On Thursday, April 3, 2014, Governor Dave Heineman (R) signed Legislative Bill 699 into law. LB 699, which passed without opposition in the Nebraska Legislature on March 27, makes positive reforms to Nebraska firearm laws. Because there was an emergency clause associated with this legislation, following the Governor’s signature, LB 699 took immediate effect.
LB 699 repeals an outdated state firearms statute and brings state law into conformity with federal law by allowing Nebraska residents to purchase long guns in non-contiguous states. This long-overdue reform will align Nebraska with forty other states that already allow their residents to purchase rifles and shotguns in non-contiguous states, provided that the purchase or transfer complies with state and federal law. LB 699 repeals this antiquated restriction, allowing Nebraska residents the freedom to purchase long guns in states beyond their immediate borders.
LB 699 also requires the reporting of records of persons unable to purchase or possess firearms due to a federal mental health disqualification — adjudicated mentally deficient or involuntarily committed to a mental institution — to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, and changes provisions related to hunting licenses and hunter education programs. Nebraska still retains a strong restoration of rights provision for those who have been involuntarily hospitalized or have been adjudicated mentally deficient, providing the ability for relief through an application process to the court system, allowing for restoration of gun rights.
The NRA thanks Governor Heineman for signing this pro-gun reform bill into law. We also thank bill sponsor Senator Tyson Larson (40) and Senators Steve Lathrop (12) and Amanda McGill (26) for offering their amendments.