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Nebraska: Omaha City Council Proposes an Increase in Restrictive Gun Laws

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Bad gun laws in Omaha may soon get worse unless you act today.  Omaha Police Chief Alex Hayes and Assistant City Attorney Michelle Peters proposed a firearm registration ordinance this past Tuesday in an attempt to more closely mirror gun laws at the state and federal level.

In a city not yet bound by the statewide firearms preemption law, Omaha has its own local firearms registration with an associated fee (or tax).  The current "fee" is $10, but Hayes and Peters want to increase the handgun registration tax to $15.  The proposed ordinance also uses vague and ambiguous language when defining a "concealable firearm."  The Nebraska Concealed Handgun Permit Act enacted in 2007 defines a handgun as having a barrel length of less than 16 inches, but Omaha defines these firearms as having a barrel less than 18 inches in length.  This would mean that by Omaha code, anyone purchasing or transporting a modern sporting rifle whose barrel is 16-18 inches in length, in or through Omaha, would have to register their firearm with Chief Hayes and pay a proposed $15 tax.

You can view the proposed ordinance here.

The NRA opposes the registration of lawfully owned firearms by law-abiding citizens, nor do we support the use of overly vague language pertaining to firearms laws, as this so often leads to legal misunderstandings.

The Omaha City Council will be reviewing this proposed ordinance at its next meeting on Tuesday, October 25 at 2 p.m. (CST).  We urge you to attend this meeting and tell City Council members, Chief Hayes, Assistant City Attorney Peters and Mayor Jim Suttle that you OPPOSE these proposed changes.

If you are unable to attend, make your voice be heard by calling the Council members, Chief of Police, Assistant City Attorney and Mayor before 2 p.m. on Tuesday.  They can be reached at the numbers listed below:

Alex Hayes, Omaha Chief of Police
402-444-5600

Michelle Peters, Assistant City Attorney
402-444-5115

Jim Suttle, Mayor
402-444-5000

Pete Festersen, City Council District 1
402-444-5527
Click here to e-mail

Ben Gray, City Council District 2
402-444-5524
Click here to e-mail

Chris Jerram, City Council District 3
402-444-5525
Click here to e-mail

Garry Gernandt, City Council District 4
402-444-5522
Click here to e-mail

Jean Stothert, City Council District 5
402-444-5528
Click here to e-mail

Franklin Thompson, City Council District 6
402-444-5523
Click here to e-mail

Thomas Mulligan, City Council District 7
402-444-5526   
Click here to e-mail

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