Omaha mayor expected to sign executive order banning weapons on city property

City attorney announced the EO as the Omaha council unanimously voted to realign its gun ordinances to comply with new Nebraska law.
Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert is expected to sign an executive order to ban concealed weapons on city property.
Published: Aug. 29, 2023 at 12:48 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 29, 2023 at 5:11 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The Omaha City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to repeal almost two dozen sections of city code pertaining to firearms in order to comply with the state’s new permitless concealed carry law before it goes into effect on Saturday.

Before that happens, however, city officials said Mayor Jean Stothert was planning to sign an executive order upon her return to Omaha on Wednesday that would ban concealed weapons on properties the city owns or leases.

City Attorney Matt Kuhse said during the council meeting that he believes the weapons would already be banned in the building where the City Council meets because it’s also considered a courthouse; as well as in certain specified locations such as schools, police stations, and financial institutions.

“It is the mayor’s intent to issue an executive order to prohibit the possession of concealed firearms on city-owned property, facilities, things of that nature — and a plan has been developed, and is currently underway, with the parks department and the public works department,” Kuhse said.

Omaha City Council President Pete Festersen told 6 News ahead of Tuesday’s meeting that the mayor, police chief, and majority of the city council are opposed to LB77, recently signed into law by Gov. Jim Pillen. That law, which goes into effect on Saturday, will allow Nebraskans to carry concealed weapons without a permit.

Festersen says Omaha has no choice but to abide by the new law, but he said ahead of the meeting that the city would look into exploring other options to keep the city safe.

“Realizing we must do this, I’ve asked the law department to research options we can pursue that we can still put into effect regardless of LB77, to better address illegal guns and public safety in the community,” Festersen said after pre-council Tuesday. “I think what they’ve found so far is there are some common-sense measures we can pursue, things like regulating ghost guns and bump stock accessories and making sure our public spaces are safe...

“It’s our belief, and the city attorney’s belief, that the city can prohibit that from happening in public spaces, public parks, public libraries, public facilities, City Hall, and we intend to do that.”

Festersen said this is important for public safety and he will continue to work on the issue.

Digital Director Gina Dvorak contributed to this story.