On December 18, 2023, the Liberty Justice Center filed a lawsuit against the city of Omaha, Nebraska, and the city’s mayor, challenging local firearm restrictions that defy a recent state law protecting the right to bear arms statewide.
In April 2023, the State of Nebraska passed Legislative Bill 77, which adopted constitutional carry statewide. To make regulations consistent across the state, the bill also declared existing local firearm laws void and revoked local governments’ power to regulate firearms. Despite this prohibition, the mayor of Omaha issued an executive order banning all firearms from city property, including public parks and sidewalks. In addition, Omaha’s City Council passed an ordinance banning “ghost gun” parts and manufacturing, as well as bump stocks.
The Liberty Justice Center’s lawsuit challenges the mayor’s executive order and the city’s ordinances because they are preempted—and therefore null and void—under state law. The lawsuit also challenges the mayor’s executive order for violating the constitutional separation of powers.
The Liberty Justice Center’s lawsuit follows an opinion by Nebraska Attorney General Michael Hilgers, published December 15, which stated that state law preempts the mayor’s executive order. The Attorney General’s opinion also stated that the orders’ ban on firearms on public spaces such as parks, trails, and sidewalks violates the right to bear arms protected by the Second Amendment and the Nebraska Constitution.
“The State of Nebraska enacted a law that protects the right to bear arms statewide,” said Jacob Huebert, President of the Liberty Justice Center. “That law says that local governments can’t regulate firearms. The mayor of Omaha has defied state law with this executive order, and we look forward to seeing the order and other city firearms regulations struck down.”
The Liberty Justice Center represents the Nebraska Firearms Owners Association (NFOA), a 501(c)(4) organization representing over 10,000 firearm owners in the state of Nebraska. NFOA provides its members and the public with education, training, and resources for safe firearm use and is leading efforts within the state to defend Nebraskans’ Second Amendment rights.
“We are proud to stand beside the Liberty Justice Center to defend Nebraskans’ rights, our state laws, and the Constitution,” said Patricia Harrold, President of the Nebraska Firearms Owners Association.