Guns In Capitol Outrages Some Senators

1 view

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – Some Nebraska lawmakers are expressing concern that gun owners were allowed to bring loaded, semi-automatic rifles into the state Capitol on Friday ahead of Judiciary Committee hearings on 2 bills placing new restrictions on gun ownership.

The contentious hearings drew an estimated 400 protestors, and some senators view the demonstration as an intimidation tactic, especially since a few of the protestors displayed their guns in the hearing room.

Rules for the Capitol bar concealed firearms and individuals wielding political signs or props in the building.

One of the bills requires gun dealers to supply buyers with information on suicide prevention and to be present to facilitate background checks at gun shows. The other bill denies guns to people convicted of domestic violence or who have protection orders against them.

43rd District Senator Tom Brewer of Gordon, a decorated veteran and ardent gun rights advocate, defended the protestors, saying they were just exercising their rights – although Brewer did say he didn’t think there was a need for anyone to bring a gun into the Capitol.

Brewer was critical of Judiciary Committee chairman Steve Lathrop’s decision to limit testimony to just 90 seconds so that all those who wished to speak could. Lathrop explained that if he allowed the usual 3-minutes, the hearing would last till midnight, but Brewer said that’s what he should have done.

It’s unlikely either bill will get to floor debate even if they’re advanced by the committee because neither one was named a priority bill by any senator.