Limitations on gun purchase, possession sought

A bill that would limit who could purchase or possess a firearm was heard by the Judiciary Committee Feb. 21.

Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh
Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh

LB958, sponsored by Omaha Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh, would prohibit a person who has been convicted of domestic violence or is the subject of a current and final domestic violence, sexual assault or harassment protection order from purchasing or possessing a firearm.

Cavanaugh called the bill a logical next step to build upon legislation passed in 2019 that clarified the process of obtaining a protection order.

“It is urgent that we pass LB958,” she said. “It is no exaggeration to say that lives will be saved or lost as a result.”

Danielle Savington, representing Nebraskans Against Gun Violence, spoke in support of the bill. She said the measure would protect victims while also ensuring the due process rights of gun owners.

Also supporting the measure was Sarah Zuckerman of Lincoln. People who have committed domestic violence against their romantic partners clearly are a danger to others, she said.

“Abusers with guns are five times more likely to kill their victims,” Zuckerman said. “Guns further exacerbate the power and control dynamic used by abusers to inflict abuse and exert control over their victims.”

Opposing LB958 was Scott Shaver of Scottsbluff, who called the bill unnecessary.

“Everything that is proposed in this bill is already [included] in the definition of a ‘prohibited person’ by federal law,” he said.

The committee took no immediate action on the bill.

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