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Nebraska Open Carry

This website is dedicated to the promotion of legally, openly carrying properly-holstered handguns in the state of Nebraska. Since we are not attorneys, it is your responsibility to verify all claims made on any page of this site; but we will do our best to provide links to any laws or statistics referenced. Please also be aware that certain areas of the state have different laws regarding openly carrying handguns; most notably, Omaha requires individuals to possess a permit to open carry within the city. Some of these laws are posted here, and more will come soon. Also, here is a running list of places where one of us has open carried with no issues so far (as well as a list of places that have various anti-weapon signs).

A Bit of Advice

Before you read on, there is one thing you should know: your attitude determines 99% of the response you will get from those who see you carrying a handgun. Always be mindful of your attitude while you are carrying. If people perceive you to be nervous or angry or immature or arrogant, you are probably going to get a negative response (which means you could get kicked out of wherever you are, or someone could end up calling the police). Please carry yourself in a confident and friendly manner—and always be aware of your surroundings. If you don't make a big deal of the fact that you are carrying a weapon with you, then people will likely think nothing of it. The last thing you want to do is make gun owners look bad and give the gun-grabbers an excuse to take away more of our rights.

Why Open Carry?

Deterrence

One of the best reasons to open carry is that it is a valuable means of deterrence. It's simple: most criminals do not wish to die. Therefore, they are going to be far more likely to avoid citizens who are clearly armed. The negative side of carrying a concealed weapon is that you present yourself as being unarmed; and if a criminal has a choice between attacking an individual who is obviously armed and an individual who may or may not be armed, their choice is going to be pretty straight-forward. Open carry will not leave a criminal to guess whether or not the potential victim will offer resistance.

Advocacy

Another great reason to open carry is to make a statement to the public that you recognize your Second Amendment right and are willing to exercise it without fear. Besides, it gives you an opportunity to demonstrate that not everyone who carries a gun is a criminal or a lunatic. The more people who open carry, the more normal it will be come; and ultimately, we would like to keep our right, which would be easier if the general public wasn't so fearful of guns. In fact, this is one of the tactics used by those who are anti-gun: they seek to incite fear of firearms, which causes people to be more open to banning them. This seems like a fitting point to mention that every time you open carry you are on display for everyone around you to see. Know your rights and stand up for them, but be a law-abiding citizen who is always respectful and polite. We are not going to win anyone to our cause by being rude. Know what to say to people who ask you why you are carrying (here are some ideas—just be discerning and realize that some of these one-liners could only make things worse).

Ease of Access

A simple reason to open carry is that it is quicker and easier to draw from a holster that isn't tucked away in clothing or a purse. In a violent attack, every second counts.

Comfort

Open carry is typically more comfortable than carrying concealed, and it allows you to easily carry without having to wear a jacket, baggy shirt or some other less than ideal item of clothing in order to keep from someone noticing your firearm.

Cost

This is perhaps the least weighty point; but a CHP course can cost around $125, and application for a CHP costs $100. $125 + $100 = $225. That might not be a big deal for you, but it's something to consider. Additionally, as a matter of principle, you may not wish to pay for a permit simply because you are (in a certain sense) paying for something that is a right.

Why Not?

Perhaps you have a good reason to not open carry; maybe you spend most of your time at work, where your boss wouldn't approve of your openly carrying a handgun (most probably won't); or maybe you don't feel like you have proper retention training and worry that someone would steal your gun. Not wanting to open carry at work is a respectable position (and is recommended); but if you are worried about a lack of retention training, practice, get trained and make sure you have a good holster with active retention (check out the duty holsters here for examples of good holsters)! There are many great ideas for how to retain your weapon at all times, and we plan on writing various guides in the near future. If you are a Christian who is mindful of his testimony, read here. Finally, if you don't have a good reason not to open carry, then keep in mind that “a right unexercised is a right lost.” If people do not open carry because they are afraid of how the public (or government) will view them, then OC will become illegal de facto.

Parting Note

There is nothing wrong with carrying concealed, and it should be preferred to open carry in many situations (at work, etc.).

There is much work yet to be done with the site (mostly in regards to content), so please leave your feedback and suggestions here!

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