From the Heartland

This is my soap box, on these pages I publish my opinions on firearms and any other subject I feel like writing about.

Friday, October 08, 2004

When a right is not a right or don't open carry in Nebraska even if it is legal.

Many of you have read many or all of my previous dissertations submitted to Freedomsights weekly fussilade, and I graciously thank Jed for including them on his site.

More to Come
I am by no means finished with the issue, but want to take a few moments to revisit A Follow Up and a Challege. One of the reasons that several of our state Senators will not vote for a concealled carry law is because as they profess "We don't need one, open carry is legal, if you want or need to carry a gun just put it on, there is no need to hide it."

It Just Ain't there
While I can find nothing in the Constitution or state statutes that recognize or state that open carry is in fact legal, every public official I have ever talked to has assured me that it is legal.

As a talking point it may be legal, but as practically applied I have heard from too many of our local men in blue that it is not legal in a practical sense. Every local police officer I have spoken with has to a man/woman has told me the same thing.

Disorderly Conduct
If you are so bold as to exercise the right to carry a sidearm openly in the city of Lincoln, Nebraska you will most likely be cited for disorderly conduct. All it will take is one frantic phone call to the police that there is a person with a gun. If that call is made you have disturbed someones peace and will be cited, period end of discussion.

I have been taken to task on this issue in the past, the implication is that it is an urban legend more suitable for scarey tales around the campfire. Or "Yea they tell you that just to scare you off from open carrying, the cops can't give you a ticket because your conduct is legal it would get thrown out of court, there is no cop will would waste his time on crap like that."

Welcome to Reality
I have just this evening returned from a municipal function where I was engaged in conversations with several of our local finest. Again it was reaffirmed to me that while open carry is legal don't do it. I was informed that there have been a few instances where officers responded to a man with a gun call, only to find the individual was legal. When the complaining party was told that nothing could be done as no law was being broken the complaintant then stated that the "offender" pointed the gun at them. At that point the person was arrested for an assault charge and had to fight it out in court.

Out of deference to the officers involved and my relationship to them I will not name names. Suffice to say that I believe them when they articulated what happened. I also believe them when they say it has been directed that a reason be found to charge any and all persons that dare to exercise a right that everyone from the Governor and down to the County Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police claim we have.

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