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LB 58 & LB 816
We are now into the third full week of session. The first ten days have passed, so there will be no more new bill introduction for this session. There were 482 bills introduced, with six of them being mine. Hearings have also begun and will go until February 27th. Each bill will receive a public hearing just like in previous sessions. I’d invite each of you to consider testifying on bills which interest you.
Many have contacted my office asking for my opposition on LB 58 and LB 816. Rest assured, I oppose those bills and any other attacks on the Second Amendment without due process. As a concealed carry permit holder myself, I am proud to support and defend the Second Amendment.
LB 58 adopts the Extreme Risk Protection Order Act, which is otherwise known as a “Red Flag Law.” This bill would allow a court to intervene in cases when a person has been accused of potentially being a threat to themselves or others. At a hearing in which the accused does not have to be present, the court can order law enforcement officers to seize the accused’s guns for up to one year. The cost of enforcement is very high. The fiscal note for this bill on the state level indicates in FY 2019-20 the cost of implementation is $415,500 and for FY 2020-21 the cost is $114,750. According to the Supreme Court, in order to implement LB 58, as introduced, work on other important Judicial Branch IT projects will be delayed. The Crime Commission has estimated that the cost of such a database would range from $400,000-$600,000 over a 2-year period of time. Moreover, our county law enforcement officials would be forced to seize and store the firearms of a person who has not been accused of a crime or given due process. This represents another unfunded mandate on our counties, who could be left to store hundreds of firearms, or destroy them if space was unavailable.
LB 816 would increase regulations on shotguns and rifles, under the guise of “suicide prevention.” This bill would mandate that information be provided to the purchaser regarding firearm safety and suicide prevention and require suicide prevention training. LB 816 includes that any sale, purchase, or transfer of a designated firearm occuring at a gun show shall be reviewed or conducted by a licensed dealer to ensure compliance with the Firearm Transfer Certification Act. There is absolutely no data to back that increased regulations on long guns makes any impact whatsoever on suicide rates. In fact, according to FBI reports, a mere 25 people have died by rifles or shotguns since 2010. The cause of death, whether it be accidental, murder, or suicide, is not noted in the statistic. This represents a mere 5% of firearm deaths in Nebraska during that period.
My role on the Judiciary Committee allows me to analyze and add my opposition on the record to bills which attack the Second Amendment, as all bills dealing with firearms are sent to that committee. This is especially handy if those bills come to the floor for full debate, as my research and preparation in committee provide a solid foundation on which to focus my floor strategy.
As always, I welcome your input on issues important to you. Follow along on my Facebook and Twitter pages, both entitled “Senator Julie Slama” for more updates, or contact me directly at Senator Julie Slama, District 1 State Capitol, PO Box 94604, Lincoln NE 68509-4604; telephone: 402-471-2733; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.