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LB 188 is a bill introduced by Sen. Steve Halloran in the first session of the 107th Legislature. It was referred to the Government, Military & Veteran Affairs Committee which I chair. This bill would prohibit any agent or employee of the State of Nebraska or any political subdivision from participating in the enforcement of any federal directive regarding a firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition that does not exist under Nebraska state law.
Of the eight members of the committee, four have opposed the bill so far, and four support it. The way our committee has been staffed makes this sort of deadlock likely. Both ends of the political spectrum work to create favorable committees. It is one of the clearest examples of why elections matter. The bill remains deadlocked in the committee.
Rule 3, section 20 of the Legislature’s rules permit bills in this situation to be “pulled” from the committee they are trapped in and advanced to the floor for debate. A vote of 25 is required to successfully pull a bill out of committee.
Pull motion debates are always controversial. Those who support the bill always say how wise it was for our predecessors to put this rule in the book. Those opposed always say how pull motions usurp the committee process. The chair of the committee the bill is being pulled from is often the loudest voice in the debate.
In the case of LB 188, I strongly support this bill and look forward to supporting the pull motion planned for next session. Almost every day we see a new example in the news of our federal government disregarding or out-right violating their constitutional responsibilities. I am very concerned about the direction our country is going. Our Second Amendment, the constitutional recognition of the individual right to keep and bear arms, is more important now than ever.
I cannot recall a time in my life where all of our constitutional rights were more in danger. Our First Amendment right of free speech is being actively obstructed by the media. Many are being forced to have new or experimental drugs injected into their body or risk losing their jobs. The United States Congress is talking about passing another assault weapons ban and federal red flag laws where your guns can be taken without due process of law. Countless people have expressed their deep concerns about these and many other things happening in Washington, D.C., and I share these concerns.
Nebraska is a sovereign state. In view of the federal government’s on-going abuses, I think it is very important our state sends a clear message. I wish we did not have to write a state law to protect constitutionally guaranteed rights from our own federal government, but that is what things have come to. LB 188 will be one of the first things discussed in January.