Here’s a rundown of revisions to the city’s gun laws, approved by the City Council at Tuesday’s meeting.
- A “concealable firearm” is now defined by the city as a weapon with an overall length of less than 26 inches. The old definition was a firearm with a barrel length of less than 18 inches.
- Explicit language stating those complying with state laws under the Concealed Handgun Permit Act are exempt from city handgun registration requirements.
- Legal immigrants are now formally cleared to register their weapons. Monday, a federal judge granted an injunction to allow legal immigrants that right while it mulls over whether that part of the law is constitutional.
- Those otherwise exempt from mandatory registration are allowed to voluntarily register their firearms with the city, free of charge.
- Everyone else has to pay $15 to register handguns, not $10.
A vote on the changes had been scheduled for late October, but council members delayed it to allow the city’s Legal Department to meet with those opposed to the changes.
Public safety officials have said the changes are necessary to make city regulations consistent with state and federal gun laws. Gun rights activists object, however, saying the proposals create unnecessary, unfair or ambiguous regulations.
Mayor Jim Suttle introduced a new wrinkle to the city’s side of this issue after the council approved the changes on a 5-2 vote:
“Anything we can do to keep illegal guns off Omaha streets will help reduce violent crime and promote public safety,” he said Tuesday.
What do you think? Is this the sort of law that can reduce violent crime?