Senator Christensen glad LB512 process completed
By Carolyn Lee
The Imperial Republican
A bill that clarifies the process of gun purchase application has passed the Nebraska Legislature, and it’s sponsor is “glad it’s done.” State Sen. Mark Christensen of Imperial said he sponsored the bill at the request of the Nebraska State Patrol.
LB512 now assures that mental health records are more accessible in the sale of firearms in Nebraska. It makes records available to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System if they disqualify a person from owning or using a handgun.
The District 44 senator said essentially LB512 assures second amendment rights. In the past, if a person had an involuntary mental health check made by law enforcement, they could never have a gun permit again, even if a subsequent mental health check showed the person was stable.
Christensen said, “If you were never unstable, you shouldn’t lose your rights. If you are unstable, you shouldn’t be able to purchase a gun. If you were unstable once and now are stable, why shouldn’t you have the right to apply for a gun?”
The senator gave as an example a person who was once on drugs or an alcoholic, who gave up the bad habits and became stable. “They shouldn’t lose their right to have a gun,” he added.
“I think the bill was good as a whole,” he stated, but the press and “the public had a hard time understanding the purpose. A lot of people are nervous that if someone was unstable (once), what if they become unstable again.”
There wasn’t a process before for people denied gun permits because of involuntary mental health checks, which is why the State Patrol wanted it clarified, Christensen said. “I’m glad it’s done.”
An amendment to the bill also allows peace officers to carry concealed guns in schools, when acting as security guards.