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Gun seizure bill enters legislative debate
Two nationally known organizations are joining forces on introducing legislation in nearly a half dozen states. The legislation is centered on gun seizure during emergencies.
It was recently introduced in the unicameral but did not receive a lot of support.
The same bill is being offered in five other states this year and was previously introduced in five states last year.
It's in response to events during Hurricane Katrina when police disarmed residents during evacuations.
Supporters say it's their right to keep their guns, opponents say it fear mongering.
"We need all the help we can get to keep our guns in our hands and not let anybody else get a hold of them."
Supporters say it's a way to protect the Second Amendment.
"One they leave us, we don't know where they go, yeah, law enforcement might take them, but we don't know where they go after that," said Clark Williams.
It's legislation that would ban governors and local officials from seizing firearms during emergencies.
"In our part of the country right here, I don't think it would be such a big deal like it was in Katrina," said Williams.
The National Rifle Association and the American Legislative Exchange Council are pushing for the legislation after police disarmed New Orleans residents during the evacuation of the city after Hurricane Katrina.
LB 390 would change the state's emergency management act so the governor or other authorities could not suspend or limit the sale, dispensing, or transportation of firearms.
The bill's sponsor, Imperial Senator Mark Christensen, said in his written testimony before the judiciary committee that during a declared state of emergency, it is more, not less likely that a law-abiding Nebraska resident may need to use a firearm to protect themselves, their family, or property from mobs, looting, and other types of civil unrest.
But Senator Ernie Chambers of Omaha disagrees.
He said during the hearing that quote, the NRA is crazy, irrational and harmful to society, like a virus.
But gun owners say it is during those times of emergencies that protecting yourself is vital.
"if something happens like that here, there's no reason why they should have to make it to where they come and confiscate our guns, we're not going to be the problem, we're going to help if we're going to do anything," said Williams.
The same bill is being introduced in Ohio, West Virginia, North Dakota, Texas and Georgia.
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