U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- On 21 February, 2020, hundreds of Second Amendment supporters showed up at the Nebraska legislature to exercise their First and Second Amendment rights. They were there to stop proposed infringements on the right to keep and bear arms. They were successful.
Governor Pete Ricketts tweeted in support of the Second Amendment defenders.
In Nebraska, bills are sent to a priority list by individual senators or by being voted on in committee. Because the time the legislature is in session is limited, if a bill does not make it to the list, it is virtually killed off for the year. You can check the finalized priority list for the Nebraska legislature here.
LB58 and LB816 did not make it to the list. 21 February was the last day to make it to the priority list for 2020.
This year, the threats to the right to keep and bear arms were defeated. They will be back. In summation, here are the two bills and their titles in the Nebraska legislature. LB 58 red flag law:
LB58 – Adopt the Extreme Risk Protection Order Act
Berry Law is a Nebraska law firm. They have written an analysis of LB58. From jsberrylaw.com:
The fundamental flaw in LB 58 is that it provides no due process for an individual to prevent the seizure of their firearms until it is too late. No other fundamental right is treated so cavalierly. After all, we don’t allow the government to raise our property tax assessments without notice and the right to a hearing before the assessment. We don’t trust the government to take away drivers’ licenses from those accused of drunk driving without providing notice and a hearing before the license is temporarily revoked. If we protect ourselves from taxation (not a fundamental right) and driving (also not a fundamental right) with notice and a fair hearing, it is extremely dangerous to start granting government the right to confiscate our legally obtained property without prior notice and a hearing.
LB 816 was the more prominent bill and received more media attention. In the legacy media, LB816 was referred to as a suicide prevention bill. LB 816 would require a permit to purchase most semi-automatic rifles and shotguns. From the Nebraska legislature, LB 816:
LB816 – Provide for information and training on firearm safety and suicide prevention and place restrictions and requirements on certain transfers of firearms
Berry Law gives an explanation of how LB816 would work. Purchasers of most semi-automatic rifles and shotguns would have to meet the same requirements as for obtaining a concealed carry weapons (CCW) permit. From jsberrylaw.com:
This new standard for being able to purchase handguns and “designated firearms” is significant because there are a series of minor legal violations that would prohibit a person from the privilege of obtaining a CCW permit, but not prevent people from otherwise owning or enjoying firearms. Additionally, no one under the age of 21 may have a CCW (or purchase a handgun) but the lawful age for ownership of rifles and shotguns is 18. Thus, LB 816 would prohibit the purchase or transfer of said firearms to anyone who isn’t 21 years of age.
Also of significance is that the bill defines “designated firearms” to include parts and accessories that do not meet any definition of a firearm. LB 816 seems to require a permit to purchase parts such as a flash hider, magazine, a folding stock or any countless numbers of accessories that will need a certificate to purchase. The Act requires the State Patrol to provide a list of all firearms and parts that meet the definition and publish the list annually (although exclusion from the list does not render the firearm or part exempt from the law).
The Nebraska bills were stopped because Second Amendment supporters showed up and used their First Amendment and Second Amendment rights.
(LB 958 was the third bill mentioned below. It was less of a threat than the other two bills.)
What was clear after Friday’s public hearings is that nothing will be done this year on gun control legislation. In the end, none of the three bills was prioritized by Friday’s deadline, meaning they won’t advance this year.
Brett Hendrix, a 28-year-old former Marine from Omaha, came to the hearings — and later testified — holding a black AR-15 rifle, and wearing a camouflage helmet and flak jacket.
“I’m here because no rights in the Second Amendment need to be abridged,” Hendrix said.
But gun control advocates said something needs to be done to keep guns away from people contemplating suicide or harm to others.
Consider the inherent bias of the sentence:
What was clear after Friday’s public hearings is that nothing will be done this year on gun control legislation.
A sentence, just as factual, but from a conservative perspective would be:
What was clear after Friday’s public hearings is that nothing will be done this year to infringe on Nebraskan's Constitutional rights.
Notice the focus of the last paragraph mentioned:
“something needs to be done to keep guns away from people contemplating suicide or harm to others.”
Many things are already being done. Family members often disable firearms or temporarily store them away from relatives who are contemplating suicide. There are several voluntary ways to accomplish this. There are already mechanisms for dealing with people who are contemplating harm to others.
There is a tremendous difference between doing something, and demanding the government do something by force.
If a person believes the government is always beneficent, and guns are always bad, giving the government the power to take guns from people without due process is an easy decision.
It is easy to give up someone else's rights and property.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.