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Concealed Carry for the Blind

10 am TODAY on WILL-AM's Focus: As the state drafts its criteria for who can obtain a concealed carry permit, should vision be a consideration?

person wearing gun in holster

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?

Tuesday, Sept. 17, 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 William 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.