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Omaha City Council passes ghost gun ordinance despite legal threat

Posted at 7:22 PM, Oct 31, 2023

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The Omaha City Council passed one ordinance related to guns and pushed another back two weeks on Tuesday.

The Nebraska Firearm Owners Association (NFOA) has threatened legal action over the ordinances.

Omaha City Council President Pete Festersen said he has a family friend that sheltered for place for three days in Maine.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with that community as they try to rebuild their community and rebuild their lives," he said at the beginning of Tuesday's meeting.

Gun issues would dominate the same meeting.

One ordinance targeting ghost guns by banning parts of guns narrowly passed 4-3.

Another would ban bump stocks in Omaha. That vote was pushed back two weeks by the council in another narrow vote.

"We are so often on the opposing end," said Katie Townley of Mom's Demand. "It's nice that we have the city council taking proactive steps to keep Omaha more safe."

It came with plenty of opposition. Many pointed to LB 77, which passed the Nebraska Legislature this spring and bars cities from passing laws on guns.

The city attorney argues these ordinances don't violate that, because they only regulate parts of guns.

Police Chief Todd Schmaderer supported the ordinances for the community and his officers safety.

The Nebraska Firearm Owner's Association put out a warning should the ordinances pass.

NFOA President Patricia Harrold said she's so confident the group would win in court that Tuesday's vote was "moot."

The group also opposed the mayor's executive order signed in August.

State Sen. Mike McDonnell warned the city, too, and asked the council to postpone the votes.