Nebraska has a constitutional carry bill in play, styled Legislative Bill 502 (pdf). The bill was introduced by Senator Tom Brewer (above), and was heard in committee last week, but don’t look for movement any time soon.
The committee took no action Thursday on Legislative Bill 502. Because the bill does not have a priority designation, it likely would not be scheduled for debate this year even if the committee decides to advance it to the floor.
State Sen. Tom Brewer of Gordon introduced the bill, saying he believes that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. He cited federal court decisions that recognized the rights of individuals to keep firearms for self-defense.
“How is it that the government thinks it can give permission to somebody for a right that’s already guaranteed under the Constitution?” Brewer asked.
Nebraska’s looking to join several other states with constitutional carry bills under consideration; Alabama, Indiana, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Utah. That list may increase as the year progresses. A bill in Kentucky appears to be dead for this year.
Montana passed a “permitless” carry bill for the third time this year. The bill would have extended permitless carry to the one percent of the state where a permit is required, but it was vetoed for a second time by Governor Steve Bullock. A constitutional carry bill was vetoed for the second time by South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard.
New Hampshire and North Dakota have passed constitutional carry bills in 2017.
The Nebraska legislature is unique in that it is unicameral and nonpartisan. Members do not run on party tickets. The current governor, Pete Ricketts, is on the record as strongly supporting the Second Amendment and the right to carry concealed guns. Governor Ricketts criticized President Obama’s gun control efforts in 2016.
It seems likely that Governor Ricketts would sign a constitutional carry bill should one reach his desk.
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