Challenging Executive Overreach in Nebraska: The Liberty Justice Center Launches Cases Defending Nebraskans’ Second Amendment Rights

December 18, 2023

On December 18, the Liberty Justice Center launched two new lawsuits challenging local firearm restrictions in Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska, 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 mayors of Omaha and Lincoln issued executive orders banning all firearms from city property, including public parks and sidewalks. Omaha’s City Council also passed ordinances banning “ghost gun” parts and manufacturing, as well as bump stocks. In addition, the Lincoln City Council has not repealed Lincoln’s many ordinances regulating weapons.

The Liberty Justice Center is challenging Omaha’s and Lincoln’s firearms orders and ordinances because they are prohibited—and therefore null and void—under state law. The lawsuits also challenge the mayors’ executive orders 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 mayors’ executive orders. 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 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.

“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 mayors of Omaha and Lincoln have defied state law with their executive orders, and we look forward to seeing those orders and other city firearms regulations struck down.”

“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.

NFOA v. Lincoln was filed in the District Court of the Third Judicial District, Lancaster County, Nebraska, on December 18, 2023. NFOA v. Omaha was filed in the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District, Douglas County, Nebraska, on December 18, 2023.

The Liberty Justice Center’s case filings in NFOA v. Lincoln are available here, and its filings in NFOA v. Omaha are available here.


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