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Blind Iowans Get Gun Permits

No sight, no problem under state law
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 9, 2013 1:44 AM CDT
Updated Sep 9, 2013 7:03 AM CDT
Blind Iowans Get Gun Permits
“Imagine me with a gun. It’s just crazy," Stevie Wonder told CNN earlier this year.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Not being able to see what you're shooting at is no barrier to obtaining a gun license in Iowa, the Des Moines Register finds. Gun permit changes that took effect in 2011 allow even people completely without vision to carry guns in public, and while disability rights groups argue that banning blind people from obtaining weapons permits would violate the Americans With Disabilities Act, some law enforcement officials in the state fear for public safety. "If you see nothing but a blurry mass in front of you, then I would say you probably shouldn’t be shooting something," one sheriff says.

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Some states require people to provide "proof of vision"—or pass a target-shooting test—before they can obtain gun permits, although Texas passed a law in 2007 to help legally blind people hunt, CNN reports. The superintendent of the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School says some people classed as legally blind could safely handle gun, though he's not sure if it's a good idea to try. "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," he says. (Read more Iowa stories.)

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