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Old May 17, 2012, 12:05 AM   #1
KyJim
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Court orders guns returned to blind man

Four years ago, a blind gun owner in New Jersey managed to shoot himself (it also happens with sighted individuals). Police acted to protect him from himself by seizing six of his guns. After after a four year court battle, a court ruled he still had the 2A right to own firearms even if blind and ordered the guns returned. During the litigation, the government made some allegations of habitual drunkenness which the gun owner denied.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nati...icle-1.1077387

I'm not so sure that pre-Heller and pre-McDonald that the owner would have gotten his firearms back. The judge apparently based his decision squarely on the Second Amendment and I've never thought of New Jersey being gun friendly. It is a real shame, though, that it took four years to get them back.
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Old May 17, 2012, 06:52 AM   #2
rts99
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Right vs Permission

This is another case of the state refusing to recognize the 2nd Amendment as a Fundamental Right. The Constitution does not read: "The right of sighted citizens....", nor "The right of sober citizens.....", nor "The right of the citizens approved by the government......"

It reads simply: "The right of the citizens....." It doesn't limit the right nor establish the right for any specific purpose (although the court certainly has). It specifically denies the state any authority over the right. As a result of McDonald the right is fully enforceable against the states & their subdivisions. So in this case the judge got it exactly right. The guns are not the property of the state nor does the state have any right to confiscate them. The 2nd Amendment protects the right.

The bad news here is that the state will find some other nonesense to charge this guy with. Discharging a weapon within city limits, reckless endangerment, drunk & disorderly, whatever. As you are fully aware gun control isn't about guns, it's about control. Control over the state's slaves.
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Old May 17, 2012, 10:43 AM   #3
Tom Servo
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Quote:
It reads simply: "The right of the citizens....."
I can't seem to find that wording anywhere in the Bill of Rights.

Quote:
During the litigation, the government made some allegations of habitual drunkenness which the gun owner denied.
Upon further reading, the allegations were made by a former tenant who served jail time for stealing guns from Hopler. Not the most credible witness, I'd say.

It's an interesting decision, especially in light of the fact that I know several legally-blind folks who own guns. Do you have a link to the actual decision?
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Old May 17, 2012, 12:39 PM   #4
Aguila Blanca
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There's blind (as, for example, Helen Keller) and then there's "legally" blind. Even if someone is 100 percent medically blind (not just legally blind), firearms have value and are personal property, and the police cannot (at least in theory) deprive people of their property without due process.

Good call by the judge.

As to "legally blind," I have read articles in some of the "gun" rags about legally blind people who compete in practical shooting competitions. I've even read of people who are completely blind who shoot recreationally with the assistance of a spotter.
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Old May 17, 2012, 02:37 PM   #5
gunloony
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Quote:
It reads simply: "The right of the citizens....."
Actually, it doesn't.
My copy of the constitution from the U.S. Government Printing Office has the text of the Second Amendment as follows:
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
That nit picked, the constitution does not qualify which subgroup of "the people" have the right to keep and bear arms and which group's rights may be infringed, so it seems to me that "sighted" and/or "sober" are not requirements for someone to enjoy the right to keep and bear arms. Good job by the judge who ordered the sized arms returned to the owner.
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Old May 17, 2012, 04:02 PM   #6
animal
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Well. I think they sized up him and his rights … and returned seized guns to him. I think the guns stayed the same size … but the judge might have sized them up, and decided they were fitting for a blind man. Maybe they were Glocks? …. just gettin’ in on the nitpicking…

good call by the judge
now the guy needs a lawyer, so he can go for a carry permit under the ADA
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Last edited by animal; May 17, 2012 at 04:08 PM.
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Old May 17, 2012, 04:40 PM   #7
wncchester
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"...gun owner in New Jersey managed to shoot himself (it also happens with sighted individuals"

It even happened when some cops were showing school kids in Fla. all about "safe" gun handling.


I'm not so sure that pre-Heller and pre-McDonald that the owner would have gotten his firearms back.

True, but we really don't know IF he has them back, nor do we know how beat-up and rusty they got while in law's tender hands.
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Old May 17, 2012, 09:07 PM   #8
Tom Servo
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now the guy needs a lawyer, so he can go for a carry permit under the ADA
I was hoping for a similar challenge to Washington DC's laws. While they grudgingly let people register handguns after their loss in Heller, the new criteria prohibit people from undefined "physical handicaps" from qualifying.

What those handicaps might be, and who makes the determination, are really suspect.

A guy I know is legally blind. The guy has to sit with his face practically touching a television to see what's on the screen. Yet, the guy can shoot fairly well, so who am I to judge?
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Old May 17, 2012, 10:00 PM   #9
KyJim
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Do you have a link to the actual decision?
No. My guess is that it's not readily available because it was a lower state court order. Most of these aren't posted anywhere.

The ADA angle would be an interesting one to see played out.
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Old May 17, 2012, 11:37 PM   #10
animal
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While I have several problems with ADA … It would be sweet ! …. I’d be willing to contribute to a fund right now to pay his permit fees, or pay towards a mounting a legal offensive for the guy.

I’d almost be willing to bet … they’d just issue the permit…You know that if he walked in to apply fresh off of a victory, they’d be a little "gunshy" of the guy. Better than nothing, though. At least he’d be getting to rub their noses in it
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