Summary of Nebraska Gun Laws
Nebraska is a shall-issue state. Permits are issued at the state level by the State Patrol Department.
A handgun certificate or a concealed carry permit is required for any purchase of a handgun, even private sales. The city of Omaha requires handgun registration, although concealed handgun permit holders are exempt.
Open carry is legal without a permit in Nebraska for anyone at least 18 years of age that is not prohibited from carrying a firearm, although it may be restricted by local governments. For open carry in a vehicle, the firearm must be clearly visible. Some areas are off-limits, including schools. The city of Omaha requires individuals to possess a concealed carry permit to openly carry within the city.
Concealed carry is legal for residents with a Nebraska Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP) and for non-residents with a license/permit from a state Nebraska honors. The minimum age to obtain a CHP is 21 years old. Applicants must also complete a firearms training course. Permits are restricted to residents and military personnel and their spouses stationed in Nebraska. The city of Lincoln prohibits the possession of a firearm by anyone who has been convicted of certain misdemeanors within the last 10 years, including stalking, violation of an order of protection, sexual assault and public indecency. In terms of reciprocity, Nebraska will recognize permits issued by those states which have standards equal to or greater than Nebraska.
Nebraska is a Castle Doctrine state. There is no duty to retreat while in a person’s dwelling or workplace. Present law requires citizens, if outside their homes, vehicles or outbuildings, to retreat before protecting themselves or family against violent intruders.
Use of Force in Self-Protection
The use of force upon or toward another person is justifiable:
- When the actor believes that such force is immediately necessary to protect himself against the use of unlawful force by such other person on the present occasion;
- When the actor believes that such force is necessary to protect himself against death, serious bodily harm, kidnapping or sexual intercourse compelled by force or threat;
- To resist force used by the occupier or possessor of property if:
- The actor has been unlawfully dispossessed of the property and is making a re-entry or recapture justified by section 28-1411; or
- The actor believes that such force is necessary to protect himself against death or serious bodily harm.
The use of deadly force is not justifiable if:
- The actor provoked the use of force against himself or herself in the same encounter; or
- The actor knows that he can avoid the necessity of using such force with complete safety by retreating, surrendering possession of an item or by complying with a demand that he or she abstain from any action which one has no duty to take, except that:
- The actor shall not be obliged to retreat from his or her dwelling or place of work, unless the person was the initial aggressor or is assailed in the place of work by another person whose place of work the actor knows it to be.
Use of Force for Protection of Other Persons
The use of force is justifiable to protect a third person when:
- The actor would be justified in using such force to protect himself or herself against the injury he or she believes to be threatened to the person whom one seeks to protect;
- Under the circumstances the person whom he or she seeks to protect would be justified in using such protective force; and
- The actor believes that his or her intervention is necessary for the protection of such other person.
A person is not required to retreat before using force in the protection of another person against the use of unlawful force unless one knows that he can thereby secure the complete safety of such other person. However, there is no duty to retreat when in the other’s dwelling or place of work.
In addition § NRS 28-1413 refers to the use of force by persons with special responsibility for care, discipline or safety of others.
Use of Force for Protection of Property
The use of force is justifiable when the actor believes that such force is immediately necessary:
- To prevent or terminate an unlawful entry or other trespass upon land or a trespass against or the unlawful carrying away of tangible, movable property; or
- To effect an entry or re-entry upon land or to retake tangible movable property.
[Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 28-1409, 28-1410 and 28-1411]