43rd District State Senator Tom Brewer was successful Tuesday in pulling his bill allowing most people to carry a concealed handgun without a permit or training out of committee, but it’s not clear if he has the votes to overcome a filibuster.
LB 773 had failed to get out of the Judiciary Committee, leading Brewer to take the rare step of a pull motion to bring the so-called constitutional carry bill to first-round floor debate..
Brewer succeeded 30-12, but will need 33 votes to end an expected filibuster when floor debate begins tomorrow. He says one co-sponsor was among the 7 senators absent yesterday, but admits he needs to persuade at least 2 of the others to join him.
The original version of the bill was opposed by most law enforcement organizations in Nebraska, but Brewer has drafted an amendment addressing objections from the Omaha Police Officers Association.
It allows Omaha to keep its current handgun registration ordinance, but with fewer reasons for denying a permit, and it still allows prosecution for carrying a concealed handgun if the weapon was used in a long list of crimes.
It also requires anyone carrying a concealed weapon to inform a police officer about it if stopped.
Brewer said during yesterday’s debate that he knows of no other bill that has such widespread support, pointing to the fact that 91 of the state’s 93 counties passed resolutions declaring themselves “sanctuary” counties for constitutional carry.
. Opponents argued the bill will reduce the safety of the general public by eliminating the handgun training requirements contained in the current concealed carry permit law.