bill: Let blind hunters use lasers
Dec 11, 3:32 PM EST
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- A lawmaker in this firearm-friendly state wants to help more people get the chance to shoot live animals - even if those people can't see.
A bill filed for the 2007 legislative session would permit legally blind hunters to use laser sights, or lighted pointing instruments.
"This opens up the fun of hunting to additional people, and I think that's great," said Republican Rep. Edmund Kuempel, the bill's sponsor.
Visually impaired people are allowed to shoot now with the aid of a sighted person, he said, a requirement that would continue if the sights were legalized.
"I've seen this on TV before, when they're taking target practice," Kuempel said. "When they aim the gun, the guide tells them, aim two inches higher or two inches lower and you're on the target, and you're off and running."
Kuempel's bill would give the state until Jan. 1, 2008, to come up with a definition of legally blind so the law could be enforced.
Under existing law, the use of laser sights, spotlights and headlights is strictly prohibited in all Texas hunting. The practice can have the effect of making animals stand still as the light shines on them. Hunters using sights under the proposed legislation would have to carry proof that they are legally blind.
The Legislature convenes Jan. 9 for its 140-day session