In Iowa, you do not need to see to be able to carry a gun. The news, first reported by the Des Moines Register, is causing mixed reactions from disability rights groups to the sheriff’s departments who distribute the permits.
In Iowa, a person can be issued a permit to carry a weapon if they complete training requirements, are a veteran, and don’t meet one of six disqualifications.
“This theoretically could be a blind person,” said Scott County Sheriff Dennis Conard.
None of the disqualifications has anything to do with a persons ability to see.
“I think it’s another one of those portions of the law that probably needs a little better wording, but there are certain rights established for people with disabilities and we need to respect those rights,” said Sheriff Conard.
Sheriff Conard says he hasn’t had a blind person apply for a permit to carry.
“We haven’t had one. There are over 7,000 people in Scott County that have permits… so that’s not been an issue for us,” he said.
But Conard says if he did, he would issue the permits on a case by case basis.
“If there is a determination to their safety or someone elses safety, that’s a reason for not granting the request,” he said.
“It’s not necessary for them to actually be able to see to be able to effectively use a firearm if they feel threatened in some way,” said Darin Oberhart, owner of QCI Firearms Training in Bettendorf.
“It’s kind of odd someone who’s visually impaired would want to have a firearms permit or be able to use a fire arm, it’s also they have just as much right to be able to defend themselves as anyone else,” said Oberhart.
At this point, Iowa law agrees. There is no mention of visual impairments in the requirements of the Illinois concealed carry law.