Blind Gun Collector to Have His Weapons Returned: ‘It’s a Hobby and You Know What? It’s His Right’
Steven Hopler, a gun collector who went blind in 1991 as the result of diabetes, is due to have his guns returned to him following a judge’s order Friday in Superior Court in Morristown, NJ.
Originally confiscated after he shot himself in the leg four years ago, allegations have also been leveled that Hopler has something of a drinking problem.
That episode began a legal battle that wound up in Morris County Superior Court. Prosecutors argued Hopler shouldn’t have guns because he’s a danger. However, a judge ruled otherwise, saying his disability shouldn’t take away his constitutional right to bear arms.
Robert Trautman is Hopler’s attorney, and said police singled out his client.
“The state argued that Steve drinks too much.” Trautman said. “It’s just simply that the police didn’t want Steve Hopler to own firearms because he’s blind and they felt that was improper.”
In a statement, the Morris County prosecutor said, “From the outset, there was concern as to whether Mr. Hopler was suitable to possess firearms…we are satisfied that we had our day in court…and no appeals will be filed.”
With the ordeal finally over, Hopler said the victory is about more than guns.
“I wouldn’t say power, [it's] freedom,” he said.
Watch the CBS interview, below:
Hopler denies drinking more than two beers a day, though a former tenant (and admitted thief) claimed Hopler could drink thirty in one night. His attorney further argues that, just because Hopler accidentally shot himself while cleaning his weapon does not mean he should lose any basic freedoms.
“He’s always enjoyed collecting. When he lost his sight it was just a continuation of what he’d done his whole life,” Trautman said to NJ.com.
“It’s a hobby and you know what? It’s his right,” he concluded.
(H/T: Daily Mail)
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