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CITY OF LINCOLN   •   NEWS RELEASE   •   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date:
April 7, 2003

For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Police Chief Tom Casady, 441-7237

MAYOR SAYS PASSAGE OF CRIME PACKAGE WILL IMPROVEPUBLIC SAFETY

Mayor Don Wesely said today’s unanimous passage of his crime package by the City Council will help to keep Lincoln a safe community. The package includes three new City ordinances, which will take effect April 22, 2003:

  • Anyone convicted of theft twice within five years will be prohibited from pawning any property or selling any property to pawn brokers or second-hand jewelry dealers.
  • It will be unlawful to keep a firearm in an unattended motor vehicle for more than 24 hours.
  • State and federal law prohibits the possession of firearms by a felon. A new City ordinance also makes it unlawful for anyone convicted of serious misdemeanors to possess a firearm

“The passage of this crime package will make it harder for criminals to profit from stealing, reduce the theft of guns from cars, and keep firearms out of the hands of those with serious criminal records,” said Wesely. “With these new ordinances in place, we are giving our police officers more assistance in keeping our City a safe place to do business and raise families.”

Police Chief Tom Casady said Lincoln had more than 4,600 vehicle break-ins last year, accounting for well over $1 million in property loss and damage. There were also nearly 2,000 burglaries in the City in 2002. Chief Casady said that over the past five years, Lincoln police officers have investigated more than 1,200 gun-related incidents, including 11 murders with guns, seven assaults on officers with guns, 256 robberies with guns and 275 assaults with guns.

The new ordinance on pawning property is intended to make it more difficult for criminals to obtain fast cash by disposing of stolen property. Pawn shop owners are not required to check criminal records but it will be unlawful for them to knowingly accept property from convicted thieves. The new ordinance prohibiting the storage of firearms in vehicles is intended to decrease the opportunity that criminals will obtain stolen guns.

The third new ordinance will outlaw possession of a firearm in the City limits by persons convicted within the last ten years of any of the following misdemeanors:

  • Stalking
  • Violation of a protection order
  • Second-degree false imprisonment
  • Impersonating a peace officer
  • Third-degree sexual assault
  • First-degree criminal trespass
  • Debauching a minor
  • Resisting arrest
  • Obstructing a peace officer
  • Carrying a concealed weapon
  • Criminal child enticement
  • Unlawful discharge of firearms
  • Introducing contraband or escape implements
  • Obstructing government operations
  • Unlawful possession of explosives, second degree
  • Use of explosives without a permit
  • Concealing the death of another person
  • Criminal attempt when the crime attempted is a felony or any of the listed misdemeanors
  • Furnishing minors with firearms, ammunition or weapons

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