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.