City of Lincoln
2006 Media Releases
Mayor Coleen J. Seng and City Council members Dan Marvin and Jonathan Cook today released a proposal that they and Council member Ken Svoboda have each been discussing regarding local ordinances related to the State concealed weapons law that takes effect January 1, 2007. Earlier this week, the City Council removed from its agenda a proposal to ban the carrying of concealed weapons in the City of Lincoln.
Mayor Seng said she has had the Police and Law Departments preparing a companion proposal that would have been presented to the City Council next week prior to the previously scheduled public hearing on concealed weapons. The companion proposal addressed the types of crimes that would prevent a person from receiving a permit to possess a weapon or a permit to carry a concealed weapon.
“The State law on concealed weapons specified that those convicted of crimes of violence would not be eligible to receive a concealed carry permit, but it did not identify the specific crimes,” said Mayor Seng. “This proposal is intended to clarify what types of violent crimes would prevent a person from being eligible. With the removal of the concealed weapons ban from the Council agenda, this companion legislation could now be viewed as an alternative by Council members. I am pleased that Council members Marvin, Cook, and Svoboda all are interested in this type of proposal.”
In 2003. the City Council approved an ordinance that made it unlawful for anyone convicted of serious misdemeanor crimes to possess a firearm. The current ordinance prevents possession of a firearm in the City limits by persons convicted within the last ten years of any of the listed violent and serious misdemeanors. The 2003 ordinance was approved on a seven-to-zero vote by the City Council. Seng was one of the Council members voting for the measure. Current Council members who voted for the measure are Cook, Svoboda, Annette McRoy and Jon Camp. The new proposal would expand the list of serious crimes the City Council approved in 2003.
Police Chief Tom Casady supports the proposal. “I’ve been opposed to concealed handguns, but this ordinance addresses my most significant concern,” he said. “It solves my most serious problem with the State’s new concealed carry law – the loopholes for people convicted of some rather serious misdemeanor crimes. Compromise seems to be called for, and I hope the entire Council can support this.”
The proposed additions to the list of serious crimes would include third-degree assault; domestic assault; assault and battery; menacing threats; violation of custody; contributing to the delinquency of a child; unlawful intrusion; first-degree criminal trespassing; public indecency; using a motor vehicle to avoid arrest; indecent exposure; violation of the State controlled substance act; unlawful use of toxic compounds; and second offense driving under the influence.
The ordinance adopted in 2003 included stalking; violation of a protection order; second-degree false imprisonment; impersonating a peace officer; third-degree sexual assault; first-degree criminal trespass; debauching a minor; resisting arrest; obstructing a peace officer; carrying a concealed weapon; criminal child enticement; unlawful discharge of firearms; introducing contraband or escape implements; obstructing government operations; unlawful possession of explosives, second degree; use of explosives without a permit; concealing the death of another person; criminal attempt when the crime attempted is a felony or any of the listed misdemeanors; and furnishing minors with firearms, ammunition or weapons.
“One of the major factors in our high quality of life is the low crime rate in our City, and keeping our community safe is always a high priority,” said Mayor Seng.
Casady said adding the additional list of violent and serious offenses to the existing ordinance on firearm possession is needed because many people with serious criminal records have never been convicted of a felony and are lawfully able to possess a weapon. As of January 1, these same individuals would be able to legally carry concealed weapons if no action is taken.
“These are serious misdemeanors crimes, and I believe the community would agree a person convicted of domestic assault, other assaults, indecent exposure and drug possession should not be allowed to possess a gun in the City,” Seng said.
Seng said she and the Council members would continue work on a joint proposal to introduce in the near future.
Under the new State law, Nebraskans will be able to obtain a permit for a fee of $100 after they complete firearms training and are cleared by a background check.