In Omaha, there is no state database containing information about gun owners and adults can purchase most firearms while undergoing only a cursory background check, the only exception to this is for people who wish to carry a concealed handgun in public. Although this may seem lenient, the punishments associated with gun charges are severe.
The improper use of firearms can lead to severe consequences. Simply carrying an unlicensed handgun or bringing any firearm into a prohibited location could lead to a misdemeanor. A defendant allegedly using a firearm to help commit a separate felony, on the other hand, can result in a far more severe charge.
Whether someone is accused of improperly possessing a firearm or is facing charges involving the illegal use of a gun, an Omaha gun lawyer may be able to help. A dedicated criminal defense attorney can protect your constitutional right to bear arms and help you fight back against allegations of improper gun use.
Firearm Laws in Omaha
The State of Nebraska places few limitations on citizens purchasing most types of firearms. Most people can walk into a sporting goods store or gun show and buy a rifle or shotgun without much hassle. However, handguns are an exception. There are certain requirements you must meet to obtain a handgun license from local law enforcement.
What are the Laws Governing Open Carry and Concealed Carry?
Open carry is when you wear or carry a gun openly as opposed to concealing it on your person. Though open carry is legal without a permit in most cities in Nebraska, it is not lawful everywhere. In Omaha, you must obtain a permit for concealed carry (CCW) from the Nebraska State Patrol to openly carry a concealable firearm throughout the city.
It is also important to note that individuals convicted of felonies, violent misdemeanors, or drug crimes are prohibited from carrying concealed firearms. As stated in Nebraska Revised Statutes §28-1202, violating concealed carry law is a Class I misdemeanor that can result in a jail sentence. Speak with an experienced attorney to learn more about the gun laws in your area.
The Use of a Firearm to Commit a Crime
While Nebraska allows most citizens to legally own a firearm with few restrictions, it is always important to use guns in a safe and legal manner. One major way that a person may violate this requirement is by being in possession of a firearm during the commission of another crime.
For example, threatening bodily harm on another person is defined as simple assault, which is a misdemeanor. However, threatening another with harm by using a gun turns this misdemeanor charge into a felony.
Not only would the defendant be facing a felony-level assault charge, but Nebraska Revised Statutes §28-1205 states that this action in and of itself is a Class I-C felony. This means that a conviction carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison in addition to any sentence handed down for the assault.
Even if a defendant does not actually use the firearm to help commit the crime, there are still enhanced penalties available under state law. Moreover, simply possessing a firearm while committing a felony is another felony-level offense.
What are Common Defenses to Gun Charges?
A firearm charge does not equal a conviction. There are possible defenses to offenses related to gun use or possession. For example, if you were charged with the unlawful use of a firearm to commit a crime, your lawyer might argue that you did not commit the underlying crime.
Often the best defense to unlawful possession is proving you were legally authorized to possess the weapon in question. The right strategy for your case depends on the specific allegations against you. Reach out to a lawyer to start building a strong defense to your firearm charges.
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Is it Possible to Restore Gun Rights After a Conviction?
One of the collateral consequences of felony convictions is the loss of the right to own a firearm. State law does offer the possible restoration of these rights under limited circumstances, but this could be easier said than done.
The only way to restore gun rights following a felony conviction is to obtain a pardon by the governor. That said, not every pardon will necessarily restore these rights. State law only allows for the restoration of gun rights if the Board of Pardons consents to it. If the Board does not expressly authorize you to receive, transport, or possess firearms, the pardon alone will not restore your gun rights. A dedicated firearms attorney can walk you through the process of restoring your Second Amendment Rights.
An Omaha Gun Attorney Could Fight for Your Constitutional Rights
The right of all citizens to bear arms is enshrined in the United States Constitution, and Nebraska state laws mirror this concept. However, diligent compliance with local gun laws are important in avoiding possible legal trouble. Therefore, it is important to have a full understanding of the local gun laws in your state
Simply possessing an illegal firearm or any handgun not registered with the state is a criminal offense that can result in a jail term and a fine. Allegations that a person used a firearm to commit another offense are more severe, as a conviction could result in a mandatory minimum prison sentence.
An Omaha gun lawyer from Berry Law can defend you in criminal court and fight to protect your right to own firearms. Call today to schedule a confidential meeting and start building your defense.