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Old June 3, 2013, 08:19 PM   #1
Topher127
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Concealed carry and Social Services

Does any one have any experience with having a concealed permit and dealing with social services? My wife and I are looking to adopt and will need to have a home study done. Will they be looking for something like that or will it be held against us? I've been holding of on my application until this one is done, but I'm wondering about future cases. I'm in southwestern VA.
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Old June 3, 2013, 08:26 PM   #2
BigD_in_FL
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I would NOT mention guns to these folks. I adopted over 27 years ago in a different state - things were different then and they didn't ask. Now, the CDC lists gun ownership as a health hazard, especially for kids
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Old June 3, 2013, 08:36 PM   #3
Dr Big Bird PhD
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Quote:
Now, the CDC lists gun ownership as a health hazard
Wow
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Old June 3, 2013, 08:55 PM   #4
Garycw
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Concealed carry and Social Services

They can be a health hazard to Anyone if IMPROPERLY stored or handled. As well as the ammo. Otherwise they're no hazard at all.
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Old June 3, 2013, 09:05 PM   #5
Mr. James
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I have friends who recently adopted a most delightful boy, who has lived with them these past, roughly, three years. The child has truly blossomed, and is simply amazing, given the hand he was dealt. I credit the boy's native resilience, my friends' love and steady discipline, and the good Lord above. They live in eastern Virginia, rural area. Guns were not a problem. The authoritays[/Cartmann] were only concerned that the firearms and ammunition be secured. You don't need a $5,000 gun safe, either. Any enclosed cabinet (no glass) with a lock will due.

I see no need to mention the CHL unless asked. You have nothing to hide; you're one of the good guys, right?

The home study is really concerned with finding evidence of a disordered house, for lack of a better term, one that is squalid, run down to the point of being dangerous, unaddressed rodent or pest infestation, or evidence of obvious alcohol or drug abuse. These folks have seen the absolute worst of human behavior, often snatching children out of truly parlous situations, or even out of foster parents' homes.

Oh, and if you have 37 cats, lose a few.

Now, I love my friend's place just as it is, but he'd be the first to acknowledge it's not the Ritz (I personally view it as just a few paces from heaven.) They passed with flying colors. Clean the house, secure the firearms, make sure there are no obvious hazards, and press on.

And may God bless you for your generosity.
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Old June 3, 2013, 09:13 PM   #6
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It depends on the case worker, which is gonna be a very mixed bag.

Technically, as long as you demonstrate that the firearms are properly stored and inaccessible to the kid, you should be good.

Descretion is the better part of valor, here. You keep your guns locked up and unloaded and by the book. Don't get fancy or say "well, I keep my carry piece in the dresser drawer, but everything else is locked up..." or something like that.

Definatly, do NOT LIE! You have guns, one way or another they will figure it out and getting caught in the lie is always gonna have worse results.

Other then that, well, good luck.
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Old June 3, 2013, 09:25 PM   #7
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Good points, sir. The case worker you draw in Richmond or Arlington will probably have a vastly different outlook than one in Lee or Carroll Counties.

They don't actually search the home, they inspect it. But never lie. They'll ask if you have firearms or other dangerous goodies, and if you say yes, they'll ask to see how they're stored. Get caught once in a lie, and they'll bid you a good day.
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Old June 3, 2013, 09:34 PM   #8
BigD_in_FL
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Absolutely do not lie, and I hope my comment was not interpreted as advocating that - what I am saying is do not volunteer anything they do not ask about.
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Old June 3, 2013, 09:42 PM   #9
Mr. James
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Rest easy, BigD,

I don't think anyone read you as advocating lying. They'll ask. Answer truthfully. Do that, secure the weapons and ammo, and all is good.
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Old June 3, 2013, 09:48 PM   #10
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Down here in the mountains where we live, a house without firearms would be the exception rather than the rule. I don't think I know anyone who doesn't have firearms in their house. I am shocked at the number who have concealed carry permits, even people who don't have handguns. The permit is easy to obtain and people like my daughter and even the secretary at the Clerk of the Courts office (where you apply for the permit) have them only to protect their 2nd amendment rights. I think the most important thing is to have a neat, clean, safe and tidy house with all firearms and ammunition secured in a safe and locked location. As others have said, I wouldn't mention the firearms unless asked. Be straight and honest in everything you say or do. If you get a mature native of the area, you should be OK but you never know if you get someone from somewhere else or someone who has been indoctrinated by a left wing education.
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Old June 4, 2013, 09:27 AM   #11
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Unless I'm being investigated for a crime (which I won't be), not only would I not offer any information about firearms, but I'd out-right lie about it if asked by any non-law enforcement governmental agency, or private physician.

Let's not forget a few things:

1) Most people who adopt children are doing the child and society a huge favor.
2) Owning guns is a right.
3) No one, except arguably law enforcement, has any right to demand you give them information about your guns.
4) Folks working for social services tend to be very young and have an overly high perception of self-importance.
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Old June 4, 2013, 04:20 PM   #12
Topher127
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Thanks for the responses. Keep your fingers crossed for us!
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Old June 4, 2013, 04:58 PM   #13
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Good luck - when my wife and I tried to foster to adopt, we were' told I would need to store my guns at another person's house, no firearms or live ammo allowed in the home. The interview ended fairly quickly after that little gem came out.
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Old June 4, 2013, 05:17 PM   #14
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Topher127
Does any one have any experience with having a concealed permit and dealing with social services? My wife and I are looking to adopt and will need to have a home study done. Will they be looking for something like that or will it be held against us? I've been holding of on my application until this one is done, but I'm wondering about future cases. I'm in southwestern VA.
Been there, done that.

Our adoption was an international adoption, from a country that doesn't directly recognize any American adoption services agencies, and the United States doesn't recognize any adoption services agencies in the child's native country (if there are any). So we had to handle much of the paper shuffling ourselves. Nonetheless, because the U.S. ratified the Hague convention on international adoptions just as we began the process, we were subject to that, and one of the requirements is a home study by an agency accredited in the country of the adoptive parents. So we did a home study.

Our home study was done through Catholic Family Services (or Catholic Charities, as they now call themselves). The entire home study process was ... daunting. It's a lot more than having someone come look at the house and verify that the heat and water function and the layer of dirt on the floor isn't too thick. If I recall, before we even got to the home visit we went through a series of at least a dozen 1-hour, sit-down interrogations of me and my wife by the adoption social worker.

We covered all sorts of things, from both of our family histories (to see if there was any background of abuse on either side -- there wasn't), police reports on both of us to document that we had no criminal convictions (we didn't). Discussion of mental health histories, for us and for our relatives and parental units. Income tax returns for the past three (or five?) years. Overall, it was extremely invasive. I'm a Vietnam veteran, and I'm guessing the adoption social worker had never seen one 'o them before, because she asked me to get a police clearance report from Vietnam documenting that I had never been arrested or charged with child abuse in Vietnam. After I caught my breath from laughing myself out of the chair, I asked her if she was fully aware that she was asking me to get a clearance report from the people who were trying to kill me when I was there. (She finally settled for a report from the U.S. Army records center that, to the best of their knowledge, they had no record of me being charged with any crimes while in Vietnam.)

I don't remember exactly where in the sequence GUNZ! came up, but it did. Initially, she was shocked that I owned "a" gun. Then it became clear that I own more than one gun. "How many?" "I don't know, I haven't counted for awhile" was perhaps not quite the answer she was looking for. We got through that when I reminded her that I AM a military veteran, that I was trained to bear arms, and that as a veteran I view my oath to defend the Constitution as a life-long commitment, and I view being armed as simply having the means to fulfill that commitment.

So we got past that, to the question of storage. My state requires that guns be stored under lock if there are children under the age of sixteen in the house, and the child we were adopting was under sixteen. So even if I had not had a "residential security container" for the guns, I would have had to buy one to satisfy both state law and the home study. However, I already had one. So that part was okay.

What really threw me was that she also wanted ALL ammunition to be stored under lock. That was a problem -- I reload, and I have both handguns and long guns in multiple calibers. I have stashes of mil-surp ammo in three or four calibers, amounting to a thousand or two or three of each type. For the handgun caliber I shoot most (.45 Auto), I have no idea how many thousands of rounds I had at the time, and the same applied to .22LR. State law here does NOT require locked storage for ammunition, although she tried to tell me it did. Once she saw I wasn't buying her story, she fell back on the "Well, WE require it" bit. So I scrounged a pair of old metal office supplies cabinets from a company that had moved to new headquarters and was tossing most of the furniture from the old building, put hasps and padlocks on the cabinets, and I had locking ammo storage. That satisfied her.

We had the same argument over a carbon monoxide detector. She said it was required by "code." Since that happens to be how I earn my living, I knew that "the code" only requires CO detectors in new houses, there is no requirement to retrofit a house that was built 60+ years ago. "Well, WE require it" came up yet again. So we went to Lowe's and bought a plug-in CO detector for the bedroom that was designated as the kid's bedroom.

We live in the country and we get our water from a well, so we had to have the water tested. I don't recall for sure, but I think we also had to have the house tested for Radon.

Basically, be ready for any number of unexpected and off-the-wall questions and demands. Obviously, it doesn't really matter if what they ask for is really required by any law or code, because if you don't make them happy you don't get your home study approval, so prepare yourself to smile no matter what ridiculous demands they throw at you, make jokes, keep it light and friendly, and lead the social worker to believe that you're a good guy.

Back to guns. My wife is rabidly anti-gun, but I had the guns before I met her so she knows they aren't going away. I think it helped that my wife could tell the social worker that she hates guns but that she recognizes I am responsible with them and she could confirm that I take my oath as a soldier/veteran seriously, so she "allows" me to keep my guns.

It also probably helped that my wife honestly has no idea how many I have -- I think she has only seen two or three of them. The social worker in our case did not ask to see the guns. She saw the safe, she saw the storage cabinets with padlocks, and by that time we were on sufficiently amicable terms that she didn't feel it necessary to take an inventory. I would guess that each social worker approaches this differently, and probably somewhat subjectively depending on how the overall interaction has been going through the home study process.

I hope that helps. Feel free to drop me a PM if you have specific questions.
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Old June 4, 2013, 06:04 PM   #15
shootniron
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We have been through this process as well...

We adopted 19yrs ago and the entire process was a long and drawn out affair that I thought would never end. While I understood the reason for the intense scrutiny and had absolutely nothing to hide, it did wear on us, and me in particular, as it approached the 18 months mark.

The home study was very thorough, but the presence of guns in our home did not pose a problem for us even though our case worker was somewhat of a stickler. However, I would say that nowadays, the caseworker could prove to be your biggest problem concerning the guns.

Last edited by shootniron; June 4, 2013 at 06:10 PM.
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Old June 4, 2013, 09:08 PM   #16
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shootniron
While I understood the reason for the intense scrutiny and had absolutely nothing to hide, it did wear on us, and me in particular, as it approached the 18 months mark.
18 months is nothing. Our adoption took almost exactly 4 years.

(However, as noted above, ours was an international adoption from a country that does not accredit any adoption services agents in the U.S. We were constantly doing battle with TWO bureaucracies, one in each country, neither of which would communicate anything directly to the other ... even though the Hague convention specifically required them to do so ... which left us continually having to chase down documentation from Country 'A' and send it over to the applicable department or bureaucrat in Country 'B.' And then remind Bureaucrat 'B' what he/she was supposed to DO with said documentation.)
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Old June 5, 2013, 01:04 AM   #17
ClydeFrog
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Florida...

In recent years(pre Sandy Hook/CO movie theater shooting), FL passed new state laws re: guns, medical exams/social welfare checks.
Doctors or soc workers(child welfare) can not ask about firearms ammunition concealed carry licenses threats etc.
The Gov signed the bills into law in FL. See MyFlorida.com or MyFloridalegal.com for assistance. The Commonwealth of VA may be different. The legal offices of the NRA may help. A pro-gun/2A supporter lawyer may be in your area.

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Old June 5, 2013, 01:52 AM   #18
JimmyR
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Source?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigD_in_FL View Post
Now, the CDC lists gun ownership as a health hazard, especially for kids
Big D, do you happen to have a source for that? I did some Googling, but found nothing.
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Old June 5, 2013, 07:14 AM   #19
Garycw
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Concealed carry and Social Services

Having been foster parents in the past I know that some of the things they'll be looking for is :
1. Fire extinguisher (s) rated A-B-C fully charged in kitchen.
2.Cleaning chemicals secured and not accessible to young children.
3. Flammable liquids secured in metal cabinet
4. Working interconnected smoke detectors on every level, outside and IN each bedroom.
5. Carbon monoxide detector detector as required.
These were some of the things that stand out as I remember. Im sure there's other factors they will make you aware of if not meeting requirements. Primarily clean and safe in and around home, there own room etc..
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Old June 5, 2013, 01:02 PM   #20
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We had to have a lockbox for all medications, prescription or not.
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Old June 5, 2013, 04:02 PM   #21
Mr X
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RE: CDC & guns as a "risk factor"

CDC compiled data on firearms related deaths under the auspices of "accidental deaths" and a public health perspective. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/FI...EATH_RATES.pdf

They've done that for awhile and the data is cited RE accidental deaths versus a specific risk factor. I remember there being some public commentary in the past as Congress sought to limit funding for CDC's research into guns. Certain members of CDC have made statements if I recall correctly that supported gun control from the public health perspective.

RE: Guns and children
The social service people have taken recommendations from American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) that guns are a "risk factor" for accidental death within the home.

AAP: AAP supports a
number of specific measures to reduce the destruct
ive effects of guns in the lives of children and
adolescents, including the regulation of the manu
facture, sale, purchase, ownership, and use of
firearms; a ban assault weapons; and expanded regula
tions of handguns for civilian use. To prevent
gun-related death and injuries, the AAP recommend
s that pediatricians provide firearm safety
counseling to patients and their parents.

http://www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-an...rearms_slr.pdf

These are from their policy board versus the medical practice recommendations. From my limited pediatric exposure I remember a good number of practices asked about guns - were they in the home and how stored. That was really the extent of the interaction RE firearms.
Some providers are rather militantly anti-gun in pediatrics but I don't think outside the normal cross-section of the general populations. From my anecdotal experience, a good number of ER physicians are anti-gun but a similar number are avid enthusiasts. My subjective and biased opinion is that practitioners' firearm opinions generally reflect the normal distribution of society regardless of professional societies' opinions/ guidance statements.

I think the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) echos similar counseling recommendations as AAP. They may even cite AAP.

Back on topic, I have to commend those of you who went through this adoptions charade because no way could I tolerate that invasive of a procedure from social service departments. It sounds like punishment for a noble endeavor.
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Old June 10, 2013, 07:23 PM   #22
fragtagninja
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I'm with everyone else on here. Do not lie, but don't volunteer information and you should be okay. You really want to make sure everything is locked up when they come. I could tell you horror stories I have heard about dhs workers, but the truth of the matter is those people are 1/1000. Most of them truly want to help people and stay in those jobs for the kids sake. If they ask a yes or no question give them just that. Best of luck to you and god bless.
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