Tags: blind | gun | permit | iowa

Blind Gun Permit: In Iowa, Sight Not Required to Carry Firearm in Public

Monday, 09 Sep 2013 04:02 PM

By Alexandra Ward

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Iowa has permitted blind people to buy guns in the state since 2011 but the issue is now stirring debate between gun advocates and local officials who say the law is "strange."

A change in gun permits two years ago made it so the state cannot deny someone the right to carry a weapon because of a physical disability. Pro-gun advocates argue that forbidding a blind person from purchasing or carrying a gun would constitute a breach of the Americans With Disabilities Act, according to the Des Moines Register.

"It seems a little strange, but the way the law reads, we can’t deny them (a permit) just based on that one thing," Sgt. Jana Abens, a spokeswoman for the Polk County sheriff’s office, told the Register.

Urgent: Should U.S. Strike Syria? Vote Here

Most states require proof of vision as a weapon permit criterion but not Iowa.

"There's no reason solely on the [basis] of blindness that a blind person shouldn’t be allowed to carry a weapon," Chris Danielsen, director of public relations for the National Federation of the Blind, told the Register. "Presumably they’re going to have enough sense not to use a weapon in a situation where they would endanger other people, just like we would expect other people to have that common sense."

It's not clear exactly how many blind Iowans have permits for guns, but some visually impaired people argue that they should be allowed the same rights as everyone else.

"When you shoot a gun, you take it out and point and shoot, and I don't necessarily think eyesight is necessary," said Michael Barber, an Iowa resident who is blind. "I can hear where people are. So I just simply point and shoot."

But local officials and at least one celebrity are speaking out against the law.

"I’m not an expert in vision," Delaware County Sheriff John LeClere told the Register. "At what point do vision problems have a detrimental effect to fire a firearm? If you see nothing but a blurry mass in front of you, then I would say you probably shouldn’t be shooting something."

Even musician Stevie Wonder, who was blinded shortly after birth, has criticized what he calls "ridiculous" gun laws.

"I was thinking, you know, because I saw you on the TV talking about the whole gun [control] thing, and I was talking to one of my friends and I said, 'You know what? You should go get me a gun or me go with you to get a gun and then show how easy it is for me to get a gun,'" he told CNN's Piers Morgan in an interview earlier this year. "Imagine me with a gun. It’s just crazy."

Urgent: Should Obamacare be Repealed? Vote Here Now

Related stories:

Obama Marks 20th Anniversary of Disabilities Act

NRA Has Compiled Secret Database of Gun Owners

Museum Denies Entry to Disabled Girl Because Wheelchair Would 'Get the Carpets Dirty'  

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Send me more news as it happens.
 
 
Get me on The Wire
Send me more news as it happens.
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
You May Also Like

Crooks Steal From 5-Year-Old Cancer Patient; TVs, Video Games, PS4 Gone

Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 15:40 PM

Police are on the hunt for the crooks who stole electronics from a 5-year-old brain cancer patient's St. Louis home. . . .

Lost Luggage Found 20 Years Later Returned to Arizona Woman

Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 15:16 PM

Lost luggage found 20 years later was returned to an Arizona woman with a handwritten note on Tuesday. . . .

Bus Driver Takes Cane From Blind Boy, Replaces It With Pool Noodle

Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 15:07 PM

A Kansas City school bus driver took away an 8-year-old blind boy's cane this week and replaced it with a pool noodle, o . . .

Top Stories

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved