Here’s a startling statement. The blind can own and carry guns. Do you want to move to a state where that’s legal?
49-year-old Steven Hople, a blind man from New Jersey, has won a two-year battle to keep his gun collection and has completed a firearms safety course. A state judge sided with him in a recent ruling. Keep in mind he has already accidentally shot himself while cleaning a pistol. (True)
And in Iowa….
Iowa is granting gun carry permits to people who are legally blind or even completely blind, which will allow them to display, and if necessary, USE the guns in public places.
Changes in gun permit laws in 2011 have now allowed the visually impaired in Iowa to legally carry firearms in public. They must also carry a large sign that says, ‘I’m blind and I’m packing’ as a warning to anyone who thinks it’s a joke. There will also be a state employee walking in front of the blind person handing out bullet proof vests.
According to the Des Moines Register, the issue has become the subject of debate between disability rights advocates and law enforcement officials about its impact on public safety.
There’s a third view.
“It’s basically not a public safety issue unless the blind guy takes it out and challenges someone who just stole his parking spot”, said Jeff Overwaight, an NRA spokesperson.
“We believe that every American in good standing has the right to stand their ground whether they can see it or not. Just because a person can’t see their target, why would you take away their God given right to exercise their freedom of expression?”
He added “Look, there’s lot’s of people with 2 good eyes who can’t shoot straight anyway. We’re not punishing them.”
Sheriff Don Hastings of Des Moines County weighed in with “If you put a blind person with a gun in a cornfield and give yourself enough time to get away, I don’t see a problem, unless you trip and hit your head on something and can’t yell ‘I’m hurt, don’t shoot yet.’
Patrick Clancy, superintendent of the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School also expressed concerns. "Although people who are blind can participate fully in nearly all life's experiences, like driving on the highway and practicing dentistry, there are some things, like the operation of a weapon, that may be too dangerous especially if they’re having a bad day.”
Michael Barber purchased his gun at a Bass Pro Shop in Altoona, Iowa and was issued a permit to carry it around in public.
Barber and his wife plan on practicing shooting on a gun range. His wife said, “Just like when we go to the driving range at the golf course, I’ll point him in the right direction close my eyes and see what happens.”