Blind man denied gun permit in Minnesota

Finally something that seems to make sense.

A legally blind man from North Dakota is appealing a decision by the Clay County (MN) Sheriff to deny him a permit to carry in Minnesota. The laws in MN require that "a person should be able to show proficiency on the firing range and a proficiency of the weapons." Carey McWilliams of Fargo feels that he can do that, yet he's legally blind.

He says "It would be self-defense, at point-blank range, with ammo that doesn't go any further than the assailant." I for one have never heard of ammo that only goes as far as the assailant and then drops to the ground. I Googled for it a little bit but was unable to find anything about this special ammo that McWilliams is using.

Unfortunately (for the residents of Fargo/Moorhead), McWilliams is allowed to carry in Minnesota due to a reciprocity agreement with Utah (where he is licensed). Good job Utah!


There is ammo that renders

There is ammo that renders anyone beyond the assailant safe. Shotshells keep your walls and house safe, while causing damage to your assailant.


Since I wrote the original post (last May) I believe I've heard of such ammo, but not seen it. I'd be curious on some brand names and/or links.

A person who is Legally

A person who is Legally Blind may still have vision, although it may be limited. It doesn't mean he or she is totally blind.

I saw an article about him or another legally blind person before, who lived in this area, and had a Concealed Carry Permit. The person was able to hit the target on the shooting range.

Should he be legally allowed to defend himself? I think so. I live in the same city, Moorhead, MN.
I am not afraid of being shot by a Legally Blind person with a permit. I am afraid of someone who carries without a permit.

The fact that he worked so hard to get the permit shows he intends to comply with the law. If he had criminal intent, he would have no reason to apply for a Concealed Carry Permit.

a blind man with a gun?

a blind man with a gun? gimme a friggin' break. Is a recipe for blowing some innocent child's head off.


I just went to a shooting competition for the blind in Sweden. Of course they can shoot things, and some of them better than sighted people. It just takes a bit longer to aim, with audio.

re: replay

I don't doubt at all that they can aim and shoot. I haven't heard of such a system until you described it, but it certainly makes sense.

My issue is that in the real-world (ie. not on a range), having a blind person shoot would be harmful to innocent bystanders around them. There are no audio tones to let them know when they are pointed at their target...


I just went to a shooting competition for the blind in Sweden. Of course they can shoot things, and some of them better than sighted people. It just takes a bit longer to aim, with audio.

Nice Job!

Nice job at copying the last comment word for word!


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.

Thanks for the post. I thing

Thanks for the post. I thing the writer is correct. So keep it come. Looking forward to seeing more. Thanks


I'm sorry but is this serious? Why would he think he should be able to have a gun? He's BLIND! He could be pointing the gun at someone and not even realize it. Some people you may wonder if they shouldn't have a gun like kids under 12 or 13, elderly people who cannot stand steadily, the mentally ill and Nazi followers. But someone who can't see? Why is that even a question?

There is ammo that renders

There is ammo that renders anyone beyond the assailant safe. Shotshells keep your walls and house safe, while causing damage to your assailant.


I am a blind person who owns

I am a blind person who owns a gun. I am in the process of applying for my chp. I think some of the people posting on this site need to be braught up to speed regarding their intelligence. 1. A blind person with a gun is not more dangerous than anyone else with a gun. Anyone I would shoot at would generally be within feet of me not yards, would generally make a sound, speak, move, etc. All of these items make noises that allow me to identify where they are. I was a wrestler when I was younger and people thought they could win by simply getting away from me and tackling me from behind. Unfortunately for them their shoes made sounds on the map. I would never put my finger on the trigger unless I was sure of the person's location.
2. There are plenty of people out there that have a chl that are more dangerous than me, the drunk who still goes hunting, the people with violent tempers, people who become incredabley nervous in difficult situations, etc, all of these are more likely to cause accidental discharges than my situation.
3. I also carry a cane, I am more likely to club someone with it in a difficult situation than to draw. The cane is readily available.
4. Has anyone considered it is the principle, if I can pass the course including the target section why should I be denyed the opportunity?
5. I have been blind since I was six, and handling guns since about the same time, I know safety, many of the people here seem to assume that a blind person has disregard for safety but all sited people automatically know the safety rules, give me a break.

Oh, by the way, I have done a number of things you wouldn't think a blind person could do, or what you would consider unsafe, rode, trained, and broken horses, driven a car, worked on a roof, operated power tools, and a number of other items you might consider dangerous.

"The uninformed and ignorant will surely kill us all"

re: I am a blind person who owns

Thanks for the comments.

1. Can you see my 4 year old daughter that is 20' beyond your target when you pull the trigger?

2. Just because there are others who are just as or more dangerous doesn't mean that this is the right thing to do - that's some severely flawed logic.

4. See #1. Unfortunately you don't have the ability to see what is in the distance. Your increased senses still won't pick up something that is far enough away - something that your bullet will still affect.

Because you have done things that I wouldn't think a blind person can do doesn't mean that it was done safely. Driven a car would be a prime example. See #1.

I understand your concern,

I understand your concern, however, I would argue that there are several situations where sighted people can not see beyond their target either. Each year several people are struck by stray bullets, and how many of them are fired by blind people? Imagine a bad guy enters your home at night, you wipe the sleep from your eyes and grab your gun, are you going to ask him if you can turn on the light befor you shoot him. You fire, and you miss, the bullet goes through the wall stiking and killling your daughter, or goes through your wall in your neighbors window killing them while they sleep. The point is, you never know exactly what is beyond your target especially behind walls etc. I would never draw my gun in a crowd, that is just stupid, if I am confronted in a crowd I would fight, but only pull my gun as a last resort. In a crowd, it is too likely you will shoot someone else, and it is likely others will come to your aid. Also, in many situations the presence of the weapon ends the confrontation and the gun does not have to be fired. Many people are frightened of guns because they do not understand them, you are frightened of a blind person with a gun because you do not understand it. As long as someone is safe, take precautions, and knows their weapon well, I have no problem with them carrying. By the way, when I talked about driving a car you assumed it was on a city street, you would be wrong. I grew up on a farm, my job was to feed the hogs, the feed bin was about two hundred yards from the hog pen, I decided it was easier to haul feed by truck then by pale, I would drive forward at about two miles per hour until the front touched the hog pen, I would drive in reverse until I bumped the feed bin, this made my job easier and more efficient. I have become very successful in my job and personal life by learning how to make accomodations to safelyu do the same things as others. Having a gun is the same. i'm sure you can agree that there is a safe way to handle a gun and an unsafe way, as long as one is being safe, conscious of their surroundings, etc, what is the problem?

re: I understand your concern

I agree, there are a LOT of situations where people with sight mess up or aren't able to properly identify what's beyond the target. The point is to minimize that risk by not taking large chances.

I think you answered your own question at the end with your examples (the example of driving in particular).

You drove in a very controlled environment - you indicate that you've not driven on the open highway going 55 mph.

To me, a blind person carrying a gun is the same way. To shoot in a controlled environment (a range for example) is one thing - to carry a gun in a public place (granted, with the hope that you never need to use it, yet also understanding that it's there for your protection and there FOR your use) is another thing.

Driving on the farm = target practice at a range. Driving on the open road = Carrying a gun at the county fair.

Also, although I don't have a conceal/carry permit, I do know that you are instructed to never pull your gun from it's holster unless you fully intend to use it. Showing it as a way to end the confrontation will only make things worse.

Thanks again for your comments.


So your arguments are:

1) You've done a lot of things people wouldn't expect a blind person to be able to do, and

2) People get killed by stray bullets all the time, and how many of those are from guns fired by a blind person, and

3) Nobody can ever be REALLY sure what's beyond their target, behind a wall, etc., and

4) Consider the principle.

There are other arguments, but that's enough for me.


1) I don't care. Just because you can do some things that I wouldn't expect you to doesn't make it reasonable or safe for you to do other unexpected things. If I run a marathon (something nobody would expect me to do), should I then be able to get a permit for a gun? No, because the two things, much like driving and shooting a gun, are completely unrelated. Don't make connections between two things that have none.

2) What difference does it make? Just because people aren't routinely killed by bullets from a gun fired by a blind person doesn't mean it won't happen, and doesn't make it acceptable. I'm sure you agree with this, which makes me wonder why you mentioned this as a reason at all.

3) Again, so what? So everyone should be allowed to have guns because, hey, you can never be sure?

4) The principle? Consider this. Not everyone on planet Earth, or everyone in America, even, is able or entitled to do the same things. You can cite the second amendment, but putting guns into the hands of people who aren't equipped to use them infringes on people's right to life, which is guaranteed in the Declaration of Independence.

A lot of people seem to feel a sense of entitlement which overrides common sense and thoughtfulness regarding others.

I am not frightened of a blind person with a gun because I don't understand it; I'm frightful of a gun because it can kill me and the odds of it killing me are greatly increased if the person holding it cannot see me if I get too far away or if I'm out of earshot or in a noisy place.

I'm sure you are capable of many more things than I (and most people) would assume of a stereotypical blind person - I'm all for empowerment, but not at the expense of others, and at the expense of logic and common sense.

Persons who are sight impaired having a CCW

1. How much vision does one need to shoot a hand
2. Does each person have the abillity to determine
what is safe for them?
3. Most real handgun instructers train one to line up the sights while the target may blure slightly. Many FBI and other trainers suggest closing one eye..... So doesn't this mean that we are all alittle impaired while firing a gun?
4. Most handgun encounters happen at around TEN
My overall point is just because someone has a disability we shouldn't limit them from carrying. Are persons with disabilities who have good cognitive ability able to determine their ability to use a handgun. If then they can pass the class they have the right to carry and defend themselves. So don't suppose that just because someone has a disability that they are not able to think and reason.....

Are you serious?

Brian -

1. Are you serious?
2. No
3. A little impaired (not that I agree with you) and a lot impaired are a lot different. Try driving your car with one eye shut. Now try closing both eyes. Don't sue me when you hit something.
4. Just because most encounters happen at ten feet doesn't mean that the person knows what they're shooting at or what's behind them. The bullet doesn't just STOP at 10 feet - it continues to travel well beyond.

I didn't say that they can't think or reason, I merely say that they shouldn't be shooting a handgun in anything other than a very controlled environment (like a range).

Reply to "Are you serious"

Hello, I am new to this site but have been reading the post on legally blind persons carrying a handgun. I would just like to throw in here by saying there are apparently alot of people who hear the word blind and assume nothing can be seen by the supposed blind person. This is a common misunderstanding. There are in fact several levels of blindness. Some people who are considered legally blind do see as far as someone with 20/20 vision. Granted the further away the blurrier, but if you are talking about defending yourself with a handgun, most concealed weapons are for short distance anyway. A person with 20/400 vision could certainly tell the difference between a person intending to do them harm and the neighbors daughter at pretty much any distance. I guess some people are just prejudice against handicapped people. Lets face it if a legally blind person was at the same restaurant, ball game, dinner showetc. as you and your family and had a permit to carry and was able to stop a would be child abductor from taking your daughter, would you then have the sme objection....I mean since he is legally blind and all?????

Legally Blind

I believe some of you may misunderstand what it means to be legally blind. I have my permit to carry and I do so nearly everyday. I believe in having a very high percentage of carry. I believe very strongly in taking responsibility for yourself and your actions. This includes taking responsibility for your own safety. The reason I feel the need to share this with you is not that I feel I need to stand on some self glorifying soap box but rather to bring some attention to a person in my life who is very dear to me. My wife is considered legally blind. Now before you start thinking in your head that she lives in a world of darkness or sees the world in a haze of blurred objects you need to get a better understanding of what it means to be legally blind. She has a condition known as Retinitis Pigmentosa. If you would like more in depth information on this please search it on Wikipedia. Retinitis Pigmentosa affects her field of vision. There are certain sectors of her vision which just do not register light. In her case this mainly affects her peripheral vision. This does not mean that she has tunnel vision or that she sees the world through a peep hole. The severity and symptoms of this condition varies from case to case. The majority of the time I have known my wife I have not been aware that she had this condition. If you met her today you would not either. If you did meet her she would probably be busy reading a book or texting me on her small cellphone screen. One day she may even be the one who teaches your kid how to read and write. My wife is legally blind but if she passed you on the sidewalk or chatted with you at a party you wouldn't likely know that she was "blind". When we were dating I taught her basic gun safety and took her to the gun range. The first gun she fired was not the same .22 rifle you shot in boy scouts. She shot my 9mm subcompact polymer-framed Springfield XD, the same one I carry nearly every day. For those of you who do not know what this is, think of a small handgun which is fairly light and has a round that is a competent for defensive use. It is not an excessively massive round but it is competent. In her case the gun was even lighter when she fired it because I had ejected the magazine and only left one round in the chamber. She took the recoil well and we moved on to a couple of fully loaded magazines. She is a competent shot. She can aim using normal sights. She can hit the target. She understood how the gun worked. With practice and handling experience I do not know see why she would not be a person competent in defending herself. For you who read this please understand what legally blind can mean. If you believe that you know all without even putting forth the effort to understand, then you might as well be diagnosed and labeled "legally ignorant".

Its hard to believe that

Its hard to believe that blind people cant shoot... But its true... they takes a bit longer to aim, with audio. But for this they should be well trained. Otherwise it will become harmful for innocent people. they should identify their target perfectly before any attack. I want to to thank you for this information!! I definitely enjoyed every bit of it and I have bookmarked your website to see the new stuff you post in the future.

This entire thread has got to be a joke . . .

It must be one of those Internet pranks that people try to put off as reality. "Legally" vs. "actually" are a world apart. Our society has gone insane. "Actual" blind people carrying guns? Give me a BREAK!!!

CCW and being blind!

hi, I have been a seeing person most all of my life. I started losing my site around 10 to 12 years ago. Now I have only light and shadows seen out of my right eye. I have own and used guns all my life. I was rasied up on a farm in the country.Now I have a CCW and just renewed it. So can the blind have a CCW ? yes! Can a blind man use a gun in selfdefence safely yes! No he can not be shooting at people at 20 feet or 10 feet or any of this! He has to wait till he has no other choice when the attacker has him or her and there is no other way then pull the weapon and punch it into the attacker and then start pulling the trigger till he or she or what ever is no longer a threat. So yes it can be done safely if the person is trained correctly. Should every blind man or woman have or use a gun or have a CCW ? No! Not till they went thru extesitive training and show they understand things and are responable enough to have a weapon like a gun or as for as that goes any kind of weapon. Just my thoughts.

This is ridiculous! Unsighted but Given Guns?

@boediger - Yes there's ammo that renders people safe BEYOND the assailant. But what happens if he doesn't hit the assailant and the bullet goes right past them to someone else? What happens when he finds out that the person he thought was an assailant was just a friend/relative/companion? Then what? Is he gonna say "Opps" and that's it? Probably not. Instead the person will be dead and his blind azz end up in jail surrounded by the very same people he would've liked to shoot!

Then it won't matter if he drops the soap. They'll nail him in jail and they'll be nothing they can do about it.

It's so ridiculous to even conceive of a blind person having firearms....and it's scary that anyone would think otherwise.


I carry my glock 23 everyday. Everywhere its permitted. I also drive my car near everyday. Long trips (4+ hours) and short trips (grocery store) I even have driven in NYC. Which by anyone's standards is not easy! (The weapon did not come with me to NYC as it is illegal even if holding a ccp issued by NY state.) And the best part is I'm legally blind! Should I be driving? Society says no. Do I? Yup. For ten years I've driven my legally inspected, registered, and insured vehicle with no licence. I have NEVER been pulled over nor have I been involved in any type of accident.. (how many of you "sighted" people can claim that?) I would also like to add that in NY you have to pass a pistol training course for my county to be issued a permit. Did I tell the instructor? Nope. Best part is he asked if he could keep my test target to put in the classroom. (All in the 8,9, and 10 rings) after he asked if he could keep it, I whispered I was legally blind in his ear he looked shocked, and said back " the way you shoot, I couldn't even tell." Best part is the final was conducted at 15yds (45ft) with a life size target. I'm not saying all legally blind persons are as capable as I but I can attest that there are always exceptions to the rule. Also how many deaths occur from "blind" stray bullets? Find 1 legitimate case ( cited, and from a reliable Source!). I DARE you. then consider all the times you "sighted" gunowners accidently miss and hit bystanders. Much more plentiful let me assure you. And lastly I use hollowpoints. They mushroom on impact and if they leave the target,(pretty rare.) They do so at a VERY reduced velocity. They are no good for shooting through anything but flesh. if your ignorant enough to use FMJ (target) ammunition for defense your asking to shoot through the target you intend to hit and hurting people beyond the target because FMJ simply keeps going. Unlike hollowpoints.

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