Blind gun owner wins fight to keep weapons

New Jersey news from Eyewitness News

May 14, 2012 6:08:24 AM PDT
A blind man in New Jersey has won a two-year legal battle to keep his gun collection.

Morris County prosecutors claimed Steven Hopler was unfit to safely maintain his handguns, claiming he abuses alcohol and was taking an antidepressant when he accidentally shot himself in his Rockaway Township home while cleaning a pistol in 2008.

But the 49-year-old Hopler, who is blind because of complications from diabetes, denies abusing alcohol and has completed a firearms safety course. And a state judge sided with him in a ruling issued Friday.

The judge said Hopler can keep his gun permit and also ordered police to return the weapons they had seized after the accidental shooting.

A court in 1994 allowed Hopler to purchase firearms and shoot them under strict conditions.

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