Nebraska Senator Wants to Say No to New Federal Gun Laws
By Steve White, Grand Island Bureau Chief - bio | email
He led the fight to enact Arizona-style immigration laws and wants to drug test welfare recipients, but state Senator Charlie Janssen's latest hot button issue may have topped them all.
LB 451 would say no to new federal gun control before congress does anything.
"Sometimes we find ourselves reacting and it's too late so we're going to be proactive," the Fremont senator told NTV.
Janssen got a boost this week, as Hall County's seven member Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to support LB 451.
Janssen said he did not seek their support, but appreciates it, especially with his bill yet to be debated at the Capitol.
He said, "The bill will be scheduled for a hearing and I need the same people to show up with the same enthusiasm."
It's a different scene for lawmakers in Connecticut, where parents of those killed at Sandy Hook testified in support of new gun control regulations.
Dave Wheeler, the father of a victims aid, "The liberty of any person to own a military style assault weapon and a high capacity magazine and keep them in their home is second to the right of my son to his life."
From the White House down to state legislatures across the nation, there's a move to ban what the president calls assault weapons.
President Obama wants background checks on every gun purchase and a limit on the size of ammunition magazines.
Here in Nebraska, Omaha Senator Brad Ashford wants a law holding parents responsible for guns that end up in the hands of kids or those who are mentally incompetent.
But it's Janssen's bill generating attention, with thousands of messages of support on Facebook.
It may set up a debate between the Second Amendment right to bear arms and the Tenth Amendment making federal law supreme law of the land.
Janssen himself admits he can see where people would question his measure on those grounds.
He said, "There's been internal argument on the tenth amendment when it applies, when it doesn't. I think it's going to take states like Nebraska putting a bill forward, states like Wyoming, Texas saying enough is enough, we want clarification."
And Janssen says that clarification may need to come from the U.S. Supreme Court.
No date has been set for the public hearing on LB 451.