On September 2, 2023, LB 77 will go into effect. This law eliminates the need for Nebraskans to obtain a concealed carry permit and provides them a constitutional right to carry a firearm for their personal protection.  Let’s take a look at several key provisions of this bill:

Who is eligible?

Nebraska Revised Statute 69-2441 states that “Except as otherwise provided in this section, a person, other than a minor or a prohibited person,  may carry a concealed handgun anywhere in Nebraska.”  In Nebraska, a minor is anyone under the age of 19.  So this law allows those 19 and older who are not prohibited persons to carry a concealed firearm without a permit.

What is a prohibited person?

A prohibited person in Nebraska is somebody that has been convicted of any felony, a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, or is subject to a valid restraining order/protection order in any state within the US.  For purposes of felony convictions, this means any felony that has not received a pardon with full restoration of gun rights.  For misdemeanors, a pardon will always restore gun rights.  Counties are split on whether a set aside can restore firearm rights. The purpose of this blog is to primarily focus on LB 77, if you have any detailed questions about whether a set aside will restore your firearm rights, give one of our skilled attorneys at Liberty Law Group a call today.

What is a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence?

This can be confusing.  A misdemeanor crime of domestic violence is much broader than just being convicted of misdemeanor domestic assault. Nebraska Revised Statute 28-1206 states that a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence means a crime that has “as an element, the use or attempted use of physical force or the threatened use of a deadly weapon; and Is committed by another against his or her spouse, his or her former spouse, a person with whom he or she has a child in common whether or not they have been married or lived together at any time, or a person with whom he or she is or was involved in a dating relationship as defined in section 28-323.”

Later in 28-1206, the Legislature clearly laid out several offenses which automatically qualify as a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence if committed against the previously mentioned class of people: Third Degree Assault, Stalking, False Imprisonment, Third Degree Domestic assault, and attempt or conspiracy to commit any of these crimes.

The purpose of this blog is to primarily focus on LB 77, if you have any detailed questions about whether you’ve been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, give one of our skilled attorneys at Liberty Law Group a call today.

Where can I Not Carry a Concealed Handgun under LB 77?

As previously mentioned, 69-2441 states that “except as otherwise provided, a person…may carry a concealed handgun anywhere in Nebraska”.  That being said, there are a number of exceptions that those who plan to carry need to keep in mind. Common places include, but are not limited to: Any place or premises that has prohibited the carrying of concealed weapons (look for signs clearly posted on the entry doors), Police Stations, Jail/Prisons, Courtrooms, Polling stations, many government meetings (including school boards, county boards, and legislative meetings), Banks and financial institutions, professional or semiprofessional athletic events, school athletic events, schools and colleges, churches/places of worship, hospitals/doctor’s offices, and establishments deriving over 1/2 of their total income from alcohol sales (no bars/liquor stores).  This is not an exhaustive list, please refer to 69-2441 for the full list.

How to store a handgun in instances where you find yourself at one of the prohibited places

According to 69-2441, if you find yourself at a church, bank, school, or other prohibited place and can’t carry the firearm into the premises, then you must securely store the firearm in the vehicle.  The statute requires you to either lock the firearm in a lockbox or to store it in a locked container “securely attached to the vehicle or motorcycle”.

Other situations where an otherwise lawful concealed carrier can’t carry

If you have consumed alcohol or controlled substances (other than prescriptions), you can no longer legally conceal a firearm.

What to do if you’re contacted by law enforcement or emergency services personnel?

If you are contacted by Law Enforcement or emergency services personnel, you are required to inform them that you are carrying a concealed firearm.  During the encounter, the officer or emergency services personnel can secure the handgun for the duration of the contact if they deem it necessary for safety purposes. Failure to report that you are carrying a concealed weapon is a crime (penalty below).

Penalties for violating LB 77

The penalty for violating any part of LB 77 for a first offense is a Class 3 Misdemeanor (up to 90 days in jail, a $500 fine, or both), and for a second or subsequent offense it’s a Class 1 Misdemeanor ($1,000 fine, 1 year in jail, or both).

If Nebraska no longer requires a concealed handgun permit, is there still a reason to get the permit?

Although Nebraska will no longer require a permit to carry a concealed firearm, there are several reasons that you may still want to consider obtaining a permit:

1) Training.  Concealed handgun classes in Nebraska offer valuable training tools for those wanting to carry.

2) Travel. If you plan on travelling out of state and want to be able to carry a firearm, you will need to obtain the permit.  However, you will need to do your homework and make sure that a) the state you are travelling to has reciprocity with Nebraska, and b) that you follow all regulations about magazine limits so you don’t find yourself charged with a crime.

3) Replaces firearm purchase permit.  To purchase a handgun in Nebraska, you either need a Firearm Purchase Permit or a Concealed Handgun Permit.  The permit replaces the permit and allows you to be able to legally buy handguns.

If you’ve been charged with a violation of concealed handgun laws, or have any other firearms related questions, give our skilled attorneys at Liberty Law Group a call today. 402-865-0501.