If you can’t see, the state of Iowa does not allow you to drive a car. But your disability won’t prevent you from obtaining a permit to carry a handgun. The Des Moines Sunday Register story on legally or completely blind Iowans who have obtained such gun permits has gained national and international attention.First, Iowa does not issue a permit to carry a gun. They issue a permit to carry weapons. But to the hoplophobes at the register, permit automatically means guns. Who would get a permit and carry something other than a gun? Well, a lot of people. Weapons, as defined in Iowa code covers things like knives, clubs, saps and other non-gun type weapons. Think stun gun/tazer.
The widespread interest is understandable. It’s one thing if a blind person were interested in using a gun for target practice. But it’s another thing if a blind person wants to obtain and use a gun for protection.There are a quite a few people that are "blind" that can still see. Without my glasses, I can't pass the eye test to get a drivers licence. A visual impairment doesn't strip someone of their Constitutional right to defend themselves.
In 2010, lawmakers overwhelmingly sided with the National Rifle Association and took discretion from county sheriffs in deciding who should be granted a permit to carry a weapon. Since then, tens of thousands of Iowans have obtained those permits.
That would be the discretion that too many abused. There were counties in Iowa when we were "may issue" where you could not get a permit. That is unless you were a campaign contributor or buddies with the sheriff. Sheriffs still have the discretion to deny a permit. Except now, they are subject to be dragged in front of a administrative law judge and have to show just cause for the denial. There are a few sheriffs that really hate that. IIRC the last time I saw a count, over 140,000 Iowans now have a permit to carry and growing.
I spent my last year in the Marines teaching Marines how to shoot. Coaching them on the line, safety, Proper hold and sight picture. I can teach someone to be safe and hit a target good enough to qualify in less than a hour. What they fail to consider, almost everyone with a permit goes beyond the state requirements for training. Most of us train and take course to hone our skills. That's one of the reasons you are over 10 times more likely to be accidentally shot by a cop than a civilian. One trainer I know spends a couple hours just on the liability of shooting and learning to know when not to shoot. Getting the permit is only the first step.Iowa only requires applicants to “demonstrate knowledge of firearm safety” through a training program. One of the programs is a free, online course that teaches nothing about safety and does not require an applicant to show any skill in using a gun. Despite concerns from sheriffs, an administrative law judge determined the course met the Iowa law’s legal requirement for training.
Other states explicitly authorize or restrict private property owners’ rights when it comes to guns. Some have requirements for posting notices. Disregarding the sign could result in a violation of the law. Iowa businesses do not have such clarity in the law about their rights and responsibilities. Lawmakers should clear up this confusion.
Property owners in Iowa are perfectly within their rights to post a no guns allowed sign. It's their property and their right. If they ask someone to leave that has a gun, they have to comply or face trespassing charges. I guess maybe the people at the Register need to learn a simple skill, called research.
There is no database of weapons permits that is easily accessible to law enforcement officers. Iowa lawmakers should create one.No, they shouldn't. Permit holders will tell a officer if they are carrying if it is necessary. The last time I got stopped, I didn't tell, he didn't ask and it wasn't a issue. If he had asked me to get out of my car, I would have handed him my permit and told him I was carrying. All a data base will do is gather the names of permit holders in one place where it can be abused. And there are people that would abuse that information if it was available.
Iowans have their elected officials to thank for thousands of people now toting around deadly weapons. Nearly everyone who applies for a permit to carry a handgun receives approval. That includes those who can’t see past the end of the barrel and those who may have never fired a gun. It’s time for lawmakers to address the problems with the law that they didn’t anticipate when they crafted and passed it.There is nothing wrong with our shall issue law. It's not broken and doesn't need to be fixed. It's not enough for these gun haters that we have to get "permission" to exercise a right. What about a permit for the 1st Amendment? Think they would pitch a fit? I know they would because it's a right. Yet when it comes to the 2nd Amendment, no restriction is too much.