Thursday, November 5, 2009

Gun-Owner Privacy Rights vs. Full Disclosure in Adoptions

"NRA: Don't let adoption agencies ask about guns in homes
By Marc Caputo, Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau
In Print: Thursday, November 5, 2009"

"The Nation Rifle Association is pushing legislation to ban adoption agencies from asking potential parents if they have guns and ammunition in the home.

NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer said adoption agencies are violating gun owners' rights by asking about firearms in an adoption form. She said any request about gun ownership from an agency connected with government is tantamount to establishing a gun registry.
'Gun registration is illegal in Florida,' Hammer said. 'An adoption agency has no right to subvert the privacy rights of gun owners.'

The issue flared up in Brevard County where a gun-owning couple took umbrage at a request from the Children's Home Society that they disclose if they had firearms before adopting a child.
The couple complained to a lawyer, who called Hammer. She said it would be easier to change the law than to sue.

A spokeswoman for the Children's Home Society, Liz Bruner, said the agency asks about guns because it was required to by the state Department of Children and Families.
'If they don't want us to ask about it, we won't,' Bruner said. 'We're trying to get an updated form to use, but there's a gray area over what (form) we can use.'

Bruner said that because the state child-welfare system is privatized, Children's Home Society is a subcontractor for a subcontractor and, therefore, communication with the state agency can be challenging.

DCF officials say they're not sure about what form the society is using and plan to make sure that all subcontractors are using the same forms. Some of the newer adoption forms don't ask prospective parents if they own guns."
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