A blind man in New Jersey is fighting in court for his right to keep his gun collection.
Somewhat surprisingly, blindness might not actually be the main thing that will prevent the gun owner from being able to keep his guns. The gun owner, Stephen Hopler, has been accused of abusing alcohol while under the effects of an antidepressant — and not a tiny bit of alcohol, either. Eye witnesses claim that Hopler would frequently down 30 beers in a single day. The court believes that this led to an incident wherein Hopler accidentally shot himself with a handgun while he was cleaning it.
A court already ruled in 1994 that Hopler should be allowed to keep a gun as long as he only fires it under very strict conditions.
The whole question boils down to whether or not Hopler can safely maintain ownership of the handguns. Hopler argues that he successfully completed a firearms safety course, but the fact that he chose to clean his gun while under the effect of drugs undermines the validity of that claim.
This case really gets into tricky territory. Obviously, disabled people should have the same rights as everybody else, but when a blind gun owner abuses substances he can be a danger to himself and those around him. Does the Second Amendment also apply to the blind? We’ll find out once the judge makes his decision.