People across gun debate agree: Storage is key to preventing shootings

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – After last weekend’s violence in the capital city, there are more calls for gun control in our state.

Since the pandemic, more people have guns in our community than ever before, for a variety of reasons.

That’s concerning to the organization Nebraskans Against Gun Violence, which says there has been a lack of effort to make sure those who own guns are doing so safely and responsibly.

Its calls for gun control grow louder every day, especially in the wake of recent violence in Lincoln.

“There are things we have to do well before the homicides, and as a city, so far, we have not been willing to do them,” said Melody Vaccaro, the executive director of Nebraskans Against Gun Violence.

She said more education, training and accountability are needed, along with other policies.

Nebraskans Against Gun Violence says city leaders should be pushing for policy change, but they aren’t.

“The only thing we really see out of policymakers is to make it easier to have and do whatever you want with guns,” Vaccaro said. “And of course, that’s not safe; it’s not safe. And by the time we have multiple homicides in our city, it’s really too late. If we want to have a better summer next summer, that’s the work we need to do now.”

On the other side, DEGuns Firearms Sales and Services said Nebraska already has a lot of gun control.

The shop said that we have some of the strictest laws of a Republican-controlled state and that Nebraska is one of 14 states that have purchase permit laws.

DEGuns said first and foremost, we need to focus on firearm lockboxes.

“There is a lot of personal responsibility that goes into guns that we don’t need to legislate but that we need to make cultural,” general manager David Pringle said. “And so safe storage and secure storage is to me as important as anybody. We should focus on that before we focus on any other gun laws because we already have a whole bunch of them.”

Nebraskans Against Gun Violence said its major focus is also on gun storage — holding people accountable if they don’t keep their weapons secure from unauthorized or dangerous people.

Pringle agreed, saying of criminals, “That’s what they do, is they commit crimes.”

“And that’s why we need to store guns safely, so they don’t have access to them,” he said. “Generally, people don’t buy guns and then go commit crimes with them. That’s not how it happens. Somebody gets a gun illegally and then they commit a crime with it.”

Nebraskans Against Gun Violence said it is ramping up education efforts and continues to push for policy change.

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