March 20, 2023
Center for Law and Justice
FACT SHEET: New Legislation Would Empower Nebraskans with Constitutional Carry
March 20, 2023
Constitutional carry, or permitless carry, codifies the right of law-abiding citizens to carry a handgun—open and/or concealed carry—without a permit. It is the primary way states formally recognize the right to bear arms as an extension of the right to self-defense, not as merely a privilege bestowed by the government.
Nebraska currently does not have a law permitting constitutional carry.
How common is constitutional carry?
- In January 2023, Alabama’s constitutional carry law went into effect, making it the 25th state to pass constitutional carry.
- 18 of these 25 states had a constitutional carry law go into effect within the last decade.
Why is constitutional carry important?
Constitutional carry allows law-abiding Americans to carry firearms freely, without bureaucratic restrictions or governmental mandates like mandatory training requirements and other deterrent or restrictive policies.
Low-income citizens will especially benefit from constitutional carry laws in states that currently impose onerous fees throughout the application and permitting process.
NEBRASKA BY THE NUMBERS
- 89,000 Permits as of October 2022
- More than 6% of Nebraska adults practice concealed carry
- The people of Nebraska are estimated to use a gun defensively 10,000 times per year.
- The 2021 National Firearms Survey estimates that the U.S. has 1.67 Million instances annually when someone uses a gun to defend themselves or others around them.
Clearing Up Common Misconceptions Surrounding Constitutional Carry
Constitutional carry does NOT allow felons or other prohibited persons to own/carry a firearm.
- Under constitutional carry, it remains unlawful for all individuals already prohibited by federal and/or state law—including felons, the mentally ill, users of controlled substances, and convicted domestic abusers—to purchase, possess, or carry a firearm.
- Under federal and/or state law, all states with constitutional carry still require lawful citizens to undergo background checks before purchasing a firearm from a firearms dealer.
Constitutional carry, or loosening restrictions on the right to carry, will NOT lead to an increase in crime.
- One study found no statistically significant relationship between constitutional carry laws and homicide.
- Of the top 10 states with the lowest violent crime rates, 5 have constitutional carry, including the 3 safest—Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.