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Blind on the warpath to carry guns in South Dakota

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Blind on the warpath to carry guns in South Dakota


A gun when you are registered blind may seem as useful as a bicycle for a fish, but in some parts of the USA groups campaigning for the partially-sighted say laws are discriminating against them.

Iowa specifically allows the registered blind to carry a concealed weapon, but neighbouring South Dakota has no law guaranteeing that right. Now some are saying that should change.

“If they are legally in a position where they can get one, the law does not prohibit someone or require us to do eye tests,” explained Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead.

Activists say the lack of a law means the rights of blind people are being abused, and they want their own guns-for-the-blind law.

However there is no South Dakotan law forbidding the blind to carry a weapon. It has always been decided on an ad-hoc basis by local law enforcement officials. The gun loybby no longer accepts that.

“We haven’t seen many people with white canes or guide dogs in our line of people that apply daily for a permit,” says Sheriff Milstead.

It seems a debate that could only be held in America, whose gun laws are constitutionally guaranteed and where many see every attempt to restrict access as a trampling of fundamental freedoms.

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