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Gun control debates begin in Nebraska
It's a debate that's happening all across the country and Wednesday it was front and center at the state capitol as the Judiciary Committee began debating gun control.
Nearly a dozen gun-related bills will be introduced this week.
A number of these bills are modeled after proposals in other states. One bill in particular, LB 293, is similar to a measure that passed last month in Maine.
It's in response to a New York newspaper that published the names of those who applied for gun permits.
The bill's sponsor says it being proactive.
The Judiciary Committee was packed with supporters Wednesday as lawmakers began hearing testimony on the first of nine gun-related bills.
"I believe it's a very measured and balanced bill designed to address the issues of privacy, security, gun rights, law enforcement's need to access important hand gun registration records," said Senator Bill Kintner.
Senator Kintner of Papillion introduced a bill that would keep all information regarding firearm registration, sale of use, confidential.
"My amended bill would restrict those hand gun permit applications or certificates from being released as public records," said Kintner.
While the majority of those in attendance supported the bill, two members of the group, Media of Nebraska opposed it.
"It's the record of our government and it's bought and paid for by taxpayers," said Media of Nebraska President Dave Bundy.
"It's not been a problem, it's not been an issue in this state, I'm certainly not aware of any instances of the news media in Nebraska doing some kind of blanket reporting of everyone who has a certificate," said Shawn Renner, Media of Nebraska.
Senator Charlie Janssen of Fremont also introduced legislation that would prohibit federal restrictions of firearms, magazines and firearm accessories.
"Provides that any new federal restrictions on firearms, ownership, or registration beyond the restrictions that existed in Nebraska and the United States before Jan. 1, 2013 shall be unenforceable in Nebraska," Senator Charlie Janssen said.
But Omaha Senator Ernie Chambers doesn't think this kind of legislation is legal.
"Isn't that contrary to what the Supremacy clause of the constitution makes clear," said Chambers.
The debate over gun rights has intensified since the massacre last December that killed 20 children and six staff members in Connecticut.
Last night Senator Harry Reid of Nevada announced that the assault weapons ban will not be included in a U.S. Senate gun bill that's expected to be debated this week.
Five more bills will be introduced Thursday.
All of the bills do remain in committee.
We will wait and see if any of them make it to the floor for a full debate.
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