The state of Iowa has decided to allow blind citizens to carry firearms in public. It’s a legally sound move, as Iowa cannot ban basic rights due to disability, however some are questioning how safe the decision is.
Iowa has already issued permits to a number of visually impaired citizens, some of who are not allowed to drive due to how poor their vision is, reports the Des Moines Register. The spokesman for The National Federation of the Blind, Chris Danielsen, said the group agrees with permits for the blind.
“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,” said Danielsen.
Blind man Michael Barber agreed. He said, “When you shoot a gun, you take it out and point and shoot, and I don’t necessarily think eyesight is necessary.”
Others are worried however. The sheriff for Delaware county, 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.”
Some other states, like Wisconsin, allow blind people to have guns and hunt. However others, like Nebraska, require proof of vision, or a live firing test, like Missouri.