The Des Moines Register ran an article a week ago last Sunday about Iowa’s carry law not having provisions for those who are visually impaired.

My first thought when I saw the initial headline, “Iowa grants permits for blind residents to carry guns in public,” was what kind of instruction they would receive.  Would they be encouraged to aim for the voices?

I found it rather amusing.  Then I actually read the article.

First it seems like this was blown into a bigger issue than what it is. How many people apply for a permit who can’t see their hand in front of their face? I doubt any.  Chris Danielson with the National Federation of the Blind makes a good point in the article:

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

Second you have this comment from the Dubuque County Sheriff Don Vrotsos:

Vrotsos, the Dubuque County sheriff, did not know whether any blind people had applied for permits in his county, but said he wouldn’t hesitate to deny them.

“We do not track these applicants, but … if I knew the person was blind … a permit would not be issued, and this person would then have the right to appeal,” Vrotsos said.

On what basis? The law doesn’t give him the authority to do that.  State legislators should remind him of that fact. This rhetoric doesn’t surprise me as Dubuque County has been notoriously bad on this issue if left to the county sheriff’s discretion.

Let’s not act like this is a bigger issue that what it really is, and the Iowa Legislature should tread carefully if they consider what would essentially strip some Iowa citizens of their 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

3 comments
  1. Yes, and it was a mistake to remove that power from County Sheriffs.
    The way Obama has made it nearly impossible to get a gun legally, blind people would be huge targets for assault and theft if they carried one.

    1. They aren’t targets currently? I disagree with the County Sheriffs having as much subjectivity as they had before – it was nearly impossible to get a carry permit in some counties, Dubuque County was one of the worst.

    2. Bob, how exactly has Obama made it nearly impossible to get a gun legally? You have no idea what you’re talking about.

      While I’m not a big 2nd Amendment fan, given that the Supreme Court has ruled that citizens have an individual right to carry handguns, I agree that blind people should not be discriminated against solely because of their disability. They deserve the same rights as the rest of us.

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