Iowa lawmakers question gun permits to the blind - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa lawmakers question gun permits to the blind

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DES MOINES (KWWL) -

Blind individuals in the state of Iowa can currently receive gun permits. The debate now is whether this law should change.

Lawmakers now question whether it's safe to allow those legally or completely blind to obtain a weapon.

According to the Des Moines Register, the debate centers around public safety. Some law enforcement officials in Iowa are hesitant to believe it's a good idea to issue a gun to a blind individual.

"At what point do vision problems have a detrimental effect to fire a firearm?" said Delaware County Sheriff John LeClere. "If you see nothing but a blurry mass in front of you, then I would say you probably shouldn't be shooting something."

Even the superintendent of the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School, Patrick Clancy, has reservations about the law. The Des Moines Register reports Clancy said guns may be a rare exception to his philosophy that blind people can participate fully in life.

Disability Rights of Iowa disagrees and said blocking visually impaired people from obtaining a weapon violates the Americans for Disabilities Act.

The Des Moines Register reports that surrounding states, like Nebraska, make gun permit applicants show proof of vision.

Other states, like Missouri and Minnesota, have applicants perform a shooting test in which they must hit a target.

Iowa has no "visual restrictions" when it comes to gun permits. Therefore, until decided otherwise, the current law in Iowa stands to favor those who have vision disabilities.

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