‘Constitutional carry’ in Nebraska? Unicam committee hears gun permit arguments

NOPD is searching for a suspect who shot a 14 year old.
NOPD is searching for a suspect who shot a 14 year old.(Source: Gray News)
Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 9:12 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT) - There was a full house Thursday afternoon before the judiciary committee at the Nebraska Capitol as supporters of a proposed constitutional carry gun bill came to be heard.

Right now, in order to carry a gun and conceal it, you must get a permit and go through an eight-hour training course. A bill introduced in the Unicameral session Thursday by State Sen. Tom Brewer would drop all of that.

“It’s either a right, or it’s not a right,” he said.

Many pointed to the Constitution.

“Everyone here has to fill out an application, pay a fee and wait for permission. Can anyone here show me where it says that in the Constitution?” Bill Aultz of Nebraska City said.

“I would urge you to pass this and give us our full inalienable rights as they are,” Diego Castro said.

“The major argument against it is it will create crime — that there will be shootouts and bloodshed in the streets,” said Mark Hamill of Omaha.

Based on the data, that’s not true, he said.

But the two biggest police agencies in Nebraska took the other side, telling the committee that allowing anyone who can have a gun also be allowed to conceal it is a bad idea, as did Nebraskans Against Gun Violence.

Nebraska State Sen. Tom Brewer proposed eliminating the required permit and eight-hour safety course currently required to carry a concealed weapon.

“We believe this bill provides multiple unintended loopholes for known gang members, criminals, irresponsible gun-possessers and other prohibited persons to avoid prosecution,” said Anthony Conner of the Omaha Police Officers Association. “It will also hinder officers’ ability to remove firearms from dangerous individuals.”

Lincoln Police Chief Teresa Ewins agreed.

“Without requiring a perming or training or background checks, our communities will not be safe,” she said.

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