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Nebraskans,call your Reps:Concealed-handgun bill advances to floor

Josey1Josey1 Member Posts: 15,758
edited January 2002 in General Discussion
Concealed-handgun bill advances to floor BY KEN HAMBLETON Lincoln Journal Star
Nebraskans should be allowed to join the pistol-packing public, according to Sen. Gene Tyson, whose concealed-handgun bill advanced out of the Judiciary Committee on Wednesday afternoon. "I think we have some more support this year that we didn't have last year, and it's going to be interesting enough to try on the floor of the Legislature," said Tyson of Norfolk. The bill, LB496, advanced out of committee by a 5-2 vote. It is the latest concealed-carry proposal. Five others have failed in the Nebraska Legislature, including in 1998 and 2000. Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha has battled each measure and has already filed 43 amendments with this bill. By the time the bill is scheduled for first-round debate, the 43 amendments, plus another from Sen. Kermit Brashear of Omaha that would require a minimum of training, would be debated first. One of Chambers' amendments would postpone enacting the bill until the year 3001. "We will have to find the 33 votes for cloture (ending debate), and I'm still not positive we have that many," Tyson said. A majority - at least 25 votes - is needed to advance a bill, but it takes 33 to end a filibuster. Tyson said his bill would require that applicants undergo background checks, and judges could deny the permits. All but seven states allow concealed-handgun permits. Of those 43 states, 31 have "shall issue" laws that mandate that an adult applicant who meets certain criteria shall be issued a permit to carry a handgun for protection. University of Chicago economics Professor John Lott found that when a state adopts a "shall issue" law, murder rates fell 10 percent, rape 3 percent and aggravated assault 6 percent. Others discount Lott's study because, they say, he did not use balanced statistics. In Florida more than 565,000 permits have been issued, Tyson said, and only 113 revoked since the law was passed recently. In Utah there was a 200-plus percent increase in carry-concealed handgun license revocations in 1999 for criminal violations. Law enforcement representatives have voiced opposition to the bill in the past. Proponents say there is a correlation between concealed weapons and a drop in serious crime. Tyson said the law could clear up some problems. For instance: If you had a gun in plain sight on your vehicle passenger seat and you were pulled over, there would be no problem as long as you had a permit to own the gun. "But have some notes or a newspaper fall on top of the gun, and suddenly it's a concealed weapon and you are in violation of the law," he said. Reach Ken Hambleton at 473-7251 [email protected]
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