Family suing DCFS over handgun ban at home daycares

Local News

SHELBYVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — A family and several gun rights group are suing the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).

Jennifer and Darin Miller are challenging the state’s ban on handguns in home daycares. They have FOID cards and concealed carry permits, and their guns are locked away in an unlicensed room.    

They say DCFS is infringing on their Second Amendment rights. Miller has run a daycare out of her home since last year, and says she’s followed all the rules, except one.

“Each individual room has to be licensed. The guns are in one position and the ammunition is in another, under lock and key, as well as the room is locked.”

Miller says they have firearms locked away in their bedroom. They’ve assigned it as an unlicensed room. It’s why the Millers are fighting DCFS on what they claim is outdated policy.

“We were one of the last states to get concealed carry, and that means our laws just have to change.”

Others disagree. Denice Tarin is a teacher in Shelbyville. She lives in Effingham County, which was just labeled a firearm sanctuary by county leaders.

Tarin has no issue with guns, just as long as they’re not in a daycare.

“I really don’t think it’s a very good idea. As a mom of three, I would not put my child in a home daycare that had firearms.”

Jennifer Miller knows it’s a heated topic, but it’s one she’s ready to tackle.

“The biggest challenge is changing people’s minds. People have to understand it’s everyone’s privilege and right to do that, we have different views and we just have to understand each other.”

Miller claims this could be an obstacle for anyone who wants to run a daycare. She says the parents of the kids she cares for know about her firearms, and none of them have protested.

DCFS won’t comment on the lawsuit. 

The Millers say DCFS rules are more restrictive than the Illinois Firearm Concealed Carry Act. Those don’t prevent someone from having a firearm at home if it’s stored in a locked container.

DCFS rules prohibit guns at home daycares except in possession of police.  

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