Iowa is giving gun permits to people who are legally or completely blind that will let these residents acquire guns and carry these firearms in public. Officials from Polk Country report that at least three people who can't legally drive and weren't able to read the application forms have been given permits to carry firearms.

Iowa law enforcement officers and advocates for the disabled are in disagreement about whether it is a good, safe, or well-considered idea to allow the visually disabled to carry weapons. The executive director of Disability Rights Iowa says that preventing blind residents from obtaining a weapons permit would violate the Americans with Disabilities Act. A local sheriff has demonstrated that blind people can be taught to shoot guns.

Private gun ownership by visually disabled Iowans has been around for some time, though granting these residents the right to carry guns in public has only become possible due to gun permit changes that were enacted in Iowa in 2011.

Many states have indirect requirements that could disqualify the visually impaired, though they don't automatically prevent them from obtaining weapons permits. In Missouri and Minnesota applicants must be able to shoot and hit a target in a test; Illinois offers a similar training test. South Carolina requires proof of vision for a firearms permit. Wisconsin, similar to Iowa, has no visual requirement for gun permit applications. Iowa's required training can be completed online and doesn't involve a shooting test.

There is a provision in Iowa's law that would let a sheriff deny a gun permit if there was provable cause that the applicant is likely to employ the weapon in a way that could harm endanger herself or others.

[Des Moines Register, image via Elnur, Shutterstock]