Next week, the Nebraska Judiciary Committee is scheduled to consider a slew of gun bills during two, separate hearings. The hearings are scheduled to begin on March 3, at 9:30am and 1:30 pm. Those bills to be considered are outlined below:
Judiciary 9:30am Hearing:
LB 85 – Require Nebraska State Patrol to provide notice of expiration of CHP
This bill would generate a renewal notification requirement to inform a CHP holder that their permit is due for renewal at least four months before expiration, by U.S. mail or electronic notice.
LB 244 – Change permit renewal provisions of the Concealed Handgun Permit Act
This bill would permit a CHP holder to renew an expired permit, if done so within 30 business days.
Judiciary 1:30pm Hearing:
LB 116 – Anti-gun legislation that creates a Waiting Period for Handgun Purchase Permits, Increases the Permit Fee, and Requires Suicide Prevention Training to be included in the Nebraska Concealed Handgun Permit Course
Increases the Purchase Permit fee from $5 to $10, to cover the cost of a criminal history record check. The Permit cannot be mailed any sooner than 48 hours after the application is received. It extends the mailing deadline from three days to five days, for it to be mailed to the recipient.
LB 173 – Change provisions relating to carrying a concealed weapon
This bill attempts to eliminate the impact of the Nebraska Supreme Court decision, which set a vehicle concealed carry precedent. The decision stated that a firearm must be physically separated from an individual while in a vehicle, or the firearm was considered to be concealed, and therefore illegally carried if you didn’t have a valid CHP. This would mean that those without a CHP would be unable to travel with their range bag and equipment in the back of an open-ended vehicle (without a trunk) because it would be considered carrying a concealed firearm illegally. Further, even having things like a filet knife in your fishing gear, or a steak knife in your lunchbox could be a chargeable offense of carrying a concealed weapon under this ruling. LB 173 clarifies the law by stating that, as long as a firearm is unloaded and stored in a case, a person who is not prohibited from possessing a firearm can transport that firearm to, or from, any location where it can be lawfully possessed, carried, and used.
LB 300 – Defense of self or others within your home, vehicle, or place of work
Clarifies and strengthens Nebraska’s laws related to Castle Doctrine. There is no duty to retreat from your home or place of work. The bill extends that to also include your vehicle. When facing a threat that meets the reasonable person standard of serious bodily injury, kidnapping, rape, or death in your home, work, or vehicle, the bill establishes a rebuttable presumption. This presumption is that anyone forcing entry into your home, workplace, or vehicle has intent to cause serious bodily injury, death, kidnap you or rape you, and that you are justified to use lethal force to protect yourself or others. The reasonable person standard applied to your defense of self or others in current law supports your ability to use those criteria as an Affirmative Defense. The difference is that currently, you have to prove you acted in a reasonable manner. The bill strengthens the fundamental “innocent until proven guilty” by shifting the burden of proof to the state having to prove you did not act in a reasonable manner.
LB 404 – Change permit and renewal time periods under the Concealed Handgun Permit Act
Extends the current permit from 5 years to 10 years. However, under federal law, in order to use a valid CHP in place of a background check for purchasing firearms, the permit would need to have been renewed within the last three years.
LB 417 – Authorize possession of a firearm on school grounds by a full-time, off-duty law enforcement officer
Currently, off-duty law enforcement officers are not permitted to enter school grounds. This bill would permit actively serving, but off-duty law enforcement, the ability to be on school property in the same way that those responding to a service call while on-duty can.
NRA Members and Second Amendment supporters are encouraged to contact the Judiciary Committee and voice their support of these bills, and opposition to LB 116.