“All persons are by nature free and independent, and have certain inherent and inalienable rights; among these are … the right to keep and bear arms for security or defense of self, family, home, and others, and for lawful common defense, hunting, recreational use, and all other lawful purposes, and such rights shall not be denied or infringed by the state or any subdivision thereof. To secure these rights, and the protection of property, governments are instituted among people, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”


Nebraska is a shall-issue state. 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 at 18, although it may be restricted by local governments. Concealed carry is legal for residents with a CHP, the minimum age is 21. Nebraska will recognize permits issued by those states which have standards equal to or greater. Nebraska is a Castle Doctrine state. There is no duty to retreat.

Reciprocal Carry

By statute, Nebraska will recognize another state’s license to carry if that state recognizes Nebraska’s license:

“A valid license or permit to carry a concealed handgun issued by any other state or the District of Columbia shall be recognized as valid in this state under the Concealed Handgun Permit Act if (1) the holder of the license or permit is not a resident of Nebraska and (2) the Attorney General has determined that the standards for issuance of such license or permit by such state or the District of Columbia are equal to or greater than the standards imposed by the act.”

Since there is no national carry license, as with the other states, some states are reciprocal with Nebraska and some are not. Anyone contemplating reciprocal carry should check with the official list maintained by the Nebraska AG at the point in time the reciprocal carry is to occur. All states add and delete states with which they have reciprocity agreements over time.

Duty To Notify Police Officer

Whenever a permitholder who is carrying a concealed handgun is in contact with a LEO or emergency services personnel, the permitholder must immediately inform the LEO or emergency services personnel that the permitholder is carrying a concealed handgun. A permitholder must carry his or her CCP and his or her Nebraska driver’s license or government issued ID any time he or she carries a concealed handgun and must display both when asked to do so by a LEO or emergency services personnel. During contact with a permitholder, a LEO or emergency services personnel may secure the handgun if they determine it is necessary for their safety.

Carrying Firearms In Vehicles

Nebraska permits anyone who is legally allowed to possess a firearm to carry it openly in a vehicle without a permit. Long guns and handguns may be carried openly (however it is illegal to carry a loaded shotgun in a vehicle), however a loaded handgun must be visible from outside the vehicle.

NFA Items

Nebraska permits ownership of all NFA items, provided they are legally obtained pursuant to federal law. Hunting with suppressors is legal.

Self-Defense Laws

Nebraska has a modified form of Castle Doctrine but no SYG law. There is no duty to retreat when in Your dwelling or place of business. You may use force, including deadly force, in defense of yourself or others if You reasonably believe it is necessary to prevent imminent death, SBI, kidnapping, or rape.

Carry In Restaurants That Serve Alcohol

Nebraska only prohibits carrying in establishments that derive more than one-half of their total income from the sale of alcohol. This does not include the bar or bar area of a restaurant – You are prohibited from carrying into these areas. You can carry your firearm into a restaurant that serves alcohol, but you are prohibited from consuming alcohol while carrying a firearm.

Do “No Gun Signs” Have The Force Of Law?

“No Guns” signs have the force of law in Nebraska. A permit holder who carries a firearm into an establishment that has a “no guns” sign conspicuously posted is guilty of a Class III misdemeanor for the first violation and a Class I misdemeanor for any subsequent violation.

Open Carry

Open carry is legal in Nebraska, but state preemption allows local governments to regulate the open carrying of firearms. Nebraska preemption only covers the carrying of “concealed firearms.” The Minimum age for open carry is 18. For open carry in a vehicle, the firearm must be clearly visible.

Background Checks

Background checks are not required for purchases of long guns. A person acquiring a handgun must have either a handgun certificate or a CCP and has therefore been subjected to a background check.

DISCLAIMER: The Gun Laws by State Guide (GLBSG) was created to provide its readers with a general educational resource tool to explore the pertinent gun laws in Your jurisdiction.

However, the GLBSG was not researched and/or written by attorneys as a specific legal guide to rely upon. Instead, it is a starting point for your own research. In addition, all laws are always subject to reasonable, but different, legal interpretation as to meaning and application.

As such, the GLBSG is not intended to supplant, nor limit, Your need for independent verification of any and all material contained herein and consultation with competent counsel of choice regarding any specific issues.

This type of specific legal analysis is necessarily beyond the general educational objective of the GLBSG and for which a bar-admitted attorney in the particular state(s) is needed and required. The content of this GLBSG is a general restatement of the law.

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