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Blind Man Says Utah Gun Permit Does Not Make Him Dangerous
May 15th, 2007 @ 2:38pm

FARGO, N.D. (AP) -- 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."
 

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I'm not sure if I am scared or glad of what he is doing. Atleast he does know his limitations and would only shoot point blank and not trying to be a weapons master.
 

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I saw that posted over on GT and wasn't quite sure what to say. No offense, but I'm not sure that I would want a blind man shooting a gun around me. Exactly what are "special low-range, hollow-point bullets that are effective only in tight quarters"?
 

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I feel bad for the guy but you can see he's the type that doesnt want you to feel bad for him.....I just wouldn't want him shooting around me.
 

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I see his point and I'd be willing to bet that even if he ever was in a situation where he had to fire on someone he would never injury a non BG.
Still I'm not too sure I would want him firing around me...
 

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Wow......

Tinkerhell said:
I see his point and I'd be willing to bet that even if he ever was in a situation where he had to fire on someone he would never injury a non BG.
Still I'm not too sure I would want him firing around me...
Thats ok tink he will be shooting blindly. :rotfl:
I know, that really a shot in the dark. :rotfl:
Somebody stop me, I can't help myself..........
:lol:
 

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How did he successfully complete a shooting exercise? It is not a person so the paper target was not making noise to give away its location (height, distance, angle to the shooter).

Some may want to slap me for this comment, but there are good reasons to have someone show that they can actually hit a paper target from 7ish yards. If they cannot hit a piece of paper bigger than a person, they cannot hit a real person while under stress.
 

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I thought you were full of it, so I checked. You are right. That is a little much IMO. I would be happy with a 7-yard test.

§ 11-47-16 that he or she has qualified with a pistol or revolver of a caliber equal to or larger than the one he or she intends to carry, that qualification to consist of firing a score of one hundred ninety-five (195) or better out of a possible score of three hundred (300) with thirty (30) consecutive rounds at a distance of twenty-five (25) yards on the army "L" target, firing "slow" fire. The "slow" fire course shall allow ten (10) minutes for the firing of each of three (3) ten (10) shot strings.
 

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Licenses are not only about carrying a gun for protection but the ability to transport a gun/or transport it more easily. Many states require you to have a license to transport a gun in a car. In GA the GFL lets you carry a gun more easily in a car.

Let's say this guy has to transport a gun, getting a license allows this/makes it easier. What if he has to carry a gun to a friends house down the street, etc?
 

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Anyone else remember the "Zatoichi the Blind Samurai" series of movies from Japan? The guy used his weapons quite effectively even though he was blind.

I don't see any reason this guy shouldn't get his carry permit as he seems capable, rational and competent and has done some things I haven't tried. However, not all blind people necessarily fit that profile... I have mixed feelings here, but in general, I don't think it's a good idea to issue permits to the blind.
 

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Actually Zatoichi wasn't blind, he was faking it. If you watch the most recent one, with Takeshi Kitano, he reveals that he can see to the "Big Boss" before he kills him. granted that one is not necessarily related to the other films, there have been over 10 films, and a few TV shows.
 

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I have mixed feelings here, but in general, I don't think it's a good idea to issue permits to the blind.
I don't like licenses for anyone. Tell we where in the Constitution it talks about gun licenses again? :lol:
 
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