Skip to content Skip to navigation menu

Nebraska Gun Laws

Although Nebraska has enacted some restrictive gun legislation, the state largely preserves the right to bear arms. In fact, the state constitution explicitly declares the right to keep and bear arms as “inherent and inalienable”. However, the state does maintain universal background checks on some firearms purchases and has a relatively thorough licensing process. As a “shall issue” state, obtaining a concealed carry license is a straightforward process in Nebraska.

Nebraska Gun Laws at a Glance

Concealed Carry Premit Required Yes
Open Carry Premitted Yes
Waiting period before purchasing Not required
Lost and Stolen Firearm Reporting Not required(See Below)
Firearms License Required for Purchasing Yes(See Below)
Universal Background Check Handguna only
Firearm Registration No
Large Capacity Magazine Ban No

Although Nebraska law does not require the formal reporting of lost firearms, the law does state:

“The Nebraska State Patrol shall inform each permitholder, upon the issuance or renewal of a permit to carry a concealed handgun, that if a handgun, or other firearm, owned by such permitholder is lost or stolen, the permitholder should notify his or her county sheriff or local police department of that fact.”

Firearm License Requirements

Nebraska allows handgun transfers from licensed dealers if the buyer can present:

  • A concealed carry permit or
  • A handgun certificate or
  • A completed consent form and background check
  • To obtain handguns through private sellers, you must have a handgun certificate or concealed weapons permit. This does not apply to long guns.

    However, a transferee may receive a handgun without any of these documents if:
    • The transferee is also a licensed firearms dealer
    • The handgun is an antique or curio
    • The transfer is temporary, but the transferee must remain in the line of sight of the transferor or within the premises of a shooting facility;
    • The transfer is between a person and his or her spouse, sibling, parent, child, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, or grandparent
    • The transferee is a peace officer

    To be granted a handgun certificate, the applicant must apply to the local police or sheriff. The applicant will be approved if he or she is at least 21 years old and is not prohibited from possessing a handgun under any federal or state laws.

Background Checks

Nebraska does not fully enforce universal background checks, but some kind of background check is required for many firearms purchases.

In accordance with federal law, licensed dealers must initiate background checks on buyers before the sale of a firearm.

Those wishing to obtain handguns through private sellers must present a handgun certificate or a concealed handgun permit, both of which require background checks. Transfers of shotguns and rifles are not subject to this requirement.

Gun Shows

Nebraska does not regulate gun shows.

Hardware and Ammunition Restrictions

Hardware Restrictions
Assault Weapons No restrictions
50 Caliber Rifles No restrictions
Machine Guns Prohibited unless the possessor is qualified under federal law to possess a machine gun. Nebraska defines machine guns as “any firearm, whatever its size and usual designation, that shoots automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.”
Large Capacity Magazines No restrictions
Ammunition No restrictions (Federal regulations apply)

Prohibited Persons

In Nebraska, you may not possess a firearm if you are any of the following:

  • A convicted felon
  • A fugitive from justice
  • Subject to a current domestic violence, harassment, or sexual assault protection order and are in violation of that order
  • A person convicted within the past seven years of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence
  • Any person under 25 who been adjudicated an offender in juvenile court for an act which would constitute a felony or misdemeanor crime of domestic violence

Prohibited Places

Location Restrictions Exceptions
Schools Firearms are prohibited in any school, on school grounds, in a school-owned vehicle, or at a school-sponsored activity or athletic event. See below for a full list of exceptions.
Vehicles Nebraska generally permits firearms in vehicles, loaded or unloaded. Loaded shotguns may not be carried in vehicles on highways.

Nebraska’s firearms in schools restrictions do not apply under any of the following circumstances:

  • Firearms possessed by a person receiving instruction under the immediate supervision of an adult instructor
  • Firearms possessed by a member of a university’s rifle or shooting team, when used for team purposes
  • Firearms possessed as part of an agriculture or a natural resources program of such college or university (however, the possessor must be employed by the school)
  • Unloaded, encased, or locked firearms affixed to a rack contained within a private vehicle operated by a nonstudent adult
  • A handgun carried as a concealed handgun by a valid holder of a state permit while in a vehicle or on his or her person while riding in or on a vehicle into or onto any parking area (Prior to exiting the vehicle, the handgun must be locked inside the glove box, trunk, or another compartment of the vehicle, or a storage box securely attached to the vehicle)

Concealed Carry Laws

Notify Officer Yes
“No Gun” Signs Enforced
In-Vehicle Carry Permitted
Restaurant Carry Permitted
State Park Carry Permitted
While Hunting Permitted

Obtaining a Concealed Carry License

Nebraska is a ‘shall issue’ state, meaning that any person will be granted a concealed carry license if he or she satisfies certain requirements.

Requirements for a Concealed Carry License
Applicants for a concealed carry license in Nebraska must:
  • Be at least 21 years of age
  • Not be prohibited from possessing a handgun under any federal laws
  • Possess sufficient powers of eyesight (This can be demonstrated by a current Nebraska motor vehicle operator’s license or an optometrist’s statement)
  • Not have pled guilty, no contest to, or not have been convicted of a charged felony
  • Not have pled guilty, no contest to, or not have been convicted of a charged misdemeanor crime of violence within the past ten years
  • Not have been found to be a mentally ill and dangerous person at any point in the past 10 years
  • Have been a Nebraska resident for at least 180 days, (does not apply for members of the U.S. Armed Forces or their spouses after they have been stationed at a military installation in Nebraska on permanent duty station orders, or for new residents who possess a valid concealed weapons permit from another state)
  • Have not violated any laws relating to firearms, unlawful use of weapons, or controlled substances in the past ten years;
  • Not be on parole, probation, house arrest, or work release
  • Provide proof of firearms training

Concealed Carry Firearms Training

Nebraska requires that concealed handgun applicants complete handgun training within the three years prior to the date of application.

  • The minimum requirements for this training are:
  • Knowledge and safe handling of handguns and ammunition
  • Safe shooting fundamentals
  • A demonstrated competency with a handgun
  • Knowledge of federal, state, and local laws pertaining to handgun usage
  • Knowledge of federal, state, and local laws pertaining to justifiable homicide and the various degrees of assault
  • Knowledge of avoiding criminal attacks and defusing violent confrontations
  • Knowledge of proper storage practices for handguns and ammunition

Concealed Carry Location Restrictions

Even with a valid concealed carry license, you may not carry concealed firearms at the following locations:

  • Law enforcement offices
  • Detention centers, prisons, and jails
  • Courtrooms and buildings that contain courtrooms
  • Polling places during elections
  • Any meeting of the governing body of a county, public school district, municipality or other political subdivision
  • Any meeting of the legislature or a committee of the legislature
  • Any bank or financial institution
  • Any professional, semi-professional or collegiate athletic event
  • Churches or other places of worship
  • Hospitals, emergency rooms, and trauma centers
  • Political rallies or fundraisers
  • Establishments having a license issued under the Nebraska Liquor Control Act that gets over one half of its total income from the sale of alcoholic liquor
  • A place or premises where the entity or person in control has prohibited permit holders from carrying concealed handguns
  • Building, grounds, vehicles or sponsored activities or athletic events of any school, secondary school, college, or university
  • Offutt Air Force Base, except current and former military law enforcement personnel who have permits that allow qualifying military police to carry concealed weapons
  • Game refuges
  • State Wild Game Preserves
  • Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law or state law or regulation

Disclaimer: The information provided here is not to be construed as legal advice or acted upon as if it is legal advice: it is provided for informational and entertainment purposes only. While we strive to provide accurate, up-to-date content, we cannot guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or currency of the information. Gun laws can change frequently, especially at the state and local levels. Application of gun laws can be unique to an individual’s situation. We recommend that each individual consult with a competent and qualified legal professional before purchasing, transporting, or using any firearm or firearm-related product.