Vegas couple wants right to carry guns while fostering kids
By SEAN WHALEY – LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL CAPITAL BUREAU
CARSON CITY — Brian and Valerie Wilson asked the Assembly Judiciary Committee on Wednesday to approve a bill that would allow them to carry their loaded weapons and serve as foster parents.
In testimony to the committee in support of Assembly Bill 167, the couple said their attempts to get a variance from a state regulation prohibiting the carrying of loaded weapons with foster children was denied.
“I am really heartbroken that the Department of Child and Family Services gave us this denial letter,” Valerie Wilson said. “I really want a family.”
Wilson said the Las Vegas couple always planned to become foster parents and adopt but have been denied permission to do so because of the regulation, which he wants to change with the bill. Current rules require guns and ammunition to be stored separately in secure containers in homes with foster children.
Assemblywoman Michele Fiore, R-Las Vegas, who sponsored the bill, said the bill has bipartisan support. State Sen. Kelvin Atkinson, D-Las Vegas, who has a conceal-carry permit, is looking at becoming a foster parent, she said.
“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,” Fiore said.
So let’s get this straight. Nevada has children in desperate need of foster care, and the state would rather leave them in an institution rather than have them go to a real home solely because the would-be foster parents are concealed carry holders? How insane is that?
This amounts to essentially criminalizing people who are concealed carry holders. Throughout our society we have systems in place that prevent convicted criminals from being involved in certain important or sensitive functions. We accept this because criminals have shown they are not responsible members of our society.
To deny a family the opportunity to provide a home to a foster child simply because they are conceal carry holders amounts to the same kind of discrimination; only in this instance it is completely unwarranted.
Conceal Carry holders have to pass background checks and take courses to get licensed, they have already been scrutinized and shown they are responsible people. To deny a child living in a state facility the opportunity to live in a home with loving foster parents is the true crime here.
Let’s hope Nevada gets its act together and realizes that putting kids with responsible people is in the best interest for everyone.