Carrying a Gun in Nebraska
The rules depend on how the gun is carried.
Carrying a Concealed Gun
To carry a concealed gun anywhere in Nebraska requires a concealed handgun permit (CHP) issued by the Nebraska State Patrol. The NSP issues the permit but does not conduct the training, which is left largely to the discretion of the approved private instructors. The state does not specify a minimum number of range hours or instruction hours, but generally a permit requires a minimum of eight hours of classroom and range time, total. There are concealed carriers who pursue additional training or regularly hone their shooting skills, but this is not required to have a permit to carry a gun. All that is required is passing a simple written test and hitting a stationary paper target with 70% accuracy, and students who fail the range test may be given additional tries at the instructor’s discretion. Therefore, when you hear of someone carrying a concealed handgun in Nebraska, you know they have passed a minimal amount of training—equivalent to one workday to learn the laws and how to shoot—but that’s it.
Open Carrying a Gun
To open carry a gun in Omaha, the carrier must have a concealed handgun permit or a similar open carry permit. For anywhere else in the state, absolutely no training or carry permit is required to carry a gun visibly in public. Inside your shirt? Eight hours of training. Outside your shirt? Nothing. If you see someone open carrying a gun outside of Omaha, you have no reason to believe he or she has passed any kind of training in the proper use of firearms or lethal force. Combine that with the gun show loophole: if the person is open carrying a rifle, including a semiautomatic, he need not have passed any training or even a background check.
At NAGV, we believe this is unacceptable. Carrying a gun around others is a grave responsibility and only those who regularly prove their competence in handling firearms should be able to do so. Further, open carry—with the exception of law enforcement and people transporting a rifle—invites violence into public spaces and does not belong in our communities.