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Nebraska Gun Control Laws

Both federal and state laws determine how firearms can be legally sold and owned in the U.S. The laws vary greatly between different states and regions.

State gun control laws often limit who may purchase a firearm, how background checks are carried out, permitting processes for carrying a concealed handgun, and so forth.

Some states require a waiting period and have several restrictions on the carrying of handguns, while other states are much more permissive. The federal government has limited authority over firearms (see the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearm's explanation of the National Firearms Act to learn more).

Nebraska Gun Control Laws at a Glance

Details of Nebraska's gun control laws are listed below. See Gun Laws for related information.

Relevant Statutes (Laws)

Nebraska Revised Statutes, Chapter 28, Article 12, Sections 28-1201 through 28-1212.04
  • Carrying concealed weapon - Section 28-1202
  • Unlawful possession of a handgun - Section 28-1204
  • Unlawful possession of a firearm at a school; penalty; exception - Section 28-1204.04
  • Unlawful possession of a firearm by a prohibited juvenile offender - Section 28-1204.05
  • Possession of a defaced firearm; penalty - Section 28-1207
Nebraska Revised Statutes, Chapter 69, Article 24, Sections 69-2401 through 69-2449
  • Sale, lease, rental, and transfer; certificate required - Section 69-2403
  • Certificate; application; fee - Section 69-2404
  • Applicant; requirements - Section 69-2433

Illegal Arms

The following firearms are prohibited in Nebraska:
  • Machine guns
  • Short rifles
  • Short shotguns
  • A firearm with the manufacturer's identification mark or serial number removed, defaced, altered, or destroyed

Waiting Period

Nebraska does not have a waiting period to purchase a firearm, but a person obtaining a handgun must acquire a handgun certificate or a concealed handgun permit.

Who May Not Own

A person cannot possess a firearm if the person:
  • Is younger than 18 years old and the firearm is a handgun
  • Is younger than 25 years old and has previously been adjudicated an offender in juvenile court for an act that would constitute a felony or an act that would constitute a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence
  • Has previously been convicted of a felony
  • Is a fugitive from justice
  • Is the subject of a current and validly issued domestic violence protection order, harassment protection order, or sexual assault protection order and is knowingly violating such order
  • Is on probation pursuant to a deferred judgment for a felony
  • Has been convicted within the past seven years of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

License Required?

In general, a person needs a handgun certificate or concealed handgun permit to purchase a handgun in Nebraska.

Concealed Carry License Required?

A concealed handgun permit is required to carry a concealed handgun in Nebraska.

Open Carried Allowed?

Nebraska does not prohibit open carry.

Eligibility for a Concealed Carry License

To obtain a concealed handgun permit, a person must:
  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Not be prohibited from purchasing or possessing a handgun by federal law
  • Possess the same powers of eyesight as needed for a Class O operator's license
  • Not have been convicted of a felony
  • Not have been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of violence within the ten years immediately preceding the date of application
  • Not have been found in the previous ten years to be a mentally ill and dangerous person under the Nebraska Mental Health Commitment Act or a similar law of another jurisdiction or not be currently adjudged mentally incompetent
  • Have been a resident of this state for at least 180 days
  • Not have had a conviction of any law of this state relating to firearms, unlawful use of a weapon, or controlled substances or of any similar laws of another jurisdiction within the ten years preceding the date of application
  • Not be on parole, probation, house arrest, or work release
  • Provide proof of training

Machine Gun Laws

Machine guns are prohibited in Nebraska unless a person is authorized to possess one under federal law.

Penalties for Illegal Firearm Possession

Penalties for illegal firearm possession depend on the offense. Below are some offenses and their penalties:
  • Possessing a machine gun, short rifle, or short shotgun is a Class IV felony punishable by up to 2 years imprisonment and up to a $10,000 fine
  • Possession of a firearm by a prohibited juvenile offender is a Class IV felony punishable by up to 2 years imprisonment and up to a $10,000 fine
  • A second or subsequent offense of possession of a firearm by a prohibited juvenile offender is a Class IIIA felony punishable by up to 3 years imprisonment and up to a $10,000 fine
  • Possession of a firearm by a prohibited person is a Class ID felony punishable by a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 3 years to a maximum term of 50 years
  • A second or subsequent offense of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person is a Class IB felony punishable by 20 years to life imprisonment
  • Possession of a defaced firearm is a Class III felony punishable by up to 4 years imprisonment and up to a $25,000 fine
  • Carrying a concealed weapon without a permit is a Class I misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year imprisonment and up to a $10,000 fine
  • A second or subsequent conviction of carrying a concealed weapon without a permit is a Class IV felony punishable by up to 2 years imprisonment and up to a $10,000 fine

Penalties for Illegal Possession on or Near School Grounds

Unlawful possession of a firearm at a school is a Class IV felony punishable by up to 2 years imprisonment and up to a $10,000 fine.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Research the Law

Nebraska Gun Control Laws: Related Resources

Charged With a Gun Crime in Nebraska?

If you face state or federal gun charges in the state of Nebraska, you can protect yourself and your right to own a firearm by calling a qualified attorney in your area.

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

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