Students, Organizations Speak Out Against Nebraska Guns in Schools Bill

"Rather than introduce a bill to better educate ourselves to mental health, would you agree with me that it's a pretty clear statement on the United States that we would much rather hand people a gun to put down another person than actually put forth the measures need to make sure no one has to die," said sophomore Hastings High Student Ben Anderson.

Protesting the bill is a group called Nebraskans Against Gun Violence. They said schools that implement conceal and carry could lose teachers even if a shooter were to show up on campus. The accuracy rate is low and wouldn't help, according to those against the bill.

"Having other systems in place - better locks on the doors, more screening before they come to school. I would much rather see a bill that guarantees those kinds of protections and see what can happen," said Central Nebraska Coordinator for the Nebraskans Against Gun Violence Robin Vodhenal.

LEAP Forward is grading action on this legislation - Nebraska LB 343 - and is scoring opposition.


Nebraska "Red Flag Law" Introduced

Sen. Adam Morefield of Nebraska has introduced LB 58, The Extreme Risk Protection Order Act, which will allow firearms to be removed from anyone who is adjudicated to be a danger to themselves or others. From 1011 NOW:

According to Captain Kevin Griger, of the Sarpy County Sheriff’s office ”The extreme risk protection order would be a critical component in removing weapons from people during a mental health crisis. This legislation would give law enforcement and the courts an additional tool to utilize to keep our communities safer while protecting the due process protections and rights of those in crisis.”

Senator Morfeld stated, “Law enforcement, students, and my constituents have made clear the need to have safeguards to ensure that those found to be suffering from severe mental illnesses and individuals who pose an immediate threat do not have access to firearms after an emergency court hearing.” He went on to state, “LB 58 requires a court hearing, requires evidence to be presented and ensures due process for the gun owner. As a gun owner and an attorney this is a critical component for me.” 

Courts would have several criteria to consider when issuing such an order. According to NTV News, these include:

  • Recent threats of violence

  • A pattern of violence or threats

  • Evidence of mental illness

  • Violations of protection orders

  • Previous extreme risk protection orders issued by the court

  • Convicted of crimes against the same family

  • Ownership, access, or intent to possess firearms

  • Illegal or reckless use of firearms

  • History of making threats involving firearms

  • History of stalking

  • Previous convictions for violent crimes

  • Evidence of substance abuse

  • Evidence of recent firearm purchase

LEAP Forward will be tracking and grading support for LB 58.