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Blind man given concealed carry permit

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by Nathan123, May 15, 2007.

  1. Nathan123

    Nathan123 G&G Newbie

    Apr 11, 2007
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    I came across this story on another message board and thought you all might like to have a read of it. - Utah Gives Blind Man Concealed Weapons Permit

    FARGO, N.D. A blind man who has concealed weapons permits from North Dakota and Utah says he’s not a danger to society, even though he can’t see the gun he’s shooting.

    Carey McWilliams, 33, says he has followed all rules, and he wants Minnesota to join other states that have granted him a concealed weapons permit. He says he was rejected by a Minnesota county sheriff and a judge in that state.

    “I’m trying to prove a point that people without sight still can carry (a gun) because brains are more important than eyesight in securing public safety,” McWilliams said. “The shooter at Virginia Tech had really good eyesight and he killed 32 people.”

    Sheriff Bill Bergquist of Clay County, Minn., said he felt bad about denying a permit for McWilliams.

    “He’s a super nice guy,” Bergquist said. “But the application states that a person should be able to show proficiency on the firing range and a proficiency of the weapons. That’s the issue.

    “Sometimes I have to ask myself, what is right in this case? I felt when I denied it, he could have his day in court,” the sheriff said.

    McWilliams said he completed the required class and shooting exercise by Paul Horvick, a National Rifle Association instructor. Horvick said he believes gun rights are private and would not comment on anyone he has taught or tested. Documents on Minnesota weapons hearings are sealed.

    McWilliams said he uses special low-range, hollow-point bullets that are effective only in tight quarters.

    “If I use a gun it will be at point-blank range, period,” he said. “A sighted shooter is probably more dangerous because they can see something scary and pull their gun in haste.”

    Under Minnesota law, an applicant must be issued a license for a gun or a concealed weapon if he or she completes the class and shooting exercise and passes a background check – unless “there exists a substantial likelihood that the applicant is a danger to self or the public if authorized to carry a pistol under permit.”

    McWilliams believes Minnesota officials have violated his constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

    “It’s nobody business that I’m blind,” he said.

    McWilliams lives in a Fargo trailer park with his wife, Victoria. A neighbor, Jon Storley, accompanied McWilliams during his appeal to the Minnesota District Court.

    “He’s not a nut, he’s not a weirdo, he’s not a freak,” said Storley, a cab driver and rock musician. “I’m not a lawyer, but in this case I believe the judge was legislating from the bench.”

    Storley also said he doesn’t blame Bergquist and Kirk for their decisions, calling the case “a kettle of worms.”

    The permit obtained from Utah is recognized in 30 other states, including Minnesota. McWilliams said he had to complete a “firearms familiarity course” before receiving the Utah license.

    “Basically they just passed around a couple of guns,” McWilliams said.

    McWilliams, who got his North Dakota permit in 2001, testified during the 2005 North Dakota legislative session against a proposal to drop the written part of the concealed weapons test. He told lawmakers it would allow people who are ignorant about firearm regulations to get permits. The test was eliminated.

    The Legislature also decided to keep individual information about weapons permits confidential, said Liz Brocker, spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office.

    “All I can tell you is the total number of permits that have been issued” – 8,030, she said.

    McWilliams lost his eyesight when he was 10 years old, after a series of headaches and gradual deterioration. It was a mystery to doctors.

    He said he was a victim of domestic violence growing up and was stalked by gang members.

    “I’ve had situations where I would have felt threatened if I hadn’t been carrying,” he said.

    McWilliams has written two books, including an autobiography published earlier this year that talks about his experiences in sky diving, scuba diving and deep sea fishing. He was in two segments of Michael Moore’s antigun movie, “Bowling for Columbine,” including a scene showing him cradling an AK-47 assault rifle.

    Much of his autobiography is about his weapons training and testing.

    “My permits together allow me, with reciprocity, to carry my gun in 30 states, one of which could be yours,” he writes. “But never fear, with my extensive experience in firearms, I have take all reasonable measures to ensure the safety of others."
  2. JoeLee

    JoeLee Suspended

    Apr 23, 2007
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    I don't know at a loss for thought on this.
  3. troy2000

    troy2000 Suspended

    Dec 28, 2004
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    Me too, Joe. It sounds to me like this particular guy probably has enough sense to carry one, but as his neighbor points out, it could open a can of worms.
  4. just_a_car

    just_a_car G&G Newbie

    Oct 31, 2006
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    I can certainly see why and how a blind person would want and use a concealed weapon such as a snub-nosed, internal-hammer revolver. Say someone grabs him and says "gimme your money or you're dead." I'm sure the guy can point exactly where that voice came from, aim a foot down from where it was and pull the trigger... from his coat pocket so that the person wouldn't even dodge. He'd probably be better at that drill than any of us could be, due to using his ears instead of his eyes since he was 10.

    One scumbag predator with a hole in centermass and one American citizen protecting his right to Life, Liberty, and Property. I'm for it, as long as they have special required training for those that are without sight. It's not descrimination, it's what any responsible CCW'er would do in that situation, as this man has.
  5. RabidPitWeasle

    RabidPitWeasle G&G Regular

    Dec 8, 2005
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    Ha!Ha! only in NoDak

    You know you can walk around with an unloaded rifle/shotgun and its not against the law, but I'm sure you'd be hasseled by the cops.
    I suggest a 12ga coachgun and use it as a walkingstick, lets see sombody mess with you then.
  6. lefty o

    lefty o G&G Evangelist

    Mar 15, 2002
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    i dont have a problem with a blind man carrying a gun, but the fact is here in MN you do need to be able to show proficiency with a handgun before being issued a permit to carry. i wish him the best of luck trying to get the laws changed, but i dont think it's going to happen.
  7. .22guy

    .22guy G&G Enthusiast

    Jul 7, 2004
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    Maybe pepper spray, a stun gun or a collapsing baton would be a better choice for this guy. Or some combination of that.
  8. Xterminator

    Xterminator G&G Newbie

    Jan 15, 2006
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    I'm waiting for this fellow to apply for a drivers license... And receive it. :34:
  9. Otter

    Otter G&G Newbie

    Apr 26, 2005
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    I have a friend in Massachusetts who holds a license to carry, high capacity, and has only one eye with 20/400 vision.
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