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Nebraska Gun Laws

Nebraska Gun Laws

Nebraska Gun Laws



Over the past ten years, Nebraska’s gun laws have experienced notable changes, reflecting the state’s commitment to preserving Second Amendment rights while addressing evolving perspectives on firearm ownership and public safety. From concealed carry to background checks, these developments aim to strike a balance between individual rights and community security. This article provides a comprehensive overview of the key advancements in Nebraska’s gun laws and regulations from 2013 to 2023, presented in bullet points:

2013 – Concealed Carry Law Simplification:

   – Nebraska enacts legislation to streamline the process for obtaining a concealed carry permit, emphasizing responsible firearm ownership.

2014 – Enhanced Reporting of Mental Health Records:

   – Nebraska improves the reporting of mental health records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to prevent firearm access by prohibited individuals.

2015 – Background Checks for Private Sales:

   – Legislation is introduced to require background checks for private firearm sales at gun shows, promoting responsible transfers and closing potential loopholes.

2016 – Enhanced Penalties for Gun Crimes:

   – Legislation is introduced to enforce stricter penalties for individuals convicted of gun-related crimes, aiming to deter illegal firearm use.

2017 – Firearm Storage Recommendations:

   – Nebraska introduces guidelines promoting responsible firearm storage practices, particularly in households with minors, to prevent unauthorized access.

2018 – “Stand Your Ground” Law Consideration:

   – Nebraska discusses the potential implementation of a “Stand Your Ground” law, allowing individuals to use deadly force in self-defense without a duty to retreat.

2019 – Enhanced Background Checks for Concealed Carry:

   – The state tightens the background check process for concealed carry permit applicants, focusing on mental health history and criminal records.

2020 – Reporting Lost or Stolen Firearms:

   – Nebraska introduces regulations requiring reporting lost or stolen firearms to law enforcement, aiming to prevent potential diversion to illegal markets.

2021 – Firearm Training Requirements for Concealed Carry:

   – Proposed legislation aims to enhance firearm training requirements for concealed carry permit applicants, emphasizing responsible gun ownership and firearm handling skills.

2022 – Enhanced Background Checks for All Firearm Sales:

    – Nebraska explores potential regulations to require background checks for all firearm sales, including private transactions.

2022 – School Safety Legislation:

    – Nebraska considers legislation to enhance school safety by permitting certain school staff to carry concealed firearms on school grounds, subject to proper training.

2023 – “Stand Your Ground” Law Enactment:

    – Nebraska adopts a “Stand Your Ground” law, allowing individuals to use deadly force in self-defense without a duty to retreat under certain circumstances.

2023 – Enhanced Reporting of Mental Health Records:

    – Nebraska continues to improve the reporting of mental health records to NICS to ensure the prevention of firearm access by prohibited individuals.

2023 – Firearm Training and Safety Initiatives:

    – Nebraska introduces initiatives to promote firearm safety education and training among gun owners, emphasizing responsible practices.

Nebraska’s gun laws have evolved significantly over the past decade, reflecting the state’s dedication to responsible firearm ownership and community safety. From concealed carry regulations to discussions on “stand your ground” laws and background check enhancements, these changes underscore Nebraska’s commitment to a balanced approach to firearm regulation. As the state continues to adapt its laws, it remains essential for stakeholders, policymakers, and citizens to engage in informed discussions that prioritize individual rights alongside community security.

Like many states in the Great Plains, Nebraska possesses a weak stance on gun control laws. As is common with all states that have lenient gun laws, Nebraska does not require a license or permit to purchase or possess firearms. Registration for both handguns and rifles is not necessary as well. The only firearm permit mandatory by state law is for carrying and concealment purposes.

Nebraska gun law does differentiate slightly from common state law in terms of purchasing a handgun. Instead of firearm permits at the time of purchase, Nebraska law requires a certificate to validate such an acquisition. To understand the significance of the certificate, Nebraska has a special definition for what constitutes a handgun. Under legislation, a handgun is any firearm with a barrel less than 16 inches long or any firearm designed to be held and used with a single hand. Application for the certificate can be conducted in person at the sheriff’s office, or through mail.

A criminal history check is immediately conducted upon submission of the application. The certificate will be upheld if the applicant is over the age of 21, and is not prohibited by law from purchasing or possessing a handgun (applicant must also not be a drug addict or former felon). Once approved a certificate will be obtained within 3 days. The certificate varies from a standard firearms permit because it does not require a safety or weapons training course, and it only takes 3 days to process as oppose to 30.

Surprisingly, Nebraska did not require a firearms permit for carrying or concealment until January of 2007. A CHP (concealed handgun permit) will be issued and accepted under Nebraska gun law provided that the applicant is: Not prohibited under Federal Law from possessing a firearm, is a resident of Nebraska, submits two sets of fingerprints, passes a series of eye examinations, and pays fees of about $100.

In addition, an applicant must be at least 21 years old and have completed a series of instructional courses that focus on safe firing, handling, proper storage, loading, and techniques for avoiding violent confrontation.

A firearm permit in the form of a CHP, does not allow for weapons to be carried under the consumption of drugs or alcohol or in the following locations: Hospitals, courtrooms, establishments with liquor licenses, places of worship, financial institutions, fundraisers, schools, or sporting events. Issuing of a firearm permit may seem complex or rigorous in Nebraska, but in reality, it is a very easy process and requires only that the applicant has some sort of a good moral disposition and background.

Like most Republican states, Nebraska has very little regulation on gun distributors and sellers. State licenses, record keeping, communication with the state, and police inspections are all not found in the states gun laws. Bulk purchases, universal background checks, ammunition records, and ballistic reports are also not requirements of Nebraska. Firearms permits may be necessary to conceal or carry a handgun, but they are nonexistent in the purchasing or distribution process.

Acquisition of a firearm permit vary across state lines. It’s amazing to think that just a few years ago an individual could not only purchase a handgun without a firearm permit, but could also conceal and carry one as well. Obviously, with the new restrictions placed on concealment, Nebraska has made a significant stride to strengthen its gun control laws.