Visually impaired can obtain gun permits in Iowa
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Visually impaired can obtain gun permits in Iowa

Speaking of gun control, regardless of your stand on that issue, you will probably find the debate regarding Iowa and the decision to grant gun permits to blind people interesting.

So far, permits have been granted to the visually impaired in three counties. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office has given out permits to at least three people that “can’t legally drive and were unable to read the application form or had difficulty doing so because of visual impairments.” The number of blind people who have exercised the right is not known at this point, since the officials say such information is not collected when issuing  the permits.

What do the visually impaired gun owners say? Michael Barber told the newspaper the following: “When you shoot a gun, you take it out and point and shoot, and I don’t necessarily think eyesight is necessary.”

Visually impaired can have gun permits in Iowa
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Some sheriffs claim that they would rather not issue a gun permit to a visually impaired person, however, the law states otherwise and any appeal against such a decision would be an easy win at court. Delaware Sheriff John LeClere says he’s not an expert in vision, but he is worried about the detrimental effects of firing a firearm if you cannot see what you’re shooting at. “If you see nothing but  a blurry mass in front of you, then I would say you probably shouldn’t be shooting something,” he says.

Chris Danielsen, PR director of the National Federation of the Blind, told the Register that “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.”


December 4, 2013
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