NFOA Press Release on LB289

NEBRASKA FIREARMS OWNERS ASSOCIATION
NFOA
P.O. BOX 27131
Omaha, NEBRASKA 68127

For Immediate Release:
Nebraska Firearms Owners Association Applauds Efforts of Senators on LB289: Nebraska Firearm Laws Equality Act

Lincoln, NE, January 27, 2016 – the Nebraska Firearms Owners Association (NFOA) commends the efforts of Senators Laura Ebke, David Schnoor, Bill Kintner, Tommy Garrett, and Brett Lindstrom to pass Senator Ebke’s LB289 that would have brought equality to the firearms laws in Nebraska. The bill would have removed municipal ordinances in direct violation of Article One – Section One of the Nebraska Constitution to bring cities into compliance with our State Constitution by ending the patchwork of firearms restrictions and ensuring uniform treatment for all law abiding gun owners. This morning, however, a few senators chose politics over principle when they voted against the bill. These include Senators Galen Hadley District 37, Bob Krist District 10, Roy Baker District 30, Heath Mello District 5, and Adam Morfeld District 46.

Some of the senators opposing the bill, including Senator Kolowski and Senator Mello, justified their votes claiming their constituents have asked them for more local control over laws.
“We understand the desire and need for local control on issues such as how tax dollars are spent,” NFOA president Rodney Moeller stated, “but there’s a difference between that and state level laws managing other issues. Both Lincoln and Omaha have gun control laws so oppressive it would be absolutely absurd if applied similarly to any other issue. Consider a driver who receives a DUI, completes rehabilitation, and is reissued their driver’s license by the State of Nebraska, but being told by the City of Lincoln that they are prohibited from driving within the city limits due to a local ordinance prohibiting driving by anyone with a prior DUI. There are some issues that should be managed at a State level.”
The City Ordinances of Lincoln remove firearm rights of Nebraska citizens for over two dozen nonviolent misdemeanor infractions – well in excess of State and Federal Law, including carrying a folding Boy Scout-style pocket knife that’s 3 5/8 inches long. Omaha City Ordinances allow for the confiscation of a legally owned handgun by an out-of-city, or out-of-state, visitor traveling through city limits if pulled over and they don’t have their handgun registered in Omaha. These and other minor infractions have their own punishments and fines at a city level. To further use minor infractions at a city level to restrict the fundamental rights of firearm ownership and self-defense is a violation of Article 1 of the Nebraska State Constitution. Senator Morfeld even attempted to assert that Article One is subject to interpretation, and that the Unicameral could redefine its intended and clear meaning.
Debate in the legislature over the bill was heated with testimonies from citizens, community organizations, and representatives of several Cities with Washington DC-style firearm laws. The City of Lincoln claimed that if LB289 passed, then they would not be able to protect women and children at battered women’s shelters within the City because the law would prevent them from posting signs prohibiting firearms on those properties.
“Protecting women and children who are victims of violent crime is our responsibility as a society,” Moeller continued. “For years, the NFOA has been supporting bills in the legislature like the Victim Protection Act (LB612) that would do just that. It’s unfortunate that the City of Lincoln knowingly misled senators with their dishonest testimony that the Firearm Laws Equality Act would prevent the City of Lincoln from posting signs on their women’s shelters when State statutes clearly allow both government and private entities to prohibit firearms within their buildings.”
Various individuals and organizations, including the NFOA, claimed that the local gun control ordinances are unconstitutional when compared to Article 1 of the Nebraska State Constitution.
However, several senators, including Senators Morfeld, Patty Pansing Brooks District 28 and Burke Harr, District 8 refuted these claims by suggesting the local ordinances are not unconstitutional because the city ordinances have not been challenged in court and without a court decision, there is no way to determine constitutionality.
“Sure there’s an expensive court system and procedure to challenge the city ordinances,” Moeller stated in response to Senator Morfeld, Pansing Brooks, and (B) Harr positions. “But that’s a lawyer’s perspective and overlooks two very important points of the unconstitutional city ordinances. First, the majority of people who are victims of these oppressive gun control city ordinances are low-income and don’t have the money to pay for expensive lawyers to defend them in court – they rely on City-employed defense attorneys. I’ve met these victims, many who unknowingly were found guilty of these minor infractions, and they couldn’t afford to fight a massive city government with unlimited resources fueled by tax dollars. And that’s the second point: tax dollars. It’s not the City politicians or the even the State Senators, like Mello, Kolowski, Pansing Brooks and (B) Harr, who end up paying the court fees when the city ordinance is found to be in violation of the Nebraska State Constitution. It’s the tax payer who’s already stretched thin by property, sales, and other local taxes who foots the bill. The City of Omaha has already lost court challenges to their unconstitutional gun control ordinances. How many more thousands of dollars should the tax payers be forced to spend to defend overreaching, unconstitutional city ordinances?”
NFOA Mission
Nebraska Firearms Owners Association (NFOA) is organized for the purpose of voicing the opinion of its membership to the Nebraska Legislature and other law making bodies within the state as well as Federal level, as it pertains to firearms. NFOA members also make it a priority to educate residents on firearms related issues.

On the web:  www.NebraskaFirearms.org or email: info@nebraskafirearms.org for more information.

Contacts
Rodney Moeller
President, Nebraska Firearms Owners Association
P.O. BOX 27131
Omaha, Nebraska 68127
402-404-NFOA (6362)

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Urgent Member Alert

January 24, 2016

Dear Member,

Certain elected representatives in our Unicameral are attempting to avoid taking a stand and putting into question whether they actively uphold their oath to the Nebraska Constitution. A motion by Senator Ernie Chambers to place LB289 back into the Legislative Committee (effectively killing this critical piece of legislation) is actually being considered by other State Senators, even some who successfully moved it out of committee so that it could be debated and openly voted on by our elected representatives.
A failure to act and honorably discharge their responsibilities as our elected representatives in the Unicameral is shameful!
The duty of the Unicameral is to serve the citizens of Nebraska by actively and fully discharging their responsibilities to represent, fully discuss and vet legislation and uphold the Constitution.
Contact your Senator now and let them know you will hold them accountable for killing this legislation by allowing it to be recommitted back to the Legislative Committee.

If you can join us at the Capitol to watch, debate resumes at 10am Monday.

Board of Directors,
Nebraska Firearms Owners Association.

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Call to Action!

Rumor has it that debate will finally begin on LB-289 today & resume on Monday!
We have heard a lot of misconceptions about 289 from Senators & even from the Police Chief in the states 2nd largest city.

LB-289 does Not ‘take away’ anything from cities that have enacted UnConstitutional ordinances…they Never have had that Authority & this proposed bill simply brings them in line with the Nebraska Constitution!

We Absolutely need to break the switchboard at the Capital to get this passed! http://nebraskalegislature.gov/senators/senator_find.php

There are some Senators sitting on the Freedom Fence…lets respectfully help them over to the correct side!

*Senator John Stinner #402-471-2802
*Senator Merv Riepe #402-471-2623
*Senator Galen Hadley #402-471-2726
*Senator Les Seiler #402-471-2712
*Senator Burke Harr #402-471-2722
*Senator Kathy Campbell #402-471-2731
*Senator Bob Hilkemann #402-471-2621
*Senator Paul Schumacher #402-471-2715
*Senator Kate Sullivan #402-471-2631
*Senator Bob Krist #402-471-2718
*Senator Kate Bolz #402-471-2734
*Senator Roy Baker #402-471-2620

Nebraska Firearms Owners Association's photo.
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Your Urgent Action Needed!

 

CCRKBA

 

 Perfect case for LB-289 in Nebraska!

The Nebraska Legislature is set to debate the merits of LB-289 & we do not have to look far to see a real need for State Preemption of firearm laws in the Cornhusker state.

This past July a Lincoln Nebraska man had his firearm collection returned to him after a court case that was spearheaded by the Second Amendment Foundation.

The individual in this case was eligible to own firearms on a federal & state level but he was excluded from this Constitutional Right inside the city limits of Nebraska’s capital city because of a misdemeanor conviction in his past.

Reactionary municipal ordinances like this are in direct violation of Article One Section One of the Nebraska Constitution & the intent of LB-289 is to bring cities into compliance with their State Constitution.

Our Affiliate The Nebraska Firearms Owners Association is leading the charge towards State Preemption as lobbying efforts from the Bloomberg front groups begin to ramp up their efforts.

The N.F.O.A. does not need your money to win this battle, they need the Pro Liberty Grassroots involvement of Patriots like you. Take one minute, call a Nebraska State Senator & let them know that you support LB-289!

You can use the following link to get a list of the members of the Nebraska legislature.

Thank you for your help at this critical time.

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Thoughts on LB289

Below is a brief description of LB289 from Creighton Law Professor, and former Dean, Patrick Borchers. I appreciate Mr. Borchers taking time to share his thoughts with us on this critical piece of legislation.

 THOUGHTS ON LB289

by Patrick Borchers

Senator Ebke’s bill (LB 289) is an important effort to unify firearms regulation throughout our state and not allow localities to implement regulations that likely violate the Second Amendment.

Perhaps a brief history is in order. The U.S. Constitution as ratified gave to the federal government limited, enumerated powers. The Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments to the Constitution) was not included. The Anti-Federalists argued (it would turn out correctly) that the powers given to the federal government would expand and eclipse the powers of states.

As a concession to the Anti-Federalists, the Bill of Rights was enacted. As it would turn out, this was a fortunate event. The powers of the federal government (driven mostly by a vastly expansive interpretation of the Commerce Clause) turned out to be almost all-encompassing.

As the Supreme Court ruled as to the First Amendment (protection of free speech), the Fourth Amendment (protection against unreasonable searches) and various other parts of the Bill of Rights, the Supreme Court eventually ruled that the Second Amendment conferred a personal right to bear arms and that this right applied as against both the state and federal governments.

But for this to be truly meaningful, the right must apply across the state and not be subject to restrictive, local regulation. With terrorist attacks in the U.S. becoming an unfortunate reality, gun owners who seek to protect themselves and others who might be targets ought not be hamstrung by local and inconsistent regulation.

Senator Ebke’s LB 289 offers an important antidote.

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Gun Rights and Conventions by Senator Laura Ebke

Gun Rights and Conventions
12/29/15
A certain misunderstanding has emerged, and I hope that those of you in the district (or with friends in the district) will help me set people straight.
My position on gun rights has always been clear: between the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and Article I, Section 1 of the Nebraska Constitution, I believe that there is very limited room for legislation which would limit gun rights–and an argument could certainly be made that some of the limits we have already are at the margins of being constitutional.
I sponsored two pro-gun pieces of legislation in the 2015 legislation session: LB184 (which would have allowed private schools to designate security teams made up of CCW permit holders, just as churches are currently allowed to do), and LB289 (a “pre-emption” bill, which prohibits local municipalities from creating stricter gun regulations than the state has enacted–the intent being that if citizens who are in possession of, or carrying, a gun legally in one town, they ought not be subject to arrest by going into another municipality and doing the same thing).
LB184 was killed in committee.
LB289 was actually moved out of committee late in the session, and should make it onto the floor for debate during the next session. Some may wonder why I–as one who likes local control–believe that municipalities ought not have the right to enact their own gun ordinances. My rather simplistic view is this: I don’t believe that cities ought to be able to limit Free Speech, Freedom of Religion, or Freedom of the Press and I don’t think local law enforcement, county prosecutors or judges should be able to dispense with warrants or habeas corpus. Our Civil Liberties, as enshrined in the Bill of Rights (the first 10 amendments to the Constitution) should not be subject to local whim.
A pro-gun rights group of some sort–which one would think would normally be in support of my position–has decided to begin a campaign suggesting that I want to destroy the Second Amendment. Perplexing, I know, but not so much so if you understand the nature of the group, and the fear-mongering that some political advocacy groups engage in. This particular group has decided that my LR35 (which I wrote about here–as well as in a number of other instances: https://www.facebook.com/notes/sena…) is the promotion of a “constitutional convention” (sometimes referred to by this group as a “dangerous con-con”) that will result in the end of the republic as we know it, and certainly the end of the Second Amendment. THESE ARE UNADULTERATED SCARE TACTICS, designed to put this organization in the position as the protector of your liberties (if only you’ll send them a donation when they call or write you back, so that they can “continue to fight for you”).
LR35 would be Nebraska’s application for a Convention of States (NOT a Constitutional Convention). A Convention of States is a CONSTITUTIONAL method (Article V) of PROPOSING amendments to the Constitution. Anything that comes out of the Convention must still be RATIFIED by 38 states, or it doesn’t become part of the Constitution. This application for a Convention of States deals with specific issues (from the resolution): “The Legislature of the State of Nebraska hereby applies to Congress, under the provisions of Article V of the Constitution of the United States, for the calling of a convention of the states limited to proposing amendments to the Constitution of the United States that impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and limit the terms of office for its officials and for members of Congress.”
Today, I started receiving phone calls which were the result of “robocalls”, it would appear. People from the legislative district were called, had it insinuated (or were outright told) that I was ready to destroy the Second Amendment, and that they should “press 1” to talk to Senator Ebke. Typically those calls get directed to my office. Today, they went to my personal cell phone, which lit up for a little while. The nature of the calls was such that most of them went directly to my voicemail before I could answer them–I will be responding personally to those who called and left a message.
It would appear that I am now in a rather unique position–I am publicly criticized by those who want gun control, contrary to a plain reading of the Nebraska Constitution, for my efforts on LB289; and I’m publicly criticized by one of the most zealous gun rights groups in the country for seeking to limit the federal government and impose fiscal restraints on the federal government through a means that is absolutely constitutional (Article V of the Constitution was written by “Father of the Constitution” James Madison and “Father of the Bill of Rights” George Mason–as a “pull in case of emergency” lever for the states, should the federal government become unmanageable).
My constituents have a wide range of opinions on gun control. I understand that some will be disappointed with my position in favor of gun rights. But I wanted to make it absolutely clear where I stand on this issue, and why. And just as I am working (along with thousands in the state, and hundreds of thousands around the country) to bring clarity to the role of the federal government in our lives, those who believe that Nebraska’s gun laws should be stricter could probably get there (and still be within the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Second Amendment), were it not for the very explicit language in the Nebraska Constitution.
Nebraska’s Constitution, though, is amendable (indeed, the current gun rights language was adopted in 1988 through constitutional amendment). Rather than asking legislators to violate their oaths of office, those who are in opposition to the expanse of gun rights in our Constitution should draft new language, and begin their own petition campaign to get it on the ballot, and see if enough people in the state are willing to go down that road.
LLE
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Welcome to the Nebraska Firearms Owners Association

NFOA membership is open to all types of firearms owners as long as you are a resident of the state of Nebraska. Whether you are a trap shooter, long-range rifle shooter, concealed handgun permit holder, air gun, rifle and or shotgun hunter, NFA firearms enthusiast or belong to any other group of firearms owners, you are welcome to join our organization.

We are local firearms owners who have a personal interest in representing firearms owners rights in Nebraska. While there are much larger firearms owner groups and lobbyists, we have a personal stake right here in fighting for our rights. We do not have big money to fly in lobbyists from the coasts, we do not have the money to wine and dine Legislators, and we are just everyday normal Nebraska residents like you who want our voices to be heard by the various law makers. We will operate on what money is donated to us voluntarily.

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