The Nebraska chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statement after the Nebraska legislature today voted to end debate on LB773, a dangerous bill that would eliminate Nebraska’s concealed-carry permitting system and allow individuals to carry hidden, loaded handguns in public without a permit or safety training. The bill now passes on for continued consideration by the legislature.
“It is frustrating that our lawmakers are using a legislative loophole to override the actions of their colleagues in the Senate Judiciary committee and push through a bill that Nebraska law enforcement directly opposes,” said Katie Townley, a volunteer with the Nebraska chapter of Moms Demand Action. “This bill should not be moving at all – our law enforcement officers have made it clear that this bill will put Nebraskans at risk of gun violence and make their jobs more dangerous. Our lawmakers should listen to the people whose job it is to protect our communities, and stop advancing permitless carry.”
Earlier this week, Nebraska lawmakers bypassed the legislative process and disregarded the concerns and expertise of Judiciary Committee members by pulling LB773 out of committee and onto the Senate floor. Nebraska Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers were joined by the League of Municipalities and the Lincoln Police Chief speaking on behalf of the Nebraska Police Officers Association, and the Police Chiefs Association of Nebraska in providing testimony against the legislation during a prior Judiciary Committee hearing.
Permitless carry laws strip away a critical tool that law enforcement uses to differentiate between responsible gun owners and those who are prohibited from carrying a loaded weapon in public. Permitless carry legislation has been staunchly opposed by law enforcement across the country, including in Nebraska, Alabama, Tennessee, Texas, Louisiana, South Carolina, Indiana, and Ohio.
A recent CNN report on law enforcement leaders speaking out in staunch opposition to permitless carry in several states also highlighted law enforcement opposition in Nebraska, stating: “The Nebraska legislation, according to [Teresa Ewins, Lincoln Chief of Police], raises significant questions: Is this going to make concealed carriers more emboldened to act themselves when they see a crime? Or will they call 911 and let the police do their job? How will officers differentiate between a criminal with a gun and a concealed carrier?”
More information about permitless carry is available here.