Judge blocks Omaha’s ban on guns in public places while lawsuit challenging it moves forward

Feb 9, 2024, 3:20 PM

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska’s largest city won’t be able to enforce its ban on guns on all public property, including parks and sidewalks, while a lawsuit challenging that restriction moves forward.

Douglas County District Judge LeAnne Srb issued a preliminary injunction Friday blocking that ban, but she refused to put Omaha’s restrictions on “ghost guns” and bump stocks on hold.

The Liberty Justice Center filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Nebraska Firearms Owners Association arguing that the city restrictions violate a new state law passed last year that allows people to carry concealed guns across the state without a permit and without the need to complete a gun safety course. A similar lawsuit challenging gun restrictions in Lincoln remains pending.

“We are thrilled with the court’s decision to grant this injunction and uphold Nebraskans’ rights against executive overreach,” said Jacob Huebert, president of the Liberty Justice Center. “Under Nebraska law, local governments do not have the authority to regulate firearms — the right to bear arms is protected across the state.”

Just before gun owners filed these lawsuits, Nebraska Attorney General Michael Hilgers published an opinion stating that state law preempts executive orders from the mayors restricting guns.

Omaha City Attorney Matt Kuhse said “while it is unfortunate that the court enjoined the city’s ability to protect our public spaces, we will abide by this order.” But the city will continue to fight the lawsuit.

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Judge blocks Omaha’s ban on guns in public places while lawsuit challenging it moves forward