I am proud to support LB 77 and Nebraskans' constitutional rights. Thank you to the Nebraska Legislature for sending this bill to my desk. pic.twitter.com/25kn0oT0jC— Governor Jim Pillen (@TeamPillen) April 19, 2023
The Nebraska Legislature passed a National Rifle Association (NRA)-supported constitutional carry bill Wednesday, with a 33-14 majority vote.
The bill, which aims to protect Americans’ right to carry a firearm for self-defense without obtaining additional permits, is now headed to Gov. Jim Pillen for his signature. Gov. Pillen (R) voiced his support for the measure on Twitter.
State Sen. Tom Brewer, who introduced the bill, says the measure guarantees the right to bear arms in Nebraska, in line with the will of the people and the Constitution.
“What we do in this body sometimes is trying to follow through with the will of the people and give them the rights that they have in the Constitution,” Brewer said, per KLKN.
“And sometimes we go out of the way and twist those rights and keep people from having them, and I think (the concealed carry permit) is a case of that,” he continued.
Travis Couture-Lovelady, the Nebraska state director for the NRA, praised the bill, stating that with Gov. Pillen’s signature, Nebraska would become the 27th state in America to protect the right of Americans to carry a firearm outside of their home without additional government permission and fees.
He added that the NRA is working tirelessly to eliminate burdensome carry requirements across the nation, and Nebraska is the latest state to recognize that law-abiding citizens are not the problem, but rather, criminals are.
The constitutional carry bill, known as LB 77, removes the requirement for law-abiding gun owners to obtain a permit to carry a firearm for self-defense.
The law, however, does not affect previously issued permits, nor does it eliminate the existing permitting system. Those who wish to obtain a permit to carry in states that recognize Nebraska permits can still do so.
Furthermore, the bill does not alter who is allowed to obtain a firearm, as felons and other disqualified individuals will continue to be punished under federal, state, and local statutes for unlawful possession of a firearm.
In addition to the permit changes, LB 77 also strengthens preemption, granting the state legislature the sole authority to regulate firearms. This measure aims to prevent confusion and inconsistencies caused by a patchwork of local laws throughout Nebraska, as counties and municipalities will no longer have the power to create their own firearm regulations.
“This is a movement that’s sweeping the nation and the NRA is proud to be the leader behind it,” said Couture-Lovelady.
“Anti-gun lawmakers must recognize that law-abiding people should be able to defend themselves wherever they are — after all, self-defense situations can happen anywhere and without warning. Nebraskans will soon live in a state that further respects their freedom,” he added.
The NRA-ILA contributed to this article.