A Las Vegas couple has been told they can’t be foster parents because they are both licensed gun owners, Fox News is reporting.
Brian and Valerie Wilson have always wanted to be foster parents and eventually adopt a foster child, but Nevada law prohibits people from carrying loaded weapons in the presence of foster children.
“I really want a family. It really is heartbreaking because these kids are in institutionalized homes; they aren’t getting the families that they deserve. It’s heartbreaking that they’re not getting the home they deserve.”
The couple began lawfully carrying concealed weapons after they were victims of an attempted home invasion several years ago, says Brian.
“We realized that bad things can happen to good people at any time and we need to be responsible.”
Currently, Nevada law allows foster parents to have guns and ammunition, but each must be locked in a separate container. Since the Wilsons practice concealed-carry, they’re in violation of the rules and their application was denied. Valerie tells the Las Vegas Review-Journal that they applied for a variance; that, too, was denied.
“I am really heartbroken that the Department of Child and Family Services gave us this denial letter. I really want a family.”
The Wilsons are trying to get those rules changed. Last week they were in Carson City, testifying before a Nevada legislative committee in support of a proposed bill that would allow people with concealed-carry permits, as well as police officers, to carry guns on their person and still be foster parents. When not carrying on their person, the guns would have to be stored in a locked container at home, but the guns could still be loaded.
The bill’s sponsor, Michele Fiore, spoke of the heartbreaking number of children in Las Vegas’ emergency shelter, Child Haven, to spotlight the need for more foster parents.
“I don’t know if some of my peers have toured Child Haven or have been in Child Haven, but we have children in need of great foster care, and we have had people that are law-abiding citizens that have gotten their background checks, that have their CCWs, literally denied to foster a child because they have a concealed-weapons permit.”
Assemblywoman Olivia Diaz opposes the changes, saying that foster children are often traumatized and come from homes where gun violence has taken place; she believes that putting already-traumatized foster children around guns is inappropriate.
Do you people who carry guns should be allowed to be foster parents? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
[Image courtesy of: Rare]