North Omaha violence reduction organization has concerns about concealed-carry bill

A concealed carry bill is being criticized by an Omaha organization
Published: Mar. 19, 2023 at 5:21 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Right in Sen. Terrell McKinney’s North Omaha district is YouTurn, a community organization dedicated to reducing violence among young people. It’s also right on the edge of Sen. Justin Wayne’s District 13.

“We have noticed, much I think as everyone else has, is that in recent months, I think it slowed down now, but there was an uptick in gun violence amongst a very young population,” said Teresa Negron, executive director of YouTurn.

Despite overlapping areas of representation, the executive director of YouTurn disagrees with McKinney and Wayne’s support of a bill to allow permitless concealed carry of a handgun.

“The reason we are here is to try to get our young people not to carry firearms,” said Negron. “We’re trying to tell people not to carry weapons, whether it be concealed or not. This law goes in the face of that very message.”

Early this month, McKinney and Wayne voted to advance LB77 in the legislative process, along with two other Democrats: Mike McDonnell of Omaha and Anna Wishart of Lincoln.

On the unicameral floor, Wayne argued that local Omaha gun ordinances are used as justification to target black and brown kids during traffic stops.

“A police officer testifies last year on this same bill that they use this to bump up kids,” said Wayne.” They’re not talking about bumping up kids in Bennington. They’re not talking about bumping up kids in western Nebraska. They’re talking about bumping up minority kids in Omaha.”

LB77, introduced by Sen. Tom Brewer of Gordon, would do away with that local-level control.

It’s not clear when a second vote will happen on the bill.