Transporting a Firearm in Nebraska without a Concealed Carry Permit
According to Nebraska Revised Statute 28-1202, carrying a concealed handgun without a permit is a Class I misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both. Since the penalties for firearm-related crimes are so severe, it is important that you follow Nebraska laws and obtain a concealed carry permit prior to carrying a handgun. However, what are your options if you do not have a concealed carry permit and still want to transport your firearm within the state of Nebraska? For example, what can you do if you want to take your handgun out to the range but do not have a concealed carry permit? Firearm owners have a couple of different options when it comes to transporting their weapons within the state of Nebraska. In this article, we will look at what is considered a concealed weapon in Nebraska, how to legally transport weapons in the state, and some possible options you have if your vehicle does not have a clearly defined trunk.
Disclaimer: These laws are based only on Nebraska statutes and the conversations our team has had with Nebraska law enforcement officers. If you’re in another jurisdiction, we cannot guarantee that these are going to be universal principles that apply to you. So, make sure to check your state statutes and consult with a local attorney if you have questions regarding how to legally transport firearms within your state.
What is Considered a Concealed Weapon in Nebraska?
In Nebraska, it’s illegal for any person to “carry a firearm concealed on or about his person” without a concealed carry handgun permit. However, “on or about his person” is not as straightforward as you would imagine. It doesn’t mean that you are physically carrying the weapon in a sling, a jacket, or something similar. “On or about his person” extends to the wider reach that you have. This means that it is considered on or about his person if the firearm is easily accessible to you from your current position. In a vehicle, this could include your backseat, in your glovebox, or any other location that is easily reached. It is also important to note that these laws are not only applicable to firearms. In Nebraska, you cannot carry or conceal a knife with a blade that is longer than three and a half inches. So, you could be facing criminal charges for carrying a fillet knife or a buck knife without the required permit.
How to Transport a Weapon in Nebraska
So, you’re planning on transporting a firearm in the state of Nebraska. The easiest way to transport your weapon in Nebraska is to unload the gun, put it in a case, and put the case in the trunk of your vehicle. This makes the firearm inaccessible to you while you’re driving, meaning it is not “on or about your person.” This is fairly straightforward, but it does not look at the instances where an individual owns a vehicle without a trunk, such as an SUV.
How to Transport a Weapon in a Vehicle Without a Trunk
If you’re a person that has an SUV, station wagon, or a truck without any locking bed cover, then you’re kind of in this position where no matter what you do, a law enforcement officer could technically say the firearm was within your reach and charge you with a crime if you place the weapon in the back seat of the vehicle and are not in possession of a concealed carry permit. However, based on conversations our team has had with law enforcement officers along with the definitions stated in Nebraska statutes, there are some things you could do to minimize the possibility of a concealed carry violation.
Placing Your Firearm in a Lock Box
If you are operating a vehicle without a defined trunk, the best option is to get a lock box. A lock box is a sturdy firearm safety device that is used to store small firearms such as a handgun or other valuable items. You can typically purchase a lock box for around $25 at your local firearms store. By placing the firearm in the box, you render the gun inaccessible without first unlocking the safety device. This should help alleviate any problems an officer may have with the ease in which you can access your firearm. Before putting your firearm in your case, we often recommend placing the the slide release up as well. This will allow the officer, upon first glance, to see that the gun is unloaded and can further minimize the possibility of receiving a criminal charge for transporting your firearm.
What if I Don’t Have a Lockbox?
Typically, if you do not have a lock box, it is often more difficult to put yourself in a position to avoid a charge for carrying a concealed weapon. However, you may still be able to transport the weapon if you follow a few basic tips. It is important to note that, although you may do this, you are still in violation of concealed carry laws and could potentially face a criminal charge if a law enforcement officer wants to write a ticket. In these instances where you do not have a lock box, we recommend you utilize a cable lock for your firearm. These are typically given to you for free upon purchase of a firearm in Nebraska. To safely render the gun inoperable with a cable lock, you will need to remove the magazine, clear the chamber, and lock the slide back. Then, you will slide the cable through the magazine well and out the ejection port before locking the cable. This will make the gun inoperable and safe to store. We also recommend placing the gun somewhere in the back of the vehicle with the magazine in a different location to ensure the weapon is not easily operable.
Nebraska Gun Lawyers
At Berry Law, we are dedicated to defending the rights afforded to us in the United States Constitution, and this includes the second amendment right to own firearms. Our experienced gun lawyers handle firearm-related crimes in state and federal courts in Nebraska. If you have been charged with illegally carrying a weapon without a concealed carry permit or another firearm-related crime, contact one of the skilled attorneys on our team today to see how we can help.