Thursday, the 26th of January at 1:30 p.m. I will introduce my constitutional-carry bill (LB 77) in room 1113 in front of the Judiciary Committee. This is my priority bill for the session. I have introduced bills on this subject every year of the six years I have been in the legislature.
The bottom line with this bill is very simple: law-abiding Nebraskans should not have to pay money to the state government in order to exercise a constitutionally protected right. Imagine the uproar there would be if the government tried to make women take a class and pay for a permit to exercise their 19th Amendment right to vote.
I realize this topic generates strong reactions in some people both for and against. It is important to remember that gun control laws only “control” those people inclined to obey the law in the first place. Murder and assault are already illegal. More laws don’t stop gun violence. There is no evidence that supports the idea that restrictions on law-abiding gun owners somehow makes society safer. In fact, there is quite a bit of evidence to the contrary. I encourage folks to read the 2003 and 2004 studies done by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, and the National Academy of Science concerning the efficacy of gun control laws on stopping gun-related crime. It will open your eyes.
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LB 77 only changes the need for a class and a permit, much like twenty-five other states have already passed, including five of our six neighboring states. The laws restricting the carrying of firearms in schools and hospitals, for example, remain unchanged. “Prohibited persons” such as convicted felons, still cannot own or possess a firearm.
I realize it is lawful to open-carry a gun in the Nebraska State Capitol. That said, I want citizens who plan on coming to ask themselves if bringing a gun into the state capitol is going to help attract more senators to vote for the bill? Politics is a game of addition, not subtraction. We need every vote we can find.
When I introduced this bill last session, I encouraged folks not to make the journey to the capitol in Lincoln to testify for the bill. The weather was treacherous I was confident I had the votes and felt I could save people the trouble. Unfortunately, I came up a couple votes short. This year, I encourage every Nebraskan interested in their 2nd Amendment rights to come to the capitol and have their voices heard. I hope the people show up in their hundreds. Be prepared to wait for many hours in line and when it is your turn, don’t be surprised if you’re only given two or three minutes to speak. I am confident the citizens who come will be polite ambassadors for protecting our God-given rights. I look forward to seeing everyone this Thursday!
Please contact my office with any comments, questions, or concerns. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, mail a letter to Sen. Tom Brewer, Room #1423, P.O. Box 94604, Lincoln, NE 68509, or call us at (402) 471-2628.