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.