Iowa Grants Gun Permits to People Who Are Blind

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The Controversial Move Makes Some Officials Worry About Public Safety.

DES MOINES, Iowa — There’s some surprising news coming out of The Hawkeye State this week, leaving some law enforcement officials and lawmakers befuddled.

In the “American Heartland”, Iowa is now granting gun permits for the blind or severely visually impaired to acquire and/or carry guns in public. No one is questioning the legality of the permits because Iowa state law does not allow sheriffs to deny a resident the right to carry a weapon based on a person’s physical ability.

Image showing Cedar County (Iowa) Sheriff teaching his 18 year-old partially blind daughter to use a firearm.

Cedar County (Iowa) Sheriff Warren Wethington has been teaching his daughter, Bethany, to use firearms. A brain tumor left Bethany, 18, partially blind, but he believes that once she becomes of legal age to purchase firearms, she should not be excluded from her second amendment rights. (Photo: Bryon Houlgrave, The Des Moines Register)

The thing that makes this such a delicate situation for advocates and opponents alike is the public safety factor. Advocates for people with disabilities and state law enforcement officers are in disagreeance over whether or not it’s a good idea for visually impaired Iowans to carry weapons while in public places.

“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.


Original Article: Story written by Jason Clayworth with The Des Moines Register: USA Today | Des Moines Register

Photo: Bryon Houlgrave

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This post was written by Jeff Frcho

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