Gov. Pillen signs Nebraska’s permitless concealed carry bill

LB77 will go into effect in September
Gov. Jim Pillen signed LB77 into law Tuesday, allowing permitless carry to take effect by September 10.
Published: Apr. 25, 2023 at 11:06 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT) - Tuesday, Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen signed LB77, a bill to allow the permitless concealed carry of firearms.

The new law allows Nebraska residents to conceal a firearm, knife or any otherwise legal “weapon” in their clothes and cars without a government permit or safety class. It will take effect September 10 and Nebraska becomes the 26th state to do it.

During a signing ceremony at 1 p.m. Tuesday. Joining Pillen was the bill’s introducer Sen. Tom Brewer, and other state senators.

Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine spoke with 6 News after Gov. Jim Pillen signed LB77 into law Tuesday.

The bill passed last week in a cloture vote 33-14, with two senators not voting.

Both the Omaha and Lincoln police departments have both spoken out against the bill.

Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine noted the change will impact processes in the future.

“In all my history in this job, it’s always been against the law to carry a concealed weapon and now that’s a total change,” Kleine said. “And so it’s going to impact cases I suppose that we have now charged that way. And I think the loss or impact ability of police officers from the law enforcement perspective is ‘that used to be a crime and now that it’s not sometimes that would lead to other things because we’re still going to keep on doing our jobs right by trying to keep bad guys from having guns and committing crimes with those guns so I just don’t want that to impact our ability to do that job.’”

A majority of Nebraska lawmakers took the side that this is a constitutional right.

“We finally did it with the help of a lot of wonderful, Second Amendment-loving people here in Nebraska,” said Sen. Tom Brewer. “I can’t brag enough about my colleagues here who could have said it’s just too much pain, but they knew we had to get the constitution back to where it should be.”

Background checks will still take place when Nebraskans want to buy a handgun.

Despite that, several extra layers of laws created in Omaha aimed at protecting the public will go away.

Omaha has a gun registry, meaning anyone in the city limits that gets a handgun has to register it at the police department. That will go away September 10.

The city also had about a dozen ordinances, extra layers of protections on who could have a concealed carry permit and who couldn’t, with many of them based on drug charges and domestic violence arrests. Those ordinances will be repealed come September 10.

And those who can legally buy a gun will no longer be required to take a gun safety class.

And for the number of individuals who have currently been charged with carrying a concealed weapon - those charges will be dropped by September 10. 6 News is told there are between 50 and 100 of those cases.