AUSTIN, Texas — The blind would be able to go hunting if a Texas bill becomes law.
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The bill would allow legally blind hunters to use a laser sight, or lighted pointing instrument, which is forbidden for sighted hunters, according to State Rep. Edmund Kuempel, who introduced it.
"This opens up the fun of hunting to additional people, and I think that's great," Kuempel said.
Many Texans enjoy the state's reputation for outdoor sports. The state also is where Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot a friend in the face while hunting for quail earlier this year.
Blind hunters also would have to have a sighted hunter with them. They could hunt any game sighted people can hunt and otherwise use the same weapons.
The hunter would have to carry proof he or she is legally blind.
Visually impaired people are able to shoot with the aid of a sighted person, Kuempel said.
"I've seen this on TV before, when they're taking target practice," he 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."
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, which regulates hunting in Texas, currently does not have a definition for what constitutes a legally blind hunter. Kuempel's bill for the 2007 legislative session would give the agency until Jan. 1, 2008, to come up with a definition so the law could be enforced.
Under existing Texas law, the use of laser sights, spotlights and headlights is strictly prohibited.
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