Nebraska senator confident permitless carry bill will pass

Nebraska senator confident permitless carry bill will pass
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

One wouldn’t picture Nebraska as being anti-gun. Then again, it’s not really. It’s just not as pro-gun as some might imagine.

That’s because, like many places, a couple of urban areas have a lot more say in matters than they should. Just enough to block permitless carry from passing last year, as a matter of fact.

Well, the lawmaker behind that bill is back with it again, only this time, he thinks it will pass.

he new legislative session is just weeks away, and one state lawmaker believes that some controversial bills have a good chance at passing.

Sen. Tom Brewer said that includes his gun rights bill, which would bring permitless concealed carry to Nebraska.

The proposal fell just two votes short of the 33 needed to overcome a filibuster last legislative session.

Brewer said in a column last week that November’s election made the Nebraska Legislature slightly more conservative, so there are finally enough votes to advance several priorities.

After the last session, Brewer told Channel 8 in June that this bill would be his top priority going into the next session.

“The very first bill that I will drop in the next session will be constitutional carry,” he said. “What the decision today has done has helped us to better shine a light on why it’s important, and to take away some of the concerns folks had about legalities.”

Constitutional carry, permitless carry, they both amount to the same thing. They mean that law-abiding citizens don’t have to ask for government permission to carry a firearm.

And they should pass it.

Critics will claim that constitutional carry will benefit bad guys. Some have started trying to frame it as “criminal carry.” What they miss is that the bad guys are already carrying guns. It’s only the law-abiding being hamstrung by permit requirements, which in Nebraska includes mandatory training for a carry permit.

That creates still more delays, all while the bad guys are just ignoring the law.

So permitless carry doesn’t empower anyone but the law-abiding.

It’s my sincere hope that Nebraska passes his measure. No one should have to take a particular class in order to exercise a constitutionally protected right, and the Second Amendment is about the right to keep and bear arms.

Permitless carry is just a step in the right direction, to be sure.

But do they have the votes? That remains to be seen. I’m not as familiar with the politics of the state as I’d like to be before speculating on it, but falling just a couple of votes shy last year is a promising sign this year. If they can get those two votes, then permitless carry is a done deal in the state and the people of Nebraska will no longer be required to jump through hoops just to get a carry permit.

Especially since there’s little evidence that training requirements yield any actual benefits except to make anti-gunners feel better.

Then again, screw poor people who want to defend themselves, right?