative Agencies of The Commonwealth will still be at Liberty to Regulate in The Area that Their Local Governmental Unit Counterparts may not.

    aadvark
    Last edited by aadvark; 05-04-2012 at 09:45 PM.

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    So much for being a foster parent

    I have talked to my wife about being foster parents in the past, but that has now come to an end with this "regulation".

    Guess there is no longer a need for foster parents with a successful track record raising children.

    We raised 3 daughters that were all academically outstanding in all levels and now all have bachelors and 2 have Masters degrees, are currently gainfully employed happy and successful.

    The last thing I need is some idiot college educated social worker drone that knows nothing about the Constitution or guns telling me to unload my guns and how to store them.

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    I beleive the the position the big government worker types will take is that while you may or may not have a right to bear arms (in their eyes), you don't have a right to have a foster kid or adopt.

    However, one would think they would want more foster parents and not fewer. But then again maybe not, since a big part of the government game is to create at least one problem with every problem you "fix", with an eye to ever bigger government.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    The state of adoption in this country is horrible. I have no idea what happens to the kids that aren't adopted (which seems like a big percentage) but I've seen the process and am not impressed.

    I have a niece who is the icon of a perfect adoptive parent. Married, employed as a School Teacher, owns her own home free and clear never been in trouble and her husband pretty much the same dull way.

    She couldn't have kids and tried to adopt. Finally she gave up and basically bought a kid from Chechnya.
    A couple of years later, bought another one.

    There's something wrong with this system!

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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    The state of adoption in this country is horrible. I have no idea what happens to the kids that aren't adopted (which seems like a big percentage) but I've seen the process and am not impressed.

    I have a niece who is the icon of a perfect adoptive parent. Married, employed as a School Teacher, owns her own home free and clear never been in trouble and her husband pretty much the same dull way.

    She couldn't have kids and tried to adopt. Finally she gave up and basically bought a kid from Chechnya.
    A couple of years later, bought another one.

    There's something wrong with this system!
    well, Sir... many blessings on your Niece!

    sadly, you're right on the general "broken-ness" of the process here, but she's made a huge world of difference for the two children that she's made her own. i have personal acquaintances from the Chechnya and Bosnia parts of the world, and the stories i have heard are absolutely mind-numbing.

    you are fortunate to be her Uncle (but i'm sure you didn't need anyone to say it)! i'm blessed to be Uncle to six lovely nieces that i love like they were my own children.
    Last edited by mk4; 05-04-2012 at 10:56 PM.
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    So basically it says you can HAVE guns, you just can't USE them. Nice.
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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aadvark View Post
    ..., [a]nd I Agree with Skidmark, that The United States Supreme Court said that Loaded Operable Firearms within The Home was Constitutionally Protected.

    HOWEVER, unless and until it is Established under Virginia Code, as was Proposed under that Legislative Proposal, then, Virginian Administrative Agencies of The Commonwealth will still be at Liberty to Regulate in The Area that Their Local Governmental Unit Counterparts may not.

    aadvark
    As a general rule it is correct that administrative agencies are not prohibited from regulating firearms - until you get to where administrative agencies establish, under color of law, rules or policies or procedures that have the effect of violating established Constitutional rights. The DSS rule in question does that to otherwise-qualified applicants for adoption. And that, dear readers, is how one counters the "you don't have a [Constitutional] right to adopt" argument.

    stay safe.
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    What I don't understand about this.... the parents are adopting the kids to make them part of their family... as if they were their own. Yet by way of these rules, the Gubmint refuses to allow the parents to treat the kids as their 'real' children??

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    Quote Originally Posted by va_tazdad View Post
    I have talked to my wife about being foster parents in the past, but that has now come to an end with this "regulation".

    Guess there is no longer a need for foster parents with a successful track record raising children.

    We raised 3 daughters that were all academically outstanding in all levels and now all have bachelors and 2 have Masters degrees, are currently gainfully employed happy and successful.

    The last thing I need is some idiot college educated social worker drone that knows nothing about the Constitution or guns telling me to unload my guns and how to store them.
    Having publically stated that it is your desire to be a fioster parent, and proclaiming that your family is otherwise qualified to foster children, I encourage you to apply so that you can obtain standing to challenge the ruling. I have no way of knowing for sure but am willing to stick my neck out and guess that at least one of the organizations that support fostering and adoption might be willing to back some of your action.

    But - as a former idiot college educated (MSW, thankyew very much) social worker drone I resent the implication that all of them know nothing about the Constitution or guns. Unfortunately, most are true drones and mindlessly follow policy. Now, had you directed your comments at the ranks of the administrators I'm sure you would find even fewer who know about either subject. Those that authored and approved this policy are certainly amongst that group.

    stay safe.
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    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    My sister an I were both adopted (in WV). My father owned shotguns and rifles, and NEVER kept them locked up, and NEVER had trigger locks, and never locked up the ammo separately. We all knew where they were and what they were for.

    Never once, while living in that house, was there EVER a negative firearms-related situation, or even one that cold be construed as dangerous, hazardous or otherwise bad.

    In fact, I attribute much of my success as a law-abiding adult and citizen to my parent's attitudes toward firearms. They taught me responsibility, care, safety, and how to follow rules. They taught me to respect dangerous things, to use tools properly, and to seek out training for tools I was unfamiliar with. They taught me dedication, persistence and how to develop a skill by practice. Firearms figured prominently in my interest in history, art, mechanical things, the law, and civics. Firearms figured prominently in my becoming an Eagle Scout. Firearms were (and still are) a common link between me and my family--they are why I have remained close to many of my cousins through hunting, competition, and activism. Firearms in OUR home made me a good citizen, a responsible man, and safe person, and they strengthened and reinforced family ties and community membership.

    As an adopted child who grew up with firearms, I find this regulation to be insulting to adoptive parents, insulting to adopted children, and a fundamental infringement on the RKBA of some of the most CARING, LOVING, and RESPONSIBLE parents in the world--the ones who DELIBERATELY go out of their way to have a child in their lives through adoption.

    I am disgusted and appalled.

    I may have to write some letters on this one...
    Last edited by Dreamer; 05-05-2012 at 07:18 PM.
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    Regular Member vt357's Avatar
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    Unhappy

    My wife and I were planning on starting the adoption process soon. I guess I'll be calling the governor's office on Monday, and my delegate's, and my senator's, and... the list goes on. As if the adoption process wasn't complicated enough.

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    Regular Member Repeater's Avatar
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    Comment period on this was a year ago

    Quote Originally Posted by vt357 View Post
    My wife and I were planning on starting the adoption process soon. I guess I'll be calling the governor's office on Monday, and my delegate's, and my senator's, and... the list goes on. As if the adoption process wasn't complicated enough.
    This regulation has been pending for years, and yet it appears not a single Virginia gun owner objected to the anti self-defense language. The comment period is closed.

    On the other hand, the proposed regulations would have allowed homosexual adoptions. After organized objections to that, the final regulations do not allow gay adoptions.

    The Governor and the AG both have approved these regulations.

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    Regular Member vt357's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Repeater View Post
    This regulation has been pending for years, and yet it appears not a single Virginia gun owner objected to the anti self-defense language. The comment period is closed.

    On the other hand, the proposed regulations would have allowed homosexual adoptions. After organized objections to that, the final regulations do not allow gay adoptions.

    The Governor and the AG both have approved these regulations.
    Yeah I looked back over all the comments. The only comments related to firearms were from adoptions agencies saying it would be too difficult to possibly know all the different federal and local regulations. And honestly there's nothing wrong with that statement. It's all the substatements that no one mentioned that are the problem. We NEED full agency preemption.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    If we can find a good solid family that was denied a child adoption because of this and only this, that is a great plea to make before the Senate committees and sub-committees for full state agency preemption. We can turn "it's for the children" around to help us for a change.

    Certainly the "moderate" senators will see that a solid family who happens to have safely cared for firearms is better than bouncing around the foster system for years.

    TFred

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