Gun ordinance changes now Lincoln city code

Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird and police chief Jeff Bleimiester held a press conference Wednesday to explain the changes to a Lincoln firearm ordinance. (Source: KOLN)

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) The second of two recently approved changes to a Lincoln firearm ordinance have been signed into city code.

Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird and police chief Jeff Bleimiester held a press conference Wednesday to announce the new law and discuss what changes will come follow.

On October 28, city councilors unanimously approved a measure that will require guns be hidden, or out of sight, when stored in unoccupied vehicles. The ordinance also requires that doors on the vehicle be locked. Current city code limits the amount of a time an unsecured gun can be stored in a vehicle to 24 hours.

An earlier version of the legislation proposed by councilor Roy Christensen required the firearm be locked in a compartment attached to the vehicle, such as a glove box or in the trunk.

Gaylor Baird said while the measure doesn't go as far as originally planned, she still believed it was good legislation.

The firearm storage rule will accompany another ordinance change that requires the owner of a lost or stolen firearm to report it to law enforcement within 48 hours of the discovery.

Lincoln city councilors passed the measure September 30, which was quickly signed into city code by Gaylor Baird. The change was made after 149 stolen firearms were reported to the Lincoln Police Department in 2018, of which 24 were stolen from vehicles.

Gaylor Baird also announced gun locks will be given out to gun owners free of charge at the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office.

"I don't want to wake up one day and have to console grieving families," Gaylor Baird said. "It's our job to keep people safe, and we do that in a number of ways beyond gun violence measures, but this is a sensitive issue and we need to continue to persevere so that we can bring people together because so much depends on it."