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Nebraska lawmakers conduct hearing on bill to extend handgun waiting period

Nebraska state capitol building. (AP file photo)
Nebraska state capitol building. (AP file photo)(Nati Harnik | AP)
Published: Mar. 3, 2021 at 4:27 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT) - A hearing took place today about proposed changes to Nebraska’s gun laws. Lawmakers tackled everything from changing the rules to carrying a concealed weapon and extending the waiting period.

Zeroing in on LB-116 from State Sen. John McCollister of Omaha, there are two key components debated this afternoon in Lincoln: One part would expand the length of time for a background check from three to five days, with a mandatory two-day waiting period, to issue a handgun certificate. The other key part would require that permit come with information on suicide prevention.

“The short delay usually ends in one day. It will give a person a time to reflect on the impulse to purchase a handgun and hopefully change one’s mind,” McCollister said.

Melody Vaccaro with Nebraskans Against Gun Violence said, “Over half of those who died in Nebraska by suicide use a firearm to end their life.”

Supporters pointed out that this bill would not stop anyone from getting a gun. Many opponents told the government affairs committee that they aren’t against the suicide prevention component of this, but question whether that would have an impact.

David Pringle opposes the bill.

“When Sen. McCollister said we weren’t going to lose any more 2nd amendment rights with this, I agree. We’re not going to lose any more than we already have,” he said.

Kenda Kuehner said she also opposes the bill.

“We have medicines that are lethal all sorts of things that are lethal, but we don’t have a waiting period for all of those things,” she said.

McCollister said his bill has a singular focus: an effort to reduce suicides.

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