Nebraska Open Carry
Nebraska Open Carry is dedicated to the promotion and exercise of legal open carry of, properly-holstered, handguns in the state of Nebraska. This website is maintained by volunteers, none of which have been formally educated in law, so we advise everyone to verify any and all claims made by Nebraska Open Carry. Where possible, we provide links to any laws, statistics, or events referenced by Nebraska Open Carry.
Nebraska does not have preemption for the carrying of firearms; laws do vary throughout the state. For example, Omaha requires individuals to possess a permit to open carry within the city. A list of many, but not all, laws can be found here. We will update our laws page as we are made aware of any other laws or changes to current laws.
A Bit of Advice
Before proceeding, you must consider how, when, and where you plan on open carrying. Your attitude, 99% of the time, determines the response you will receive from those who see that you are carrying a handgun. Always be mindful of your attitude while you are carrying. If people perceive you to be nervous, angry, immature, or arrogant, you are likely to receive a negative response, such as being asked to leave from where you are or having the police called. If you carry yourself in a confident, friendly manner and don't make a big deal of the fact that you are carrying a weapon with you, you are likely to receive no negative response or, occasionally, a positive response.
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. You may do everything right and still receive a negative response, however, so you must be prepared that someone could get upset that you are open carrying.
Why Open Carry?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, de facto, illegal.
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!