Nebraska bill that would ban local gun regulations most likely dead

A bill that would have prohibited Nebraksa towns and cities from implementing gun regulations stricter than those at the state level is all but dead in the Nebraska Legislature.

The Associated Press reported the measure, LB68, was stricken from the legislative agenda after officials from the state’s two largest cities, Omaha and Lincoln, voiced strong opposition.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Sen. Mike Hilgers, said he plans to work on modifications to the legislation and bring it back again next year.

Amanda Gailey, founder of gun control group Nebraskans Against Gun Violence, said she remains optimistic the bill will be met with the same opposition next year, even if modified.

“The fact that it’s done for the year shows Lincoln and Omaha still have serious concerns,” Gailey said.

The proposal, which advanced to the second of three required votes,  would have eliminated gun regulations that were stricter than state gun laws.

One of the regulations the bill would have nixed is Omaha’s handgun registration ordinance, which many gun owners have argued is an infringement on their Second Amendment rights.

The proposal also included exceptions, called for by the Omaha Police Officers Association, that would have allowed Omaha to keep its ban on openly carrying firearms in public places. Omaha would have also been allowed to require concealed handgun permit holders to store firearms out of reach when traveling with them in the city.

The National Rifle Association continues to support the legislation, and spokeswoman Catherine Mortensen said in an email that the organization is optimistic the bill can do well next year.

“Nebraskans who choose to exercise their right to self-defense face a confusing patchwork of local gun laws that turn them into criminals by simply traveling from one place to another,” Mortensen said.