Last weekend, The Des Moines Register published a feature story on how gun permit changes that went into effect in 2011 enabled the blind to carry guns. (In one county, three permits were granted to people who aren’t allowed to drive legally.) Now, the paper reports that there’s little chance the law will be revisited in the state’s next legislative session.
The permit changes were pushed through at the end of 2010. Changes that would have made it harder for the visually impaired to obtain gun permits passed the state Senate’s Judiciary Committee in 2011, but never went anywhere. Then, in the state’s last session, the chairman of the committee put gun measures on hold—something he doesn’t expect to change in the upcoming 2014 legislative session, according to The Register.
Local advocates for the visually impaired were split on the issue, but Iowa isn’t the only state that grants such permits to the blind.
In Michigan, for example, the blind can hunt with laser-sighted guns as long as they have a sighted adult aged 18 or older with them. (A blind woman there nabbed a black bear a few years ago.) Wisconsin and Texas have similar rules requiring sighted companions.
And last year, a New Jersey judge ordered the state to return confiscated guns to a blind veteran who was allowed to keep his gun permit.