Gun-owning foster parents to fight DFS removal of kids

LAS VEGAS (KSNV News3LV) - Foster parents in the Las Vegas Valley say they believe their gun ownership cost them their three children.

Kristi and Rod Beber say they have been parents to "over a hundred" children over the years. They are also proud gun owners, and on one fateful night those worlds collided and changed their lives forever.

On April 3, the Bebers were awakened by screaming. Angry neighbors were on their property.

"Let me tell you something, my hands were shaking," Kristi said. "I'm calling 911."

So Kristi called the police, and Rod retrieved his gun.

"You want to protect your family and your house," Rod said. "As a (Conceal and Carry a Weapon card) holder, one of the first things you want to do is take control of the situation."

The incident ended when police arrived. A report was taken, no one arrested and no one was charged - but that wasn't the end. Three months later, the Department of Family Services pulled the Bebers' foster license.

The agency told the Bebers in documents that "the incident did not describe an adult exercising sound judgment." And it cited a law that forbids any foster parent from having a loaded firearm in their home, regardless of the situation.

"I said, 'Don't make me drop them off at Child Haven. If you're going to revoke me, revoke me, but don't make me drop those kids off at Child Haven," Kristi said.

But as Rod Beber was quick to point out to News 3 and DFS, something happened between that April incident and their revocation in July.

On June 1, the law changed. Foster parents are allowed to have a gun loaded and out of their safe for lawful purposes, namely to protect their family.

The Bebers plan on fighting DFS. Kristi says her husband made the decision not long after they got the revocation notice.

"He said, 'You know what, Kris, we're not going to close (this case). This isn't right, we're not going to let this happen."

News 3's calls to the Department of Family Services were not returned.