Firearm legislation causing controversy at the Capitol

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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The Nebraska State Patrol confirmed it is investigating a threat against Senator Adam Morfeld of Lincoln. His bill, LB 58, and another are centered around gun legislation. That is not sitting well with those who want to protect their second amendment rights.

Sen. Morfeld told 10/11 NOW, the threat referred to a political assassination, but the Nebraska State Patrol confirmed it wouldn't have extra security at the Capitol tomorrow.

Morfeld's bill, LB58 or the Extreme Risk Protection Order, was drafted by Morfeld, Lincoln Police Department and the Sarpy County Sheriffs.

"To make it that people that pose a significant threat to themselves or others, through a court order can have their firearms taken away," said Morfeld.

The bill allows law enforcement to identify someone as an extreme risk and temporarily ban them from purchasing or possessing firearms for up to 12 months. It's being nicknamed the "Red Flag" bill; 17 other states have their own "Red Flag" laws.

The National Rifle Association said via spokeswoman Catherine Mortensen:

“This reckless ‘red flag’ bill would leave law-abiding Nebraskans defenseless. Nebraska already has laws on the books to keep firearms out of the hands of the dangerously mentally ill. LB58 is a straight up gun grab that would trample on the constitutional rights of Nebraskans and do nothing to make anyone any safer.”

But Morfeld's isn't the only one causing controversy. Omaha senator, John McCollister's LB 816 is also a hot topic. McCollister's bill would create a 2-day waiting period after purchasing a handgun, require a purchase certificate for certain types of firearms and would increase the background check period from three days to five.

It would also require background checks at gun shows with 50 or more vendors.

"This is a suicide prevention bill. 816 has to do with suicide. We want to prevent suicides, and we're hoping this bill will do it."

Some in the Capitol, including Governor Ricketts, see these bills as a threat to the Second Amendment.

Ricketts said in his weekly column,
"While Nebraska has a long tradition of protecting Second Amendment rights, it’s important to be vigilant against legislative attempts to erode them. LB 58, a bill currently under consideration by the Legislature, would infringe on your right to bear arms in Nebraska... LB 58 would create a judicial weapon for anti-gun activists who wish to roll back the gun rights enshrined in both our federal and state constitutions."

Pro gun-rights groups are planning on protesting Friday and attending the 1:30 p.m. hearing for the waiting period bill.

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