iowa grants gun permits to the blind


September 8, 2013, 06:28 PM
Iowa grants gun permits to the blind
By Dylan Stableford, Yahoo! News | Yahoo News – 4 hrs ago
In what might seem to be an alarming development in the gun control debate, officials in Iowa say they have been granting weapons permits to blind people.

According to the Des Moines Register, the Polk County Sheriff's Office says it has issued permits to at least three people who "can’t legally drive and were unable to read the application forms or had difficulty doing so because of visual impairments." And officials in at least three other counties say they have granted permits to visually impaired residents because state law forbids sheriffs from denying the right to carry a weapon based on a physical disability.

“It seems a little strange, but the way the law reads, we can’t deny them (a permit),” Sgt. Jana Abens, a spokeswoman for the Polk County sheriff’s office, told the newspaper.

Just exactly how many blind Iowans have permits to carry guns is unclear. State officials say they do not collect that information when the permits are issued.

But the visually-impaired people who are given permits say they are perfectly capable of handling their weapons.

"When you shoot a gun, you take it out and point and shoot, and I don't necessarily think eyesight is necessary," Michael Barber, who is blind, told the paper.

Some lawmakers, though, do.

“I’m not an expert in vision,” Delaware Sheriff John LeClere said. “[But] 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.”

Federal laws do not prohibit blind people from owning guns, but some states have laws that restrict visually impaired from obtaining weapons permits. Not Iowa.

Several Iowa country sheriffs said they would not willingly issue a gun permit to someone who is visually impaired, but acknowledged that person would likely win an appeal.

“The fact that you can’t drive a car doesn’t mean you can’t go to a shooting range and see a target,” Jane Hudson, executive director of Disability Rights Iowa, said.

“There’s no reason solely on the (basis) of blindness that a blind person shouldn’t be allowed to carry a weapon,” Chris Danielsen, PR director of 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.”

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Beach Nut
September 8, 2013, 06:35 PM
I have a friend who is borderline legally blind that has a CCW permit. Of
course that is without corrective lenses but I have been shooting with
him before and he can hold his own, especially with his Glocks. He is a
big time Glock fanboy and has a M1 Garand that leaves me drooling every
time he lets me shoot it.

September 8, 2013, 06:46 PM
There may be other reasons for obtaining a CCW permit than actually carrying. For example, back when we had a one-handgun-a-month purchase limit in Virginia, carry permit holders were exempted from it.

September 8, 2013, 08:55 PM
In Arkansas "legally blind" doesn't mean "absolute darkness."

In a great many low-light tactical scenarios, someone with 20/20 vision wouldn't be able to pass the vision test either.

Buck Kramer
September 8, 2013, 09:23 PM
From IA: The media is blowing this up a little farther than it needs to be. In IA night sticks brass knuckles knives over 3" pepper spray etc require the same permit as a carry permit. It is simply a weapons permit, it does not specifically say handgun. Though I do not think the blind should be carrying firearms, I don't see why they can't carry a "weapon."

September 9, 2013, 08:18 AM
I am about as blind as can be without corrective lenses. That being said, if I were somewhere, without my glasses (I wouldn't, but just for the sake of argument here) and someone were to attack my wife, or stick a knife in my face and threaten me, or whatever, I could at least tell which blob to point the gun at.

A blind person would certainly have to take more care than someone who is not impaired, but "blind" people could certainly use guns safely in many circumstances.

September 9, 2013, 09:25 AM
No law against the blind owning guns here...

September 9, 2013, 10:02 AM
I don't see what good a gun will do someone who can't see either target or sights, but the 2nd Amendment doesn't say "except for blind people". If they want a gun they should have one.

September 9, 2013, 12:30 PM
How well do you need to see to know the guy on top of you choking you to death is a threat and shove the barrel in his gut and pull the trigger?

Also in many cases just revealing to a would be assailant that you're armed is enough to deter them.

September 9, 2013, 12:41 PM
In Arkansas "legally blind" doesn't mean "absolute darkness."

In a great many low-light tactical scenarios, someone with 20/20 vision wouldn't be able to pass the vision test either.
200% this.

'Legally blind' doesn't mean squat. Most can still see to a certain degree.

Tim the student
September 9, 2013, 03:26 PM

September 9, 2013, 09:28 PM
Why not? When my uncle was 95 years old and totally blind he lived alone and kept a billyclub between the arm of his chair and the cushion. He was a veteran of Saipan, Peleliu, and Okinawa and wasn't going down peacefully for anyone.


September 9, 2013, 09:32 PM
In a "PC" world even those that are blind have the ability to carry a gun; whether they need one or not.

September 9, 2013, 09:55 PM
just because you have a physical impairment does not mean that they should be denied their ability to defend themselves. if anything, they are the ones who need it most. a very good stance on my state's part.

September 9, 2013, 10:15 PM

September 10, 2013, 02:24 AM

I've always liked this motto.

September 10, 2013, 05:22 AM
I agree with previous statements that a physical/sensory impairment should not keep one from their right to defend his or herself, or a bit of recreation either.

I was a rifle instructor at a scout camp for 4 consecutive summers many years back, and taught a boy who was born blind how to shoot a .22lr T.C. Contender. We spent an hour or more every day for a week. It was really fun, and we got him hitting the target.

When one is blind, the rest of the senses become heightened to compensate. After watching 'The Book of Eli' I was brainstorming about teaching a blind person handgun shooting, and thought of hanging wind-chimes directly under targets in various spots on an outdoor range, perhaps different chimes for each target. Establish to them that the target is 1 foot or so above each chime, and go from there. This would simulate sounds to respond to if ever necessary, such as a verbal threat or scream for help. At the very least just a way to indicate where the target is to the shooter. Just an idea. :)

I've also thought, if shooting at steel targets, the 'coach' could shoot a target with a bbgun to 'ping' for the blind shooter where to zone in on and aim for.

September 10, 2013, 09:25 AM
Some obvious issues:

1. Just because someone is 'blind' for purposes of driving doesn't mean that they can't see. It just means they can't see as well as most other people.

2. There are many people who are legally blind... without the use of corrective lenses.

September 10, 2013, 09:46 AM
Since they have a physical disability shouldn't they be allowed to forgo the magazine capacity limitations in the stricter areas? I think it's a valid point to push to lawmakers and it would make for great headlines.
"No ammunition capacity limit for the blind!" :D

September 10, 2013, 11:47 AM
My dad was legally blind in one eye. He could still see plenty well enough out of the other one to identify an attacker.

Also, I happened to flip on to CNN last night to see what was up with the Syria mess and Piers Morgan was on debating CCW with a pro-gun lady.
He got stuck on the issuing of CCW permits to blind people in Iowa.
How many blind people are there in Iowa? Now from that, how many will choose to carry firearms? Out of the population of Iowa, this has to be a statistical minority. It's a non-issue.

And those people do have the right to defend themselves, and possibly even more need of that right than most others.

September 10, 2013, 02:33 PM
It's easier for a blind person to get a gun permit than it is to get an out of state deer or turkey permit! I was born there and am glad when it's in my rear view mirror. Wake up Iowa , we are waiting... Gay marriage but no ccw. Left is right and right wrong.

September 10, 2013, 07:34 PM
Well, I suggest that the ophthalmologists and optometrists be required to report folks with degenerative visual processes to the law (macular degeneration, cataracts, retinitis pigmentosa, etc.). Said person should be tested regularly by the state.

Yep, that's a good plan. All officers should be given a portable contrast sensitivity program on their lap tops - easily available from visual science sources and if you are stopped, quickly get your CSF.

Also, all states should ban big gulps and bottle feeding babies.

- Now figure out what this post actually means to suggest. :D

Carl N. Brown
September 10, 2013, 08:22 PM
I'll guess: sarcasm :rolleyes:

September 10, 2013, 10:32 PM
Wake up Iowa , we are waiting... Gay marriage but no ccw. Left is right and right wrong.

What do you mean "no CCW?" Blind people CAN carry concealed with a permit, so can anyone else that's not a felon or convicted spouse beater.

Hurryin' Hoosier
September 10, 2013, 10:44 PM
So? Illinois granted voting rights to the toxically stupid. :rolleyes:

September 11, 2013, 09:17 AM
I have low vision and can hit a bullseye with a good grouping at 30', I carry a 1911.

I've never tried shooting in total darkness at a target but it would be interesting to "see" how well I'd do. Hitting the target is easy if sound is reflecting off it or if it forms a dead space in the ambient background sound. I have a very good sense of direction and can navigate a darkened room by using the ambient sound in the room and how it reflects off surfaces.

Even with my vision being so poor, I've surprised more than a few doctors on how much I can do with so little, it's called adaptation.

we are not amused
September 11, 2013, 10:23 AM
It is no big deal! Lots of States allow legally blind people to own guns and to get CCW permits.

A few years ago in Kansas, some anti-gun nutballs in the anti-gun Mainstream News Media tried to make a big deal out of permits issued to blind people here in Kansas. Don't know if it made National news, but it was all over local television and Newspapers. And of course, they all thought it just awful that blind people could carry or even possess, (non-carry) weapons.

For that matter, being legally blind doesn't mean one cannot see, just that their quality of sight doesn't meet certain criteria. One can be legally blind due to a whole host of reasons, with many levels of impairment.

September 11, 2013, 11:37 AM
Legally blind doesn't mean you can't see "necessarily". With powerful enough glasses, it is possible that they can see well enough to shoot someone breaking in through the door or window. Even completely blind should be able to defend themselves. If you are breaking into a house, the blind owner should be able to shoot at whoever he hears coming in as long as he is sure that they aren't supposed to be there, but people who are supposed to be there wouldn't be breaking in.

September 11, 2013, 11:44 AM
It's easier for a blind person to get a gun permit than it is to get an out of state deer or turkey permit! I was born there and am glad when it's in my rear view mirror. Wake up Iowa , we are waiting... Gay marriage but no ccw. Left is right and right wrong.
What does gay marriage have to do with CCW and the blind?

September 11, 2013, 12:06 PM
Just someone going off as they have another cause to yak about.

Carl - you got me but that was easy.

I wonder if the states should pass a law mandating hearing protection for the hearing impaired.

The issue is so silly and just antigun ranting.

September 11, 2013, 01:32 PM
This is so very silly. Of course being blind shouldn't exempt you from being able to own or carry a gun. It also doesn't exempt you from being responsible for where every one of your bullets end up. You know these people freaking out over this are imaging a blind person with a 200 round "clip" blasting away randomly in a crowded room because they thought someone tried to rob them. We're all trigger happy lunatics in their minds. :(

September 11, 2013, 01:34 PM
I have nothing against anyone carrying ,I have my ccw which Iowa won't honor when I enter their state. Iowa is progressive... Progressively getting worse. Conservatism has left the building. Didn't mean to tick you off gfanikf.

September 11, 2013, 05:46 PM
Are there statistics of how many blind people there are even are in Iowa?
I bet your chances of getting shot by a criminal in Chicago are about a dozen times better than your chances of being shot by a blind person in Iowa.

The whole thing is a non-issue. It's like being worried that you may be struck by a meteorite.
Go on about your lives.

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