LINCOLN, Neb. — Today, Everytown for Gun Safety launched the updated “Gun Law Rankings” for 2024, an online tool and website that ranks all 50 states based on the strength of their gun laws and catalogs gun safety laws state by state. This year, Everytown’s state gun law rankings also shows whether states’ rankings increased or decreased over the past year, reflecting progress made by passing common-sense gun safety policies or setbacks as a result of enacting dangerous measures backed by the gun lobby. Everytown’s analysis found that Nebraska ranks 24th in the nation for its gun laws, dropping from a rank of 22 last year.
While many states advanced in the fight against gun violence, last year we saw a few Nebraska lawmakers go to extreme lengths to ignore pleas for action from their constituents. Gun lobby-backed legislators in Nebraska passed a permitless carry law, which dangerously removed the permitting requirement for carrying hidden, loaded handguns in public. Public safety experts and Nebraska voters alike opposed permitless carry, as it makes it easier for people with dangerous histories to carry guns throughout Nebraska communities. Volunteers with Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action testified in opposition to the dangerous permitless law. Lawmakers in the 2024 session are already introducing bills related to arming teachers in schools, ignoring research on school safety that clearly states these policies do not keep our students safe. On Wednesday, Nebraska lawmakers introduced dangerous legislation, Legislative Bill 883, that would repeal the state’s requirement that all handgun purchasers pass a background check by eliminating the handgun purchase permit system.
“Nebraska lawmakers continue to prioritize politics over protecting our families, and our drop in the national gun law rankings is evidence of this choice,” said Jen Hodge, chapter lead with the Nebraska chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Despite clear and vocal opposition to permitless carry by law enforcement and Nebraska voters, Nebraska lawmakers passed this incredibly dangerous legislation, and in the first hours of the 2024 legislative session, have introduced dangerous legislation to further roll back gun safety provisions by weakening the state’s background check system. These gun lobby-backed legislators continue to show themselves as extremists – not representative of our state.”
“The last thing Nebraska should be doing is rolling back its gun safety laws when guns are the leading cause of death for my generation,” said Reagan Kort, high school student and a volunteer with the Nebraska chapter of Students Demand Action. “Our state’s alarming drop in Everytown’s ranking reflects the failure of our so-called leaders’ ability to take meaningful action on gun safety when they passed permitless carry last year. If more guns in more places made us safer, we’d be the safest country in the world. But we’re not. Nebraska has chosen a path of recklessness and utter disregard for human life when it comes to our safety. We deserve better than this.”
In an average year, 196 people die and 378 people are wounded by guns in Nebraska. Guns are the 2nd-leading cause of death among children and teens in Nebraska. In Nebraska, an average of 17 children and teens die by guns every year. Gun violence costs Nebraska $3.0 billion each year, of which $45.5 million is paid by taxpayers. More information about gun violence in Nebraska can be found here.
To speak with an expert about Everytown’s State Gun Law Rankings or gun violence prevention efforts in Nebraska, please contact [email protected].