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Nebraska Republican politicians say gun control won't curb violence, add it's about mental health

'We have to focus on the person who pulls the trigger'
Posted at 10:06 AM, Jun 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-03 11:06:28-04

LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — On Thursday, President Joe Biden called for bipartisan support of stricter gun laws in light of recent mass shootings across the country. Meanwhile, Nebraska Republican politicians said it's about the person pulling the trigger, not the gun.

"I do not believe that guns are the problem. People are the problem and we have to do a better job," Jim Pillen, Republican candidate for Nebraska Governor said.

Pillen says we have to put God back in schools, which he believes will help with mental health.

Governor Ricketts echoed Pillen's statements about mental health, saying that's where the state should be focused. He pointed to his expansion of mental health care with ARPA funds.

"Our department of behavioral health has worked with the department of education to provide mental health resources, behavioral health resource guides for all the schools. We trained 943 people in our schools to be those first-aid, mental health first-aid people to spot that early on," Ricketts said. "One of the things we’re also going to need to do is ask the public's help to help spot those folks."

Ricketts said other solutions won't work. When asked if he supports expanded background checks, Ricketts said he's not exactly sure what that means.

"First of all when you say expanded background checks, what do you mean? If you walk into a Scheels today, you get a background, check you have to go through that. Anyone who’s an FFL dealer goes through that, so I don't know what you mean when you say expanded background checks," Ricketts said.

He's also not in favor of red flag laws, instead he says we should encourage gun owners to be responsible and do the right thing.