Nebraska conceal carry debate proceeds in Legislature as filibuster continues

State Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh promised to ‘take up time, time, time’ in protest of LB574, a bill banning gender-affirming healthcare for children.
Concealed carry was the talk of the table in the unicameral again Thursday.
Published: Mar. 2, 2023 at 7:24 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT) - State senators continued their work in Nebraska’s state capitol pushing forward with efforts to turn bills into law while even as one lawmaker has promised to delay by using the rules.

“I’m here to take up time, time, time.”

State Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh of Omaha reminded her colleagues Thursday that she plans to filibuster everything. She’s been critical of the Republican majority and what she calls their anti-LGBTQ+ bills.

“I continue to be asked what I am doing. What am I doing? I’m slowing things down,” she said.

With only 32 days left in the session, the Omaha Democrat estimates that around 40 bills would have the necessary time to pass — out of more than 800 submitted.


Meanwhile, the 2nd Amendment debate from Wednesday carried into Thursday. The bill would allow anyone who can legally get a gun — to conceal it in public without needing a permit or the 8-hour safety training class.

“It would require the person to immediately notify law enforcement upon contact and that would include an emergency responder also,” State Sen. Tom Brewer of Gordon said.

“I think that too often we get bogged down with left, right, and which side are you on,” State Sen. George Dungan of Lincoln. “I think it’s good to acknowledge that this is complicated.”

The bill has the opposition of Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert and Omaha Police Chief Schmaderer, arguing that it takes away local control and will make it harder for officers to do their job.

“I cannot stand here knowing that in the U.S. that we have a unique problem of children dying from firearm deaths and continue to support legislation that will only exacerbate the problem,” State Sen. Jen Day of Omaha said.

“A police officer testified last year on this same bill that they use this to ‘bump up’ kids,” State Sen. Justin Wayne of Omaha. “They’re not talking about ‘bumping up’ kids in Bennington or western Nebraska. They’re talking about ‘bumping up’ minority kids in Omaha.”

“From my understanding, the 2nd Amendment is the only amendment in the Constitution where you have to pay to exercise — you have to pay to train. No other freedom we have incorporates those two things,” State Sen. Ben Hansen of Blair said.

A bill in the final stages needs three rounds of debate in the Unicameral before the vote.

The Speaker of the Legislature, State Sen. John Arch, had lawmakers work through the normal lunch break to fit in more debate.