Shock: Gun Control Icon Defends Second Amendment Rights of Grandparents Targeted in Michigan

Adam Winkler

UCLA law professor—and go-to gun control commentator—Adam Winkler is speaking up on behalf of grandparents who were allegedly put in the position of choosing between foster-parenting their grandson or keeping their Second Amendment rights.

The case is unfolding in Michigan and revolves around William and Jill Johnson’s efforts to care for their grandson.

On July 18 Breitbart News reported that the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) filed suit against the head of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services over alleged violations of the Johnson’s gun rights. William Johnson claims the case worker said, “If you want to care for your grandson you will have to give up some of your constitutional rights.”

SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb told Breitbart News that this sacrifice of Second Amendment rights would include having “no guns for self-protection at home or carried on one’s person.”

Now the New York Times is covering the case, which they summarize by reporting, “Mr. Johnson and his wife, Jill, are suing their home state, Michigan, which bars foster parents from carrying concealed weapons. At issue is whether the state’s rules amount to a ‘functional ban’ on owning a firearm, in violation of the Constitution’s Second Amendment.”

They indicate that William Johnson says he had to forfeit his carry gun “under duress” in order to satisfy the requirements for foster care.

UCLA’s Adam Winkler spoke about the Johnson’s suit, saying, “This is not a case that’s outlandish or off the wall. Foster parents do have constitutional rights, and they don’t forsake those rights just because they become foster parents.”

William Johnson is a disabled military veteran and his wife “owns a fishing tackle shop.” Guns have been part of their lives, both for sport and personnel protection, and he says the area in which they live is full of bear and other predators that could easily attack him, his wife, or his grandson. Having a handgun on his person is a way to be sensibly and constitutionally prepared.

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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