Douglas County officials push for fake gun legislation through LB 198

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Neb. (WOWT) -- State lawmakers consider a bill in the legislature, LB 198, which would hold people accountable in crimes where a fake gun is used.

Right now, there’s no charge if a fake firearm is used. Fake firearms previously used include BB guns, pellet guns or even toys.

Douglas County Attorney Don Klein told 6 News he has testified before in front of lawmakers, pushing for a change. This year, though, he wants to see LB 198 pass.

“I have to believe once they realize our purpose here, it's a good purpose,” Klein said.

Douglas County Deputy Attorney Jeffrey Lux testified this week in front of lawmakers.

"We've dealt with different senators concern if we use this or treat it as a real gun if you are incentivizing the use of using a real gun," Deputy Douglas County Attorney Jeffrey Lux said.

The bill has come up in legislature nearly every year since 2014 but has failed every time. Some lawmakers who oppose the bill believe passing the bill could encourage criminals to use real firearms instead of the fake ones.

“I think that's flawed theory. If someone wants a real gun, they are going to get a real gun. They aren't going to get a fake gun. I think that's a flawed way of thinking,” Anthony Conner said, who is the president of the Omaha Police Officers Association.

For crimes where a firearm is used, the penalty is a mandatory five to 50 years in jail. If the bill were the pass, the penalty would be zero to 20 years.