By: Bill Schammert
Gun control continues to be a hot topic in the Nebraska Legislature and the most recent proposal isn't too complicated. LB-451 is one section and just three paragraphs. Simply put, it says future federal gun control legislation would not be enforceable in the state of Nebraska.
"We want to be proactive and not retroactive," bill sponsor, Sen. Charlie Janssen of Fremont, said.
With an effective date of January 1st, 2013, the bill would prohibit any further restrictions on semi-automatic firearms or magazines beyond that of which is already banned in the state.
It would also restrict any further firearm registration other than what is already in place.
"I've seen what this overreaching federal administration can do and they've been pretty effective in taking rights away from Americans," Sen. Janssen said. "I'm going to say no to them taking away my Second Amendment rights."
Janssen acknowledges there is a problem in the country, but says the only way to reduce gun violence is to lock up the bad guys.
His primary goal is to send a message to the federal government, but one law expert says that's about all a bill like this would accomplish.
"Clearly, the proposed bill is unconstitutional," UNL associate law professor, Eric Berger, said.
Berger says the constitution makes it very clear, federal law will always trump state law.
"Nebraska cannot say that federal law just doesn't apply within its borders," he said.
Berger did say gun control legislation can and likely will be challenged, but someone would most likely have to say a possible new law violates their Second Amendment rights.