Blind hunters would be able to use laser-sighted rifles to hunt animals in Texas, if a bill introduced in the state's legislature is successful.

Republican Edmund Kuempel proposed an amendment to existing law that would permit "legally blind" people to use a laser-sighting device when hunting.

Current Texas law prohibits the use of laser sights, spotlights and headlights for hunting purposes.

A sighted person would be legally required to accompany the blind hunter.

"This opens up the fun of hunting to additional people, and I think that's great," said Mr Kuempel.

Sighted guide

Blind hunters are not a new phenomenon in Texas.

Under current procedures, a sighted guide can assist a visually-impaired hunter by peering over the hunter's shoulders and advising where to aim the gun and when to pull the trigger.

However, hunters say that without a laser pointer it is difficult to time the shot.

Laser sights, spotlights and headlights are banned in hunting in Texas, because they can make the animals freeze in their tracks.

If the bill is passed in when the state legislature reconvenes in January, it will probably not become law until 2008.

Mr Kuempel's bill would give the state until 1 January 2008, to come up with a definition of legally blind so the law could be enforced.