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, January 28, 2005

LB 454 and the Future of Concealed Carry in Nebraska

Anyone that has been reading this Blog for a period of time knows that I and many other people in Nebraska believe that concealed carry is and always has been legal in this state. In past postings I have articulated that fact and provided links to articles of the constitution, statutes and case law to re-enforce that position.

Being a realist I understand that the only way this can be put to rest and to ensure that a Nebraskans ability to carry is not contravined by local ordinance and, recognized in other jurisdictions is for the subject to be legislated as a matter of state wide concern.

The citizens of Nebraska deserve more than this from their representitives. Considering what has been legislated in other states in recent years the Senators of Nebraska consider their constituants to be nothing more than children that are not deserving of the same laws that have passed in those states.

Personally I am offended by that abhorent demeanor of the Senators, as should every Nebraskan that is of the age of majority and capable of independant rational thought. Whether one supports this legislation or not anyone that recognizes the under current of arrogance and condemnation at work here should be mad, damned mad. If the Senators are of this tact on LB454, it has to be asked how many other bills do they hold their constituancy in such contempt on?

Their proposed legislation is an antiquated attempt to appease both sides of the issue and the result is a compromise that infers that the citizens of Nebraska are not as responsible as those of the other 46 states that do have some form of concealed carry laws.

To our Loyal SubjectsConstituancy,

We the Senators of the Unicameral hold that the citizens of Nebraska are not equal to and are therefore undeserving of the forms of legislation that has been enacted on behalf of the citizens in several of the other states. We shall provide you with LB454 and in the ensuing years should you demonstrate to us that you can be subserviant subjects accepting of our dominance responsible citizens led by our devine guidance we may at our leisure reward you with a change in this law. Be forewarned however that these changes if effected will only occur in years that require your vote for our re-election.

Sincerely, Your Royal Family Unicameral

P.S. - Do not attempt to influence us to change this bill. The NRA in the form of the representitive lobbying this body supports LB454 in it's present form and, in their recognized infinate wisdom, they have informed us that they do not wish to see it trifled with. We have therefore appeased the largest organization that represents a threat to our individual existence as Senators. The NRA has spoken for you on this matter and in wishing to maintain viable opportunities for our own individual re-elections we will be resisting your attempts to influence change prior to passage of LB454.

In not any specific order of relevance, because they are all equal, I will address the major points of concern that make LB454 unsuitable legislation for the citizens of Nebraska.

This bill does not address the issue of pre-emption.
There is nothing in it that will prohibit any political subdivision from restricting, banning or requiring their own licensing scheme. The ramifications are obvious and that the cities of Omaha, Lincoln and others will address this at city council is without doubt. Once a local law is passed any and all local ordinances are generally grandfathered when new state statute contravines. Once these local laws are instilled they can only be changed with local action.

Granted the CI-1 of the state Constitution is suppose to prevent that from happening, but it has yet to do so and it will doubtless prevent local ordinance in this respect either.

Training Requirements
The entire mandate for training has been designated to the State Patrol for establishment and implimentaion. Under LB454 as it is written the State Patrol could in it's judgement require the applicants for a Nebraska license to carry a concealed firearm undergo any number of hours of training. At their discretion they can also rewrite the requirements when ever they want to without approval of the Unicameral.

As it is now written there is nothing in LB454 that prevents the Patrol from manadating a minimum 40 hours of training be conducted at the Grand Island Law Enforcement Training Center, on a lottery basis and as space provides, to 40 individuals per year at an individual cost of 2000 dollars.

That it would be that extreme is doubtful, but the point is that the Patrol has utter and complete authority lacking any and all oversite from the Unicameral to establish anything they see fit at any time they see fit. That is just not good governement and is far too wide open for bereaucratic abuse.

A stated number of hours of training must be written into this bill. That is and has been the practice in all of the other states. The number of hours, within reason is inconsequential be it 10, 12, 14, 16 or even 20, but the number must be written in the bill.

Time limit for issuance
Under LB454 as it is written a Sheriff must issue a permit within 5 days of the completion of a background check. It is also pretty much up to the Sheriff to establish the entire scope and length of the background check.

Should a conceincious Sheriff determine that a complete and thorough background check take 6 months to a year, or more to complete for certain residents, there is nothing in this bill that hinders that efficiancy. One could profitably wager that friends, associates and campaign contributors would be the kinds of upstanding citizens that qualify to receive their permit in mere days.

This bill must be amended to reflect a maximum number of days the Sheriff has to issue from the receipt of an application. This requirement has not been a problem in any other state and the Sheriff is held harmless by the LB454 for problems arrising from the issuance of the permit anyway.

In the last year or two, the states of Missouri and Ohio have enacted CCW legislation that included recirpocity/recognition. New Mexico a state whose law predates Ohio and Missouri does not yet have that provision.

In recent years many of the other states have changed their laws to create or enhance the reciprocity and or recognition of other states permits. Arizona, Colorado and Oklahoma come immediately to mind.

That reciprocity/recognition cannot be a provision of LB454 is an affront to not only the responsible citizens of Nebraska but to those of the other states as well.

There is more that needs to be addressed in LB454, but the aforementioned articles of the bill are the most agregious, insulting and infringing. Virtually none of the topics addressed in the present form exist in the laws of any of the other states. (Any number of states may have one of these issues, but in their entirety there is no shall issue state, that I know of, that still emcompasses all of the items addressed above.)

This bill is a supposed model that has been passed in many other states. Given that being true, those states have in the last 2-20 years made the necessary changes and their laws no longer represent the original work.

That the citizens of Nebrsaka be required to submit to an original bill that many states have spent at least the last decade rewriting clearly demonstrates the regard in which the Unicameral holds the citizens it is suppose to be responsible to.

Informative point: Yes the NRA supports this bill in it's present form and does not want to see it trifled with. There may be more to report on that in the coming weeks.


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