A couple in Nevada is seeking a change to state law after being denied a license to raise foster children due to a regulation that bars foster parents from carrying loaded firearms.
Wilson and his wife Valerie applied to become foster parents in 2013. After a three-month process, which included "ten weeks of parenting classes and multiple home study visits," the couple was told that they would be denied foster parent status because of their refusal to comply with a demand from the state's Department of Family Services that they not carry any weapons when foster children are present.
"There's kids who need homes. There's people who want to give it to them and they're turning them away," said Brian Wilson. "If they were to turn around and deny our right to foster a child because we had a Bible or Koran, they'd be screaming from the heavens, 'How dare somebody infringe upon somebody's First Amendment rights?'"
The Wilsons had applied for a waiver to the gun carry restriction but were denied.
A letter to the couple from the Clark County Department of Family Services said, "The applicants stated they would not be able to comply with this regulation if licensed due to having a concealed weapons permit to carry their personal defense weapon on their physical body," the letter said.
The Wilsons testified before the Nevada Assembly's Judiciary Committee last week.
"I'm really heartbroken that the Department of Child and Family Services gave us this denial letter," Valerie Wilson told the committee. "I really want a family."