By: José Niño
On April 19, 2023, Constitutional Carry Bill LB 77 was passed in the Nebraska Legislature. According to Dean Weingarten of AmmoLand, Nebraska’s Republican Governor Jim Pillen has vowed to sign this bill into law.
One of the most notable features of this bill is how it bolsters the Nebraska preemption statutes and scraps the Omaha and Lincoln requirements to register handguns in those cities. The legislation outlines the following:
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of any home rule charter, counties, cities, and villages shall not have the power to:
(a) Regulate the ownership, possession, storage, transportation, sale, or transfer of firearms or other weapons, except as expressly by provided by state law; or
(b) Require registration of firearms or other weapons.
(3) Any county, city, or village ordinance, permit, or regulation in violation of subsection (2) of this section is declared to be null and void.
The bill was passed by a vote of 33-14. LB 77 was first introduced by State Senator Tom Brewer and is now en route to the governor’s desk. On April 19, in the wake of the passage of this legislation, Governor Pillen went on Twitter to announce his desire to make LB 77 the law of the land. He tweeted, “I am proud to support LB 77 and Nebraskans’ constitutional rights. Thank you to the Nebraska Legislature for sending this bill to my desk.”
Should LB 77 receive Pillen’s signature, Nebraska will become the 27th state in the nation to adopt Constitutional Carry. The following states already have some form of Constitutional Carry on the books:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
At the rate Constitutional Carry is moving, it would not be a stretch to suggest that all Republican-controlled states in America will soon have Constitutional Carry as the law of the land.
Nebraska would greatly benefit from the passage of Constitutional Carry. Despite being a safe red state, Nebraska is not the friendliest state for gun owners. According to Guns & Ammo’s best states for gun owners rankings, Nebraska finds itself in a sub-par 33rd place. Passing this legislation would allow it to join other respectable red states in adopting the hottest pro-gun law of this decade.
To be sure, there isn’t much progress to be made on pro-gun matters at the federal level. However, Constitutional Carry’s success shows that state legislatures are fertile grounds for pro-gun reforms. Gun owners should pounce on this trend and continue pressuring their legislators to pass pro-gun legislation that goes beyond the right to carry, such as gun control nullification.
There is still plenty of pro-gun resistance left in America.