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Mayor's Office

2006 Media Releases


Date:
April 20, 2006
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Chief Tom Casady, Lincoln Police Department, 441-7237


MAYOR SEEKS TO BAN CONCEALED WEAPONS IN LINCOLN

Mayor Coleen J. Seng today announced that she will propose a City ordinance to prohibit the carrying of a concealed firearm within Lincoln’s city limits. A bill (LB 454) passed by the State Legislature and signed into law by the Governor will allow people to carry concealed handguns in Nebraska beginning January 1, 2007. Existing State law 15-255 gives cities, including Lincoln, the power to prohibit the carrying of concealed weapons, and LB 454 did not change that statute.

“State law directs cities to carry out their responsibilities to protect the public and gives municipalities powers to ensure the safety of families, homes and businesses. As Mayor, it is my duty to invoke those powers when public safety is at risk,” said Mayor Seng.

“The concealed weapon bill is a very real threat to the security of citizens,” she said. “I support the constitutional right of citizens to own weapons, but passage of the concealed weapons law unnecessarily puts Lincoln at risk for increased confrontations involving guns. Lincoln is a safe community with an effective police department and a low crime rate. My decision to seek a concealed weapon ban is based on the simple premise that the increased risks of violence associated with this law far outweigh the benefits.”

Lincoln Police Chief Tom Casady said the new State law is not needed. “It is very rare that criminal activity is foiled by armed citizens,” said Casady. “The fact is that encouraging more citizens to bear firearms will simply increase the number of confrontations involving guns. Nebraskans already possess an affirmative defense against criminal charges in the very rare event that someone’s occupation or actions would justify the need for a concealed weapon.”

Separately, the Lancaster County Board notified Mayor Seng of its request that action be taken to prohibit concealed weapons in all properties managed by the Public Building Commission for the County. The County Board also requested that signs be posted stating that carrying concealed weapons is prohibited in buildings managed by the Public Building Commission.

Under the new law, Nebraskans will be able to obtain a five-year permit for a fee of $100 after they complete firearms training and are cleared by a background check. During the legislative session, Mayor Seng and Omaha Mayor Mike Fahey wrote letters to State Senators opposing LB 454 due to the effects it could have on the cities.

“Unfortunately, this has become a political issue in which the agenda of concealed carry supporters has been given priority over the professional judgement of our law enforcement officials,” said Mayor Seng. “I will not go down that road. I will stand with our police officers and the families of this community. I will stand for leaving law enforcement in the hands of our outstanding police force. I will stand for safety and against increased gun confrontations. It is my duty as your Mayor.”


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