Blind People May Soon Have Guns in Iowa - WSPA.com

Blind People May Soon Have Guns in Iowa

Posted: Updated:
By Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa law enforcement officials are debating granting gun permits to blind people.

The Des Moines Register reports that Iowa law doesn't’t allow sheriffs to deny a permit to carry a gun in public based on physical ability.

Jane Hudson with Disability Rights Iowa said keeping legally blind people from obtaining weapon permits would violate the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Some other states, including Nebraska, require anyone applying for a gun permit to provide proof of their visual ability by supplying a driver’s license or doctor’s statement.

Hudson said she thinks someone could successfully challenge Nebraska’s vision restriction because federal law requires states to analyze a situation individually before denying a service.

“The fact that you can’t drive a car doesn’t mean you can’t go to a shooting range and see a target,” Hudson said.

Polk County officials said they have issued weapons permits to people who can’t drive legally because of vision problems at least three times. Sheriffs in Jasper, Kossuth and Delaware counties say they’ve also granted permits to Iowans with severe visual impairments.

“It seems a little strange, but the way the law reads, we can’t deny them (a permit) just based on that one thing,” said Sgt. Jana Abens, a spokeswoman for the Polk County sheriff’s office, referring to a visual disability.

It’s not clear how many people with visual impairments have permits to carry weapons in Iowa because no one collects that information.

Delaware County Sheriff John LeClere questioned whether visually impaired people should be able to obtain these weapons permits.

“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,” LeClere said.

Even Patrick Clancy, superintendent of the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School, said guns may be a rare exception to his philosophy.

“Although people who are blind can participate fully in nearly all life’s experiences, there are some things, like the operation of a weapon, that may very well be an exception,” Clancy said.

But in Cedar County, blind people would find a welcoming audience if they applied for a weapons permit. Sheriff Warren Wethington has a legally blind daughter who is 19, and she plans to apply for a permit when she’s eligible at 21.

“If sheriffs spent more time trying to keep guns out of criminals’ hands and not people with disabilities, their time would be more productive,” Wethington said.

  • Top StoriesTop StoriesMore>>

  • 2 Dead After Shooting On Laurens Rd. In Greenville Co.

    2 Dead After Shooting On Laurens Rd. In Greenville Co.

    Friday, August 29 2014 7:33 AM EDT2014-08-29 11:33:58 GMT
    Shooting under investigation in Greenville County.Shooting under investigation in Greenville County.
    The Greenville County Sheriff's Office is looking into a deadly shooting off Laurens Road.We're told two people are dead.The call came at 3:36 a.m. Friday morning.The Sheriff's office isn't releasing any more details at this time.It happen on Laurens Road near Millennium Boulevard at the Hollingsworth textile facility.Investigators are on the scene. Deputies have also set up a command center.
    The Greenville County Sheriff's Office is looking into a deadly shooting off Laurens Road.We're told two people are dead.The call came at 3:36 a.m. Friday morning.The Sheriff's office isn't releasing any more details at this time.It happen on Laurens Road near Millennium Boulevard at the Hollingsworth textile facility.Investigators are on the scene. Deputies have also set up a command center.

  • NC Apple Fest Kicks Off In Downtown Hendersonville

    NC Apple Fest Kicks Off In Downtown Hendersonville

    Friday, August 29 2014 12:25 AM EDT2014-08-29 04:25:58 GMT
    Apple Festival kicks off in Hendersonville.Apple Festival kicks off in Hendersonville.
    From the NC Apple Festival website:The 2014 NC Apple Festival kicks off Friday in downtown Hendersonville, NC.The Main Street event run through the weekend of August 29- September 1.The festival not only features a street fair with arts crafts vendors but it includes continuous live musical entertainment, apple growers and their apples, children's youth activities, special exhibits open houses, food, and, to top it all off, on Labor Day, the King Apple Parade...
    From the NC Apple Festival website:The 2014 NC Apple Festival kicks off Friday in downtown Hendersonville, NC.The Main Street event run through the weekend of August 29- September 1.The festival not only features a street fair with arts crafts vendors but it includes continuous live musical entertainment, apple growers and their apples, children's youth activities, special exhibits open houses, food, and, to top it all off, on Labor Day, the King Apple Parade...
  • Gamecocks Lose Season Opener 52-28 to Texas A&M

    Gamecocks Lose Season Opener 52-28 to Texas A&M

    Thursday, August 28 2014 9:52 PM EDT2014-08-29 01:52:41 GMT
    Aggies beat USC 52-28 on Thursday night ending the Gamecocks' 18 game home winning streak.Aggies beat USC 52-28 on Thursday night ending the Gamecocks' 18 game home winning streak.
    No. 21 Texas A&M beats No. 9 South Carolina 52-28 in USC's home opener on Thursday night, ending the Gamecocks' 18-game home win streak.
    No. 21 Texas A&M beats No. 9 South Carolina 52-28 in USC's home opener on Thursday night, ending the Gamecocks' 18-game home win streak.
Powered by WorldNow

250 International Dr.
Spartanburg, S.C. 29303

Telephone: 864.576.7777
Fax: 864.587.5430
Email: webmaster@wspa.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.