Iowa is issuing carry permits to people who are legally or completely blind.
No one questions the legality of the permits. State law does not allow sheriffs to deny an Iowan the right to carry a weapon based on physical ability.
Advocates for the disabled and Iowa law enforcement officers disagree over whether it’s a good idea for visually disabled Iowans to carry.
On one side: People such as Cedar County Sheriff Warren Wethington, who demonstrated for The Des Moines Register how blind people can be taught to shoot. And Jane Hudson, executive director of Disability Rights Iowa, who says blocking visually impaired people from the right to obtain carry permits would violate the Americans with Disabilities Act. That federal law generally prohibits different treatment based on disabilities
On the other side: People such as Dubuque County Sheriff Don Vrotsos, who said he wouldn’t issue a permit to someone who is blind. And Patrick Clancy, superintendent of the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School, who says carrying may be a rare exception to his philosophy that blind people can participate fully in life.
Editor’s Note: The linked article if full of factual errors and equates gun ownership with carrying as requiring a “permit.” –Don Zaidle, editor-in-chief