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Old 09-08-2013, 02:35 PM  
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Iowa Allows Gun Permits to Blind People

http://tinyurl.com/kbfgxn3

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Here's some news that has law enforcement officials and lawmakers scratching their heads:

Iowa is granting permits to acquire or carry guns in public to people who are legally or completely blind.

No one questions the legality of the permits. State law does not allow sheriffs to deny an Iowan the right to carry a weapon based on physical ability.

The quandary centers squarely on public safety. Advocates for the disabled and Iowa law enforcement officers disagree over whether it's a good idea for visually disabled Iowans to have weapons.

On one side: People such as Cedar County Sheriff Warren Wethington, who demonstrated for The Des Moines Register how blind people can be taught to shoot guns. And Jane Hudson, executive director of Disability Rights Iowa, who says blocking visually impaired people from the right to obtain weapon permits would violate the Americans with Disabilities Act. That federal law generally prohibits different treatment based on disabilities.

On the other side: People such as Dubuque County Sheriff Don Vrotsos, who said he wouldn't issue a permit to someone who is blind. And Patrick Clancy, superintendent of the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School, who says guns may be a rare exception to his philosophy that blind people can participate fully in life.

Private gun ownership even hunting by visually impaired Iowans is nothing new. But the practice of visually impaired residents legally carrying firearms in public became widely possible thanks to gun permit changes that took effect in Iowa in 2011.

"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 Department, referring to a visual disability.

Polk County officials say they've issued weapons permits to at least three people who can't legally drive and were unable to read the application forms or had difficulty doing so because of visual impairments.

And sheriffs in three other counties Jasper, Kossuth and Delaware say they have granted permits to residents who they believe have severe visual impairments.

"I'm not an expert in vision," Delaware County Sheriff John LeClere said. "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."

In one Iowa county, blind residents who want weapons would likely receive special training.

Wethington, the Cedar County sheriff, has a legally blind daughter who plans to obtain a permit to carry when she turns 21 in about two years. He demonstrated for the Register how he would train blind people who want to carry a gun.

"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 as he and his daughter took turns practice shooting with a semi-automatic handgun on private property in rural Cedar County.

The number of visually impaired or blind Iowans who can legally carry weapons in public is unknown because that information is not collected by the state or county sheriffs who issue the permits.

Clancy, superintendent of the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School, said the range of sight among people who are classified as legally blind varies greatly. He believes there are situations where such applicants can safely handle a gun.

Quentin DeVore, a legally blind Army veteran from Newton, Iowa photographed in March 2013, is a gun enthusiast and collector. Despite his vision impairment, DeVore holds a permit to carry a firearm, and says he is well within his legal rights to do so.

However, he also expressed concerns.

"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.

The Gun Control Act of 1968 and other federal laws do not prohibit blind people from owning guns. But unlike Iowa, some states have laws that spell out whether visually impaired people can obtain weapon permits.

Vision requirements are either directly or indirectly part of the weapon permit criteria in some surrounding states.

In Nebraska, for example, applicants for a permit to carry a concealed handgun must provide "proof of vision" by either presenting a valid state driver's license or a statement by an eye doctor that the person meets vision requirements set for a typical vehicle operator's license.

Other states have indirect requirements that could but don't automatically disqualify people who are blind. That includes Missouri and Minnesota, where applicants must complete a live fire test, which means they have to shoot and hit a target.

A 50-state database of gun permit requirements published by USACarry.com also shows that South Carolina has a law that requires proof of vision before a person is approved for a weapons permit.

Wisconsin, like Iowa, has no visual restrictions on gun permit applicants. Illinois lawmakers enacted a concealed weapons law in July but permits have not yet been issued. Illinois' qualifications don't specifically require a visual test, but applicants must complete firearms training that includes range instruction.

The National Federation of the Blind does not track states that require vision tests as part of weapon permit processes and has not taken an official stand on the issue. But its members are generally opposed to such laws, said Chris Danielsen, director of public relations for the group.

"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."

Iowa requires training for anyone who is issued a permit to carry a weapon in public, but that requirement can be satisfied through an online course that does not include any hands-on instruction or a shooting test.

A provision in Iowa's law allows sheriffs to deny a permit if probable cause exists to believe that the person is likely to use the weapon in such a way that it would endanger themselves or others. Many sheriffs noted, however, that the provision relates to specific documented actions, and applicants who appealed their cases would likely win.

Hudson, executive director of Disability Rights Iowa, believes changing the state law to deny blind people or others with physical disabilities the right to carry arms would violate federal disabilities law.

Part of the Americans with Disabilities Act requires a public entity to conduct an individualized analysis to make a reasonable judgment before denying a service. Hudson believes someone could successfully challenge Nebraska's proof of vision requirement as illegal.

"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.
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Old 09-08-2013, 03:07 PM   #2
mlyonsd mlyonsd is offline
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Good. Being disabled isn't a reason someone shouldn't have the right to defend themselves.
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Old 09-08-2013, 03:13 PM   #3
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Just as bad as not having to show picture ID in order to vote....
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Old 09-08-2013, 03:32 PM   #4
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I'm legally blind. I see perfectly fine with correction. "Legally blind" or "blind" is a matter of semantics.
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Old 09-08-2013, 04:43 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by mlyonsd View Post
Good. Being disabled isn't a reason someone shouldn't have the right to defend themselves.
Um, pretty sure they'll never see it coming.
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Old 09-08-2013, 05:16 PM   #6
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Um, pretty sure they'll never see it coming.
Exactly. Some dumb punk will never figure a blind guy to put a .45 slug into his gut while attacking him.
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Old 09-08-2013, 06:08 PM   #7
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Can't discriminate against a protected class. ****ing duh.
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Old 09-08-2013, 06:21 PM   #8
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Even worse...they even allow black people to own guns.
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Old 09-08-2013, 06:33 PM   #9
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They allow you to vote, blowfish. That's more dangerous.
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Old 09-08-2013, 08:21 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by RaiderH8r View Post
Can't discriminate against a protected class. ****ing duh.
The entire premise of gun control is based in discrimination. Hence why discriminating against the disabled is not difficult.

But to the OP this is really appalling that you would stoop this low. You do understand the issue here has nothing to do with gun rights, but actually everything to do with NOT discriminating against the disabled.

As I'd hope you'd no realize that being 'legally blind' doesn't mean you can't see perfectly fine with correction. BUT there are those in the anti-gun community who will do ANYTHING to restrict ownership of guns and would deny them to anyone they would be permitted to do so. If legally blind people can't have a CCW then should they even be permitted to own firearms at all? If your premise is they can't see so they can't be safe with a CCW then if they can't see then how can they be safe with any firearm???

Look I understand you're militantly anti-gun, but this is honestly appalling. That you would use discrimination against someone else's disability as a way to deny someone....anyone...the access/use of a firearm.

Would you say that no one who is legally blind should be permitted to drive? How about use any type of machinery(including kitchen) where they might hurt themselves or someone else?

Many of your posts about gun control have been ignorant and ill informed but this is the one that is truly repugnant. NO disabled person should be denied to participate in activities that the able bodied can do if reasonable accommodations can be made to allow them to participate.

****ing A man...you people like to say people who own guns have small penises....how small does your dick have to be to pick on the disabled?
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Old 09-08-2013, 08:34 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by listopencil View Post
They allow you to vote, blowfish. That's more dangerous.
I just posted the article for discussion. I never said I was against it. Actually, I think unless they pass a law specifying a sight test -like when you apply for a drivers license- then you can't discriminate.

But thanks for asking and assuming otherwise.
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Old 09-08-2013, 08:50 PM   #12
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I just posted the article for discussion. I never said I was against it. Actually, I think unless they pass a law specifying a sight test -like when you apply for a drivers license- then you can't discriminate.

But thanks for asking and assuming otherwise.
It's not a stretch based on your posting history.
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Old 09-08-2013, 08:53 PM   #13
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I know at least 3 people who are legally blind...that have licenses and drive cars.
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Old 09-08-2013, 09:01 PM   #14
CrazyPhuD CrazyPhuD is offline
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Originally Posted by gblowfish View Post
I just posted the article for discussion. I never said I was against it. Actually, I think unless they pass a law specifying a sight test -like when you apply for a drivers license- then you can't discriminate.

But thanks for asking and assuming otherwise.
Well if you're against it then say so or frankly make any comment to the effect of your intentions on this when you post the article. Given your track record you can't blame us for assuming you'd support this.

This is in general an issue that is far more sensitive to me for issues that I won't go in to right now. But what people fail to recognize and most of the left pushing gun control won't admit is that the heart of it is discrimination against something and as a proxy a group of people they don't morally approve of.

Consider this, I'd be willing to safely admit that when people propose requiring voter ID laws you understand that the actual intent behind them is discrimination. On the surface requiring an Photo ID to vote sounds perfectly reasonable. It has the potential to prevent voter fraud and that's not a bad thing right?

The problem is that we have no actual numbers that suggest voter fraud is a significant issue the only times we see it is in isolated cases. However we do know that there are large numbers of traditionally poor and minority individuals who do not currently posses any sort of government photo-ID. Placing a requirement for them to have one would likely result in a measurable drop in those groups who vote.

So I'd be willing to bet that you understand that while on the surface voter ID requirements don't look like a bad idea inherently. They are unlikely to reduce voter fraud(because it's so low), but are likely to disenfranchise certain minority groups.

A rational person should recognize that regardless of the stated intent, the effect will be very negative(and one could make an argument that the disenfranchisement is the intended, if unstated effect).

Why do I show this example? Because I can use it to help you understand another issue. Universal background checks sound like a good idea on the surface. However there is no evidence that it will actually result in fewer guns ending up in the hands of criminals. One proxy estimate could be made in the city of Los Angeles.

CA has had universal background checks since the 90s I believe. What they see is that statistically ~2% of people buying firearms are denied because they are prohibited. In CA the people that are prohibited from buying firearms are also denied from buying ammunition. Only LA has a mandatory ammo 'background check' the number of prohibited people caught buying ammo? ~3% of purchases.

Generally speaking people who are prohibited don't try to buy the ammo or the guns. It's just easy enough to buy through straw purchases or through the black market.

Universal background checks are unlikely to make a statistically significant difference in crime. But we know by requiring universal background checks would have two other effects. It would raise the cost of purchasing a firearm(since you now have to pay for a background check). And it would raise the difficulty in buying a firearm since you have to find a licensed dealer to do so(which could be very hard in some rural counties). Both of these would reduce the number of firearms sold/number of owners, without showing any correlation in reduction in crime.

So a rational person would come to realize that universal background checks aren't about reducing crime(because we can't show a statistically significant reduction) but do succeed in reducing the number of people who are willing to jump through the hurdles. One could make the argument that the bill is about reducing ownership and not safety. So is reducing ownership of something that you don't morally approve of really 'reasonable' or is it yet another form of discrimination.

Look I know you may not see it that way, so I ask this simple litmus test. When you support making a law that takes something away from any group. Are you supporting it because we HAVE to do it, or are you supporting it because you WANT to do it. Because when we make laws prohibiting things because we want to, that's how discrimination occurs.

This also goes to the other point no one has to defend why we need to have anything. In America the burden of proof should always be on the government to show why it NEEDs to take it from us.

Edit to clarify the LA ammo purchase: Sorry it's been a while since I looked at this, but what they do is log all the info of someone when they buy ammo and then forward it to the cops. No real background check happens. When the cops check the lists against prohibited people they get a hit on 3% of purchasers.
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Last edited by CrazyPhuD; 09-08-2013 at 09:09 PM..
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Old 09-08-2013, 09:09 PM   #15
RaiderH8r RaiderH8r is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyPhuD View Post
The entire premise of gun control is based in discrimination. Hence why discriminating against the disabled is not difficult.

But to the OP this is really appalling that you would stoop this low. You do understand the issue here has nothing to do with gun rights, but actually everything to do with NOT discriminating against the disabled.

As I'd hope you'd no realize that being 'legally blind' doesn't mean you can't see perfectly fine with correction. BUT there are those in the anti-gun community who will do ANYTHING to restrict ownership of guns and would deny them to anyone they would be permitted to do so. If legally blind people can't have a CCW then should they even be permitted to own firearms at all? If your premise is they can't see so they can't be safe with a CCW then if they can't see then how can they be safe with any firearm???

Look I understand you're militantly anti-gun, but this is honestly appalling. That you would use discrimination against someone else's disability as a way to deny someone....anyone...the access/use of a firearm.

Would you say that no one who is legally blind should be permitted to drive? How about use any type of machinery(including kitchen) where they might hurt themselves or someone else?

Many of your posts about gun control have been ignorant and ill informed but this is the one that is truly repugnant. NO disabled person should be denied to participate in activities that the able bodied can do if reasonable accommodations can be made to allow them to participate.

****ing A man...you people like to say people who own guns have small penises....how small does your dick have to be to pick on the disabled?
Yeah, I'm just gonna go ahead and suggest you look at my history on the 2nd amendment and then I won't hold a grudge when you realize you've totally got me wrong.

In fact, I'm not sure which of my posts on gun control you've been reading or if you have me totally confused with someone else. Really dude, I am at a loss.

I'm just using liberal dogma to point out that they can't discriminate and deny basic rights based on a disability.
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