Skip to comments.Blind gun-permit holder opposes changing exam
Posted on 03/10/2005 11:09:22 AM PST by TheOtherOne
Blind gun-permit holder opposes changing exam
The Associated Press
BISMARCK, N.D. Carey McWilliams carries a pistol, but he can't see it or whatever or whomever he might shoot at. Still, he comes armed with the full blessing of North Dakota.
It wasn't easy to get to that point, though.
McWilliams, 31, who has been blind since age 10, had to pass a two-part exam to obtain his concealed-weapon permit. First, he had to ace an open-book test of 10 true-or-false questions. Then, he had to prove his shooting proficiency by hitting an 18-by-20-inch human silhouette at least seven of 10 times, from 21 feet away.
Now, North Dakota lawmakers are considering getting rid of the exam or at least the shooting part and McWilliams doesn't think that's right.
"I don't think everybody under the sun should be able to just walk in and get a weapon," said McWilliams, of Fargo. "You've got to have standards."
In January, the state House approved legislation to remove both the written and shooting tests. Some representatives argued that the tests are meaningless, and some even pointed to McWilliams to support their position.
On Monday, the Senate voted to remove just the shooting test, arguing that other states would not honor North Dakota's permits without some kind of exam. The legislation now goes back to the House for final approval.
Republican state Rep. Todd Porter doesn't believe North Dakotans should have restrictions put on their right to carry a weapon.
"I just think there's too many hoops for a law-abiding citizen to jump through to get a concealed weapon," said Porter, who sponsored the House bill. But McWilliams counters that eliminating testing could allow people who are ignorant about firearm regulations to get permits.
Porter and his supporters, however, point to McWilliams as an example of the uselessness of testing requirements.
McWilliams, who can distinguish only different shades of light, hit his target six of 10 times one short of the minimum needed to pass on his first try at the shooting part of the test. On his second attempt, however, he hit the target all 10 times.
"I shook a couple people up [when I got my permit], but all I did was exercise my right as an American citizen," McWilliams said. "When you're blind, you can't run from an assailant."
Republican state Rep. Don Dietrich opposes removing the written test, saying it requires applicants to become familiar with state laws about where weapons can and cannot be taken.
The test makes sure people know that weapons are not allowed in bars or gambling sites or at public gatherings, including church and sporting events, Dietrich said. The test also includes questions about the legal use of deadly force and the definition of "concealed."
"The idea is to at least have the applicants familiarize themselves with the laws of North Dakota," he said.
Carey McWilliams, right, who is legally blind, and his wife, Tori, are photographed at their home in Fargo, N.D., Friday, Feb. 25, 2005, in front of the target he used to pass his weapons test. (AP Photo/Alyssa Hurst)
This guy should be a consultant on the ABC show about the blind gun-toting cop.
Kudos on him for not running to the ACLU and whining about his condition.
thanks . . . didn't show up in my search (but they almost never do)
When it comes to wire stories, even the most devoted pre-searchers are at the mercy of the headline writers.
I'm not sure, but I think this is referring to Supreme Court Justices.....
A corner shot system is displayed to the press at a shooting range in Shoham close to Tel Aviv. Israel paraded its latest high-tech military inventions at a Tel Aviv weapons fair.(AFP/File/Yoav Lemmer)
As an American citizen, everyone under the sun should be allowed to walk in and get a weapon. Passing some test doesn't make one person more qualified for the 2nd amendment than the other. Good for this guy not letting his blindness keep him down, but why should some people (other than wanted criminals) be allowed to carry and some not?
Good for him! Hey, does this guy have a cat????? :)
I have seen this syndrome before particularly in Ham operators who screamed their heads off because they didn't want the code portion of the Ham exam eliminated.
This is a common attitude with people who had to overcome difficulties to obtain something and then they change the rules and let "just anyone" do it. His attitude is really "How dare them get a permit withou having to go through what I did, how can I brag about how tough it was when it is no longer so tough?"
that's a good analysis. I never thought about that he might just be ticked off.