Iowa Debates Gun Rights For The Blind - New York News

Iowa Debates Gun Rights For The Blind

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If you can't see where you're shooting, can you still be allowed to carry a gun in public? That's one of the questions surrounding this debate. Many sheriffs in Iowa say that it's not safe for anyone and the law needs to be changed. Others say that even if that is true, there is no reason to take away someone's second amendment right.

Michael Barber is completely blind, and always has been. However, that didn't stop him from getting a conceal-carry permit to carry his handgun him out in public.

"The second amendment does not say we have the right to bear arms unless we're disabled," said Barber. "I should be able to protect my family just like you can, just like anyone else can."

The Hawkeye State has quietly been granting conceal-carry permits to the legally blind for several years. Many of the state's law enforcement officers say that they're very uncomfortable about it, and are concerned about public safety.

"If you can't see, why should you be arming someone to shoot out in the public ... it's not just the safety of the individual, but the safety of the others and the public around them that's what our concern is," Sheriff Jerry Dunbar, the Washington County Sheriff and President of Iowa State Sheriffs' & Deputies Association, said.

Despite the arguments for the safety, this Chairman of Iowa's House Public Safety Committee says it's not a safety issue. It's a freedom issue.

"They've had the training that's required by our law and they've passed a background check, which is required by our law and I can see no evidence that our law needs to be changed," State Representative Clel Baudler said.

Other legislators do want to see changes. Although previous attempts haven't gained much traction, they are still attempting to make those changes. The next session is in January.

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