Current Nebraska law grants broad powers to the governor, allowing him or her to ban the sale or transport of firearms during declared emergencies. Police and other government agents confiscated thousands of guns in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana, though some troops refused to confiscate guns. A current scandal in Canada involves the Royal Canadian Mounted Police breaking down doors to confiscate firearms in High River, Alberta after they had cordoned off the town during a flood. To prevent future confiscations . . .
Second Amendment supporters, including the NRA, pushed for legislative guarantees that such abuses would not occur again. Over two thirds of the states have passed such measures, and legislation is pending in Florida, Iowa, Massachusetts, Colorado, Washington, and Georgia.
The current Bill in Nebraska is LB390 and it removes firearms from the list of items that the governor may regulate during an emergency. The original bill would have banned the confiscation of guns by local authorities as well, but opponents of the original bill were able to remove that provision by using ridicule instead of logic. From the starherald.com:
The original bill would have banned any state or local official from confiscating legally held firearms and ammunition. Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha ridiculed the proposal in a hearing last year, suggesting facetiously that Nebraska should also prohibit the government from confiscating knives, hammers and steel-toed boots.
“How about lawn trimmers?” Chambers asked. “How about sickles that you use to cut grass with? That’s what I use, by the way, and it would make a very effective weapon.”
It’s difficult to see Chambers point. The fact that guns actually have been confiscated during emergencies in this country seems to have been lost on him. In any case, the provision was removed from the bill.
The NRA has requested that members support the watered down bill.
©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.