The only ones allowed to have a weapon at the Nebraska Capitol are the State Patrol troopers that provide security. Nebraska State Senator Tom Brewer of Gordon wants that changed. He plans to introduce a bill that would allow state senators and their staff to go through the proper training and be allowed to conceal carry weapons while in the building, at town halls or at campaign events.
Senator Brewer says, “All we are saying is give us the fundamental right for self-protection. We are not asking to rewrite the Constitution or anything else. Just give us the ability that if we have to represent the people of Nebraska and go places and do things with no protection formally by the state of Nebraska or by local agencies, because we are not asking that burden upon them, that we can at least self-protect ourselves or our staff when we do that.”
Senator Brewer says it is very fortunate that House Majority Whip Steve Scalise had a security detail with him during an attack on members of Congress during a baseball game practice or the outcome could have been a lot worse.
The proposal would require all lawmakers that want to participate to take the conceal carry class and obtain a permit. There is also a requirement that would have them go above and beyond to show their ability to handle situations especially in crowds as to not put the public at risk.
Senator Brewer says it would also provide an added level of security inside the State Capitol. He says, “There are still no metal detectors coming in the building. You can walk in, walk in those doors, make a hard right, go two doors down, open my door and walk in and everyone is there. You are helpless in those offices. You have the ability to contact security but by the time security finds out and gets there you are talking about quite a while. It just seems so common sense but again we don’t live in a time when common sense prevails in many cases.”
Brewer has spoken with about a half-dozen fellow lawmakers who are interested in helping him write this legislation.