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Nebraska Legislature Advances Dangerous Bill Allowing Permitless Carry of Firearms; Nebraska Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Respond

March 3, 2023

The Nebraska chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement in response to  the Nebraska legislature advancing permitless carry following a first round of floor debates, which removes permitting requirements for carrying hidden, loaded handguns in public. Permitless carry is dangerous and goes against the advice of public safety experts and the will of Nebraska voters who know this bill will only exacerbate gun violence and make it easier for dangerous people to carry guns in our communities. Volunteers with Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action testified in opposition to the dangerous bill, LB 77.

“Today, our lawmakers decided to put politics over protecting our communities,” said Katie Townley, a volunteer with the Nebraska chapter of Moms Demand Action. “We’ve seen the impacts of permitless carry in other states – often at the objection of law enforcement. This bill puts us at an even greater risk of senseless shootings and will result in people carrying concealed guns in our communities without basic training or a background check. We won’t sit idly by while politics take precedence over common sense and the public safety of Nebraskans.”

Permitless carry would allow people to carry concealed firearms in public places without a permit, criminal history check, or safety training. Instead of pushing dangerous policies that make our communities less safe, Nebraska lawmakers should be working to advance common sense gun safety measures that will save lives. 

Because Nebraska does not require background checks by unlicensed sellers, someone can buy a gun in a private sale with no background check — and the permit may be the only background check a person ever receives. Permitless carry takes away a vital tool from law enforcement to ensure a person carrying a gun in public isn’t a criminal with a dangerous history. Law enforcement across the country, including in Ohio, Alabama, Tennessee, Texas, Louisiana, and South Carolina have been vocal opponents of permitless carry legislation. 

Concealed carry permitting systems enjoy overwhelming support nationally. The majority of Americans support concealed carry permitting systems that help ensure that only responsible gun owners can carry concealed guns in public — 88 percent of Americans think you should get a permit before carrying a concealed gun in public. Over 80 percent of gun owners, non-gun owners, Republicans, Democrats, and Independents agree that high safety standards are critical in issuing concealed carry permits.

Nebraska has weak gun violence prevention laws, and lacks many foundational gun safety laws like comprehensive background checks on all firearm sales, an Extreme Risk law, and its laws prohibiting domestic abusers from possessing guns are dangerously inadequate. 

This legislative session, Nebraska lawmakers have also advanced dangerous legislation to pass nullification laws, which aim to invalidate federal firearm laws and prevent state and local law enforcement from assisting in the enforcement of those laws

Across the country, nullification laws have a chilling effect on law enforcement and local officials working to keep their communities safe. Last year, the U.S. Department of Justice filed suit to prevent Missouri from enforcing its nullification law, alleging that the state’s nullification law has hindered cooperation between federal, state, and local law enforcement in enforcing federal firearms laws. The suit should serve as a reminder to Nebraska that illegal efforts to nullify life-saving gun safety laws will not go unchallenged.

Learn more about gun violence in Nebraska here

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