Bill would permit concealed guns for military spouses

A bill that would relax restrictions on who could apply for a concealed handgun permit in Nebraska was debated on general file Feb 2.

Currently, members of the United States Armed Forces stationed in Nebraska are considered state residents and permitted to apply for concealed handgun permits. LB190, introduced by Hoskins Sen. Dave Bloomfield, would allow the spouses of service members stationed in Nebraska to be considered state residents who also could apply for concealed handgun permits.

Additionally, the bill would allow non-U.S. citizens who reside in the country legally to apply for concealed handgun permits. Currently, only U.S. citizens are allowed to apply for a concealed handgun permit in Nebraska.

Bloomfield said that the bill is designed to extend specific residential benefits to the families of service members who accompany those stationed in Nebraska.

“These spouses have no say in where they are moved,” he said. “We should allow them the same rights as we do the service members.”

A Judiciary Committee amendment, adopted 34-0, removed the U.S. citizenship requirement from the list of requirements necessary for application for the permit.

Lincoln Sen. Colby Coash said the amendment stemmed from a case in which the U.S. District Court ordered the Nebraska State Patrol to not enforce the citizenship requirement of the statute.

Omaha Sen. Ernie Chambers filed a motion to indefinitely postpone the bill, which was pending when the Legislature adjourned for the day.

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