Gun Permits for the Blind
(CN) - Iowa issues gun permits to blind people, a process that has some of the state's sheriffs wondering about the wisdom of the law that allows it.
A 2011 change in state law prohibits sheriffs from denying people gun permits based on physical ability-including, apparently, partial or total blindness.
"I'm not an expert in vision," Delaware County Sheriff John LeClere told USA Today. "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."
Other sheriffs said they have no problem with issuing the permits.
Cedar County Sheriff Warren Wethington told USA Today he has a legally blind daughter who plans to apply for a gun permit when she turns 21.
Wethington told the Des Moines Register that a visually impaired person can be trained to handle 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 told USA Today.
Several states have gun permit laws that require vision standards.
Nebraska, for example, requires applicants to provide proof of vision by submitting a valid driver's license or a statement from an eye doctor stating that the applicant meets the vision requirements to legally drive a vehicle.
Jane Hudson, with Disability Rights Iowa, said that denying citizens a gun permit based on sight impairment would violate the Americans with Disabilities Act.