Bill Introduced In Nebraska Senate That Would Ban Both Bump Stocks And Suppressors

Sen. Patty Pensing Brooks (Lincoln) introduced Legislative Bill 780 would make “the manufacturing, sale, purchase or possession of bump stocks and silencers a class IV felony, which carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison and a year of post-release supervision.” While the Nebraska legislature is officially non-partisan, Brooks is a registered Democrat.

LB 780 would not just ban suppressors and bump stocks as the language makes clear:

Multiburst trigger activator means either: (a) A device designed
or redesigned to be attached to a semiautomatic firearm which allows the
firearm to discharge two or more shots in a burst by activating the
device; or (b) a trigger-activating device, whether manual or power
driven, that is constructed and designed so that when such device is
attached to a semiautomatic firearm the rate of fire of such firearm is

It is not clear whether belt loops and agile index fingers will also be banned as they could be considered multiburst trigger activators in the strictest sense of the word.

According to the Omaha World-Herald, both the Nebraska Firearms Owners Association and the NRA have come out against the bill.

Sen. Brooks had this to say about her bill:

The sponsor of the bill, Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks of Lincoln, said she believes that the state would be safer if it banned a device that enables mass shooters to increase their rate of fire. The Democratic senator noted that she is entering the final year of her first term.

“If I’m not re-elected, I think I would walk away from here thinking, ‘You did nothing about the proliferation of guns in your community,’ ” she said Wednesday.

The other gun related bill introduced today was LB 730 by Sen. Justin Wayne of Omaha. His bill would impose a 10% excise tax on ammo sales. Half the proceeds of the tax would go to wildlife conservation but the other half would go to the “violence prevention fund.” This sounds suspiciously like what was adopted in California that funds the “research” efforts of anti-gun Dr. Garen Wintemute. Sen. Wayne, in case you haven’t guess it by now, is a Democrat.

Republicans hold a 2-1 majority in the legislature but that is not a guarantee that either of these bills won’t pass. I could foresee some compromise where suppressors are left out of LB 780 but the “multiburst trigger activators” portion goes on to pass.

Why State Preemption Matters

I read two stories in the last 24 hours that reinforced why every state should have preemption on firearms issues. The gun prohibitionists oppose this saying, in essence, different laws for different locales lets us preserve our pockets of irresponsible gun control.

What makes these two stories different is that they come from red states where gun ownership is more the norm than the exception.

The first story comes from Nebraska where a judge last Friday ordered the return of a Lincoln man’s gun collection. The only problem is that the city ordinances of Lincoln won’t allow him to have them within the city. Under their city ordinances, a person convicted of a weapons charge (including knives) is forbidden to possess firearms within the city for the next 10 years.

Police confiscated 24 handguns last August from Kevin Williams, who was accused of illegally possessing them after being convicted of having an illegal pocketknife, the Lincoln Journal Star reported.

City Attorney Jeff Kirkpatrick said that during a 2010 traffic stop, Williams told a police officer that he had a butterfly knife. Police ticketed him for carrying a concealed weapon, because the knife was too long, and he ultimately paid a $75 fine.

Police learned four years later that Williams had purchased many guns, and his conviction on the weapons charge for the pocketknife made him ineligible to possess a gun in Lincoln for 10 years. An officer then seized Williams’ guns under a city ordinance on unlawful firearm possession.

The knife in question was a butterfly knife. The city charged Williams with unlawful firearm possession. However, he fought it in court and the city requested the charge be dismissed. The Nebraska Firearm Owners Association says this illustrates the need for consistent regulations statewide and I would agree.

The second story comes out of Idaho. In this story, an investigation of the Madison County Sheriffs’ Department shows that they used concealed carry permit fees to buy firearms for the department and for new carpeting. This came just months after the county commissioners approved a request by Sheriff Roy Klinger to increase permit fees by 38% (an additional $20) back in 2013. The sheriff had argued for the increase saying they couldn’t keep up with the demand.

Records turned over to revealed the agency has spent more than $60,000 on expenses not directly related to concealed weapons permit administration since 2011, including two carpet purchases and one outlay for tile in the office. Klingler characterized those expenses as necessary upkeep for his agency and said his office vetted the purchases through the county’s legal team.

He also said critics focused only on larger purchases, but ignored how long his agency saved to be able to spend on the big-ticket items.

Klinger said his critics have a “nefarious” agenda and are engaging in a “hate campaign against government/law enforcement”. Interestingly, both the sheriff and his critics in the Idaho Second Amendment Association agree on permitless carry.

While Pruett and Klingler agree on permitless carry, the ISAA president said Klingler needs to take action to ease the burden on Idaho’s gun owners.

“The ISAA is here to protect Idaho gun owners and regardless of our agreement on permitless carry, we felt it necessary to bring this issue to light,” Pruett said with a nod towards Klinger’s advocacy for statewide permitless carry.

What surprises me most about the Idaho story is that there isn’t a uniform charge for a carry permit throughout the state.

Both of these stories reinforce the need for statewide preemption on firearms matters just like the arrest of a tourist at Ground Zero in New York City illustrates the need for nationwide reciprocity on carry permits.

H/T Josh and Susan

Gonzalez v. Omaha Suit Prods Omaha To Make Changes

The City of Omaha, Nebraska was sued late last month by the Second Amendment Foundation and the Nebraska Firearms Owners Association on behalf of permanent legal alien Armando Pliego Gonzalez. As a result, the City of Omaha is proposing changes to their firearms regulations regarding registration.

Andy Allen of NFOA thinks the Omaha proposals fall far short of what is required under state and federal law. He released this statement regarding the proposals:

Omaha, NE, October 5, 2011– Andreas Allen, President of the Nebraska Firearms Owners Association (NFOA), welcomes the chance to address the issues that Omaha has with its firearms laws; however, the City’s proposal falls short of their stated goal of “making the Omaha Ordinances consistent with State and Federal laws”. Other than addressing the current lawsuit on legal resident aliens, the only inconsistency to State and Federal laws the City has attempted to reconcile in this proposal is creating a registration exemption for the Nebraska Concealed Handgun Permit Act. Consequently, in 2009 the Nebraska Legislature had already declared Omaha’s registration null and void for Nebraska Concealed Handgun Permit holders.

If this was a serious attempt to reconcile City, State, and Federal law, then the City should have started with their definition of a “Concealable Firearm.” Unlike Omaha’s definition of “a firearm having a barrel less than 18 inches in length,” the rest of the State and Nation define a “Concealable Firearm” to have a barrel less that 16 inches and be designed to be operated with one hand. This simple definition difference in Omaha places many common 16-inch barrel rifles into the category of a “Concealable Firearm,” and even though the Omaha Police Department does not register these rifles, a resident in possession of one of these common target or sporting rifles could be found in violation of Omaha’s registration requirements. There is also no mention of removing the obsolete requirement for a written permit from the Chief of Police to purchase a “Concealable Firearm,” even though the process for receiving such a permit has long been removed from the City’s ordinances.

“Any well thought out attempt to correct Omaha’s firearms ordinances should start with removing these unenforced portions of the law. The City’s proposal falls short of their stated goal and the only real effect it would have is creating a fifty percent increase in what many Omaha Police Officers and firearms owners call the ‘Omaha Gun Tax,'”said NFOA President Andy Allen. “Should the City decide they truly want to ‘make the Omaha Ordinances consistent with State and Federal laws’, then the NFOA is willing to assist the City in fixing the inconsistencies in Omaha’s firearms ordinances.”