Should States Allow Blind People to Own Guns?
Advocates for the disabled and Iowa law enforcement officers disagree over whether it’s a good idea for visually disabled Iowans to have weapons.
Here’s some news that has law enforcement officials and lawmakers scratching their heads:
Iowa is granting permits to acquire or carry guns in public to people who are legally or completely blind.
No one questions the legality of the permits. State law does not allow sheriffs to deny an Iowan the right to carry a weapon based on physical ability.
The quandary centers squarely on public safety. Advocates for the disabled and Iowa law enforcement officers disagree over whether it’s a good idea for visually disabled Iowans to have weapons.
On one side: People such as Cedar County Sheriff Warren Wethington, who demonstrated for the Register how blind people can be taught to shoot guns. And Jane Hudson, executive director of Disability Rights Iowa, who says blocking visually impaired people from the right to obtain weapon permits would violate the Americans with Disabilities Act. That federal law generally prohibits different treatment based on disabilities.
On the other side: People such as Dubuque County Sheriff Don Vrotsos, who said he wouldn’t issue a permit to someone who is blind. And Patrick Clancy, superintendent of the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School, who says guns may be a rare exception to his philosophy that blind people can participate fully in life.
Private gun ownership — even hunting — by visually impaired Iowans is nothing new. But the practice of visually impaired residents legally carrying firearms in public became widely possible thanks to gun permit changes that took effect in Iowa in 2011.
Join the Discussion
After you comment, click Post. You can enter an anonymous Display Name or connect to a social profile.
LATEST PUBLIC SAFETY & JUSTICE HEADLINES
Massachusetts Cracks Down on 'Copycat' Assault Weapons16 hours ago
In Boston, Police Work to Build Trust One Ice Cream Cone at a Time1 day ago
Cops Can't Stop Cars for Using High Beams, Rules New Jersey Supreme Court1 day ago
Judge Makes Drug Dealers Pay for Addicts' Anti-Overdose Meds1 day ago
Fact-Checking Christie's Case Against Clinton2 days ago
In Swing-State Virginia, Battle Over Felons Voting Goes to Court2 days ago