There is something about a blind guy and a gun I don’t feel comfortable with. However, one NJ man feels he has every right to own and fire his his weapons. Hit the jump for more.
Daily – A blind man has won a legal battle to keep and shoot his guns.
Steven Hopler, 49, from Rockaway, New Jersey, had his firearms confiscated after shooting himself in the leg.
Police first removed his gun collection in 2008 but a judge has finally ordered that the decision goes against a constitutional right to bear arms.
In the long-running legal battle, Mr Hopler has argued that he has safely handled guns since he was a child.Â
Mr Hopler lost his sight as a result of diabetes in 1991 and has experience of using firearms correctly both as a sighted and non-sighted person.
Friends at his local firing range say his aim is incredible.
‘Iâ€™ve handled guns for many years – being sighted and being blind – and Iâ€™ve never had a problem,â€™ Mr Hoplertold CBS News.
He argues that the case is less about fire power and more about basic freedoms.
His attorney, Robert Trautman, claims that Mr Hopler was singled out because of his disability.
However, police argue that they took six of his guns away because he has a history of alcoholism.
‘The state argued that Steve drinks too much,â€™ said Mr Trautman.Â
‘Itâ€™s just simply that the police didnâ€™t want Steve Hopler to own firearms because heâ€™s blind and they felt that was improper.â€™
Mr Hopler denies drinking more than two beers a day and that he accidentally shot himself in the leg while cleaning his guns.
This should not mean he loses any basic human rights, argues his attorney.
‘Heâ€™s always enjoyed collecting. When he lost his sight it was just a continuation of what heâ€™d done his whole life,â€™ said Mr Trautman to NJ.com.Â
‘Itâ€™s a hobby and you know what? Itâ€™s his right.â€™