Nebraska governor pushes for ‘constitutional carry’ as abortion rights battle reignites

He says our freedom to bear arms is one of the rights given to us by God, not the government

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts has issued another push for “constitutional carry” as the battle surrounding abortion reignites.

According to Ricketts, there are too many hurdles for citizens to overcome in order to carry a concealed firearm.

Currently, the process to apply for a concealed carry permit with the Nebraska State Patrol is as follows:

  1. Complete an approved handgun training and safety course.
  2. Complete a Concealed Handgun Permit application.
  3. Present the application and necessary documentation to the nearest Nebraska State Patrol Headquarters.

“Nebraska can join the growing number of states who’ve taken action to get rid of these restrictions,” Ricketts said. “Alabama, Georgia, Ohio, and Indiana all enacted constitutional or permitless carry legislation in 2022. Nebraska’s neighboring states of Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, South Dakota, and Wyoming are also among the 25 states with constitutional or permitless carry laws.”

A 2018 study by economist John Donohue on the relationship between violent crimes and weakening permit standards found that violent crime rates increased following states’ adoption of “right-to-carry” laws.

Donohue found that 10 years after states weakened their gun permitting system, their rates of handgun homicide and violent crime had increase by 11% and 13% to 15%, respectively.

“Constitutional carry” laws are one type of “right-to-carry” laws.

“Right to carry” also includes “shall-issue” laws, which require a concealed carry permit to be issued to residents not otherwise barred from owning a gun. With “constitutional carry,” a permit is not required at all.

According to Ricketts, citizens shouldn’t have to pay a fee and ask permission from the government to exercise their second amendment rights.

“Our freedom to keep and bear arms is rooted in the recognition that our rights are given to us by God, not by the government,” Ricketts said. “These rights, declared in both our federal and state constitutions, shouldn’t be costly and time-consuming to exercise. Together, let’s work to end the lengthy delay and cost in order to conceal carry in Nebraska.”

Ricketts’ push for “constitutional carry” comes at the same time as the leaked Supreme Court opinion draft that would overturn Roe v. Wade.

READ ALSO: In Nebraska, both sides brace for abortion battle after Supreme Court leak.

“This draft opinion is a promising sign that the gross wrong of Roe will be righted and abortion decisions will return to the states,” Ricketts said in a tweet. “I’m praying for our Supreme Court Justices as we await their final decision.”

This article has been updated to reflect that “constitutional carry” is different than “right to carry,” the type of law studied by Donohue.

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