Despite mountains of evidence of the risks that keeping guns in households pose to children, several gun rights groups have lined up behind an Illinois couple to demand that they be allowed to pack heat while watching a room full of kids at their home daycare center.
Licensed and registered gun owner Jennifer Miller has run a daycare out of her home in Shelbyville, IL, since 2017, the Chicago Tribune reported. This spring, however, a representative from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services informed Miller that her daycare license did not permit her to keep weapons in the house. In response, Miller and her husband Darin—also a gun owner—are suing the IDCF, claiming the prohibition against guns in licensed daycares was in violation of their Second Amendment rights.
“The Millers would possess and carry loaded and functional handguns for self-defense and defense of family, but refrain from doing so because they fear Jennifer’s daycare home license being taken away from them by the State,” the suit contends.
Joining the Millers in their suit are the Illinois State Rifle Association and the Second Amendment Foundation Inc.—a Washington state-based nonprofit organization which sued over the city of Chicago’s ban on handgun ownership in 2008.
The Millers argue that the IDCF restrictions are more strict than the state’s concealed carry act, which allows guns in home daycare centers so long as the weapon is “stored in a locked container when a child under child care at the home is present in the home.”
“This is not a lawsuit about keeping guns in the toy box or keeping them on the coffee table,” the Millers’ lawyer David Sigale explained to the Tribune. “This is about saying we want to behave safely but we also want to be able to defend ourselves. What the … state rules do is take that ability away.”
At this point, you should take a step back and remind yourself that these people are insisting on being able to have a gun in the house while they look after babies. And, while you’re reminding yourself of that fact, keep in mind also that 89 percent of accidental shooting deaths of children occur in the home; that three quarters of first and second graders know where their parents keep their guns, with more than a third of them admitting to have held the weapons despite their parents’ assertion that they had not; and perhaps most damningly of all, there are likely far more accidental shooting deaths for kids than are reported by the government.