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Gun rights issues a high priority

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Protecting and maintaining our constitutional right to keep and bear arms for security and defense is fundamental to a free society. Improving and ensuring unified implementation and enforcement throughout the state regarding Nebraska's Concealed Handgun Permit Act, and other gun rights issues, have been high priority while I have been in the Legislature.

In light of this, I was happy to receive good news last week from an Attorney General's opinion I requested. Opinion 10008, addressing my questions regarding a provision from LB 430 passed last year to ensure that local city ordinances that go beyond state law could not be enforced against a concealed handgun permitholder, stated that the City of Omaha's registration ordinance is in violation of state law in regards to permit holders.

Unfortunately, earlier this year, I had to introduce LB 1033 to address Omaha's unwillingness to follow the law enacted by my LB 430 last year making city ordinances regulating the ownership, possession, and transportation of concealed handguns of permit holders null and void. Omaha had been a part of developing, and agreed to, the specific language passed last year in LB 430. Therefore, it was very disappointing to hear last summer that they were not going to abide by the new law, and were still requiring a permitholder to register their handguns, whether a resident or not.

This recent opinion opened an opportunity to ensure that state law is followed in all our cities regarding concealed handgun permit holders. Therefore, I filed an amendment that was slightly different than my LB1033 to LB 817, adding new language to make it clear that Omaha cannot enforce there registration ordinance against a permitholder. The amendment was adopted 42-2 with support from several Omaha senators.

LB 817 should come up on Final Reading after Easter weekend.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding this bill or any issue please call my office at 402-471-2805 or for more information you can view my legislative website at http://news.legislature.ne.gov/dist44/.


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State Sen. Mark Christensen
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