Most Nebraska residents have the constitutional right to own a firearm, but federal and state laws restrict how you may use these weapons. Violating any of these regulations is a criminal offense, and a conviction could lead to steep fines, probation, imprisonment, or even the permanent loss of your right to bear arms.
If you are facing gun-related criminal allegations of any kind, it is imperative that you retain a skilled defense attorney. A La Vista gun lawyer can explain the nature of your charges, collect exculpatory evidence, and work on your behalf to pursue a favorable case outcome.
State Laws Addressing Gun Ownership
Under Nebraska Revised Statutes §69-2403, anyone who wishes to purchase a handgun for personal use must first obtain a handgun certificate from their local sheriff or police chief. To receive the certificate, you must pass a background check.
Residents do not need permits to purchase long guns, and state law does not require registration of purchased handguns or long guns. Although, the nearby City of Omaha does require handgun registration for its residents.
Concealed Carry Permits
Anyone with a Nebraska concealed carry permit—or an equivalent and recognized permit from another state—is exempt from the handgun registration requirement. To receive a concealed carry permit, you must meet all the prerequisite conditions set out by Neb. Rev. Stat. §69-2433. Under this law, you must:
- Be a Nebraska resident for at least 180 days prior to applying;
- Be at least 21 years of age at the time of application;
- Have United States citizenship;
- Complete both a vision test and firearms training;
- Have no criminal convictions in any state for gun or controlled substance offenses within ten years prior to applying; and
- Not have been considered a mentally ill and dangerous person under the Nebraska Mental Health Commitment Act within the previous ten years.
Because Nebraska is a “shall issue” state, there is no additional requirement to prove “good cause” for a concealed carry license. You do not need a license to open carry, but a gun lawyer in La Vista can inform you of any additional restrictions that may apply in certain areas.
Common Gun-Related Criminal Offenses
Under Neb. Rev. Stat. §28-1202, the first offense for carrying a concealed weapon without an appropriate permit is a Class I misdemeanor. Subsequent offenses are Class IV felonies, meaning potential penalties increase from one year in jail and a $1,000 fine to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Furthermore, Neb. Rev. Stat. §69-2441 prohibits private citizens from carrying concealed firearms in certain locations even with a permit. These prohibited spaces include:
- Police stations
- Polling places
- Financial institutions
- Athletic events
- Places of worship
This same statute also outlaws concealed carry on any property where the owner has posted clear signage prohibiting concealed carry on his or her premises. Additionally, any individual under the influence of alcohol to any degree, may not carry a hidden firearm.
Neb. Rev. Stat. §69-2443 classifies any violation of Neb. Rev. Stat. §69-2441 as a Class III misdemeanor, meaning a conviction could lead to maximum penalties of three months in jail and a $500 fine. If you are facing firearm-related charges, an experienced attorney can advise you on the best course of action in your situation.
Get Help from a La Vista Gun Attorney Today
Local law enforcement officers treat gun crimes very seriously. Additionally, if you are accused of committing another crime while in possession of a firearm, it can increase the potential penalties upon conviction.
If you want to effectively contest your criminal charges, retain a La Vista gun lawyer as soon as possible. Call Berry Law to schedule a confidential consultation and learn how we can fight for your rights in trial.