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Concealed Carry for the Blind or Visually Impaired?

As the state drafts its criteria for who can obtain a concealed carry permit, should vision be a consideration?

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(Duration: 51:20)

two people with guns

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It violates the American with Disabilities Act to discriminate against the visually impaired, even when it comes to gun ownership. The state of Illinois issues FOID cards, the documentation you need to legally own a gun in Illinois, and hunting licenses to the blind. So, even if you can’t see, or don’t see well, you can own a gun in Illinois, but should you be able to carry it in public?

This hour on Focus, we’ll talk it over. Jeremy Holderfield joins us. He went blind about a decade ago because of glaucoma. Despite his vision impairment, he continues to deer hunt and says even though he doesn’t think it’s right for the state to discriminate who can have a gun based on vision, he still is unsure how he feels about the blind carrying weapons in public places. Ray Campbell, legislative chairman for the Illinois Council of the Blind, also joins us. He says it’s slippery slope to make rules that are discriminate based on physical ability but owning and carrying a weapon might be a special case.

In Iowa, a so called “shall carry” state, the blind and visually impaired are granted concealed carry permits, and while the practice is controversial and has been the subject of several recent media reports, Cedar County, Iowa Sheriff Warren Wethington doesn’t think there’s a problem. His daughter is blind, but he says that hasn’t stopped her from learning to handle a firearm.

What do you think? Should a visual impairment bar someone from obtaining a gun permit? Or is making vision a criteria discrimination? We’d love to hear from you this hour on Focus!

Categories: Civil Rights, Law

  • Read the full transcript

    Pop Up Archive Item: “Concealed Carry for the Blind or Visually Impaired?” : https://www.popuparchive.com/collections/1461/items/8819
    Transcript for file: focus130917a.mp3

    00:00:00

    in the debate over gun rights the gun rights of the visually
    impaired may seem to be a side dish you met someone people do on weapons
    Iowa they can get a concealed carry permit to the surprise of some
    human Illinois some blind people go hunting little sister today

    00:00:30

    today in focus will talk about firearms in the visually impaired Illinois
    brand new concealed carry law firm in Iowa sheriff who supports
    concealed carry wine one time Hunter x Hunter sprinklers
    losing sight and an official with the Illinois Council of the blind

    are program continues after the new welcome to focus
    the focus on Jim Meadows recently the morn register reported that several counties and Gretel

    00:01:05

    reddit permit to carry concealed weapons to people who were legally and perhaps completely block
    people on their peers to be nothing and I was nearly three year old concealed carry law that addresses
    visual impairment official say that there for the can’t make Michelin Pearman grounds for me
    projection this is an item of discussion in Iowa now anime soon be at idle
    discussion in Illinois where the new concealed carry law also
    does not seem to address the subject of visual impairment and there are those who are fine
    fine with that and they know they’re already blind people who possess firearms

    00:01:40

    self defense and hunting at the shipment automatically be barred from caring
    bring them on the street Haswell later on the program on me with an Iowa sheriff
    sheriff supports concealed carry for the visually impaired right now I want to introduce you to someone
    someone who happens to be blind and who is a hunter Jeremy Holderfield live