Governor Firmly Opposed To New Gun Restrictions
Lincoln, NE (May 31, 2022) Discussion of guns, gun rights and gun regulations can be heard throughout the Nation, from the halls of Congress to most Coffee Shops. Nebraska’s Governor, Pete Ricketts, made clear today that he is not a fan of additional regulations.
“We ought not to focus on the gun” he told reporters at the State Capitol Tuesday “but the person who’s pulling the trigger. That’s where the real problem lies.”
Ricketts was asked whether an 18 year old should be allowed to buy an AR-15 rifle.
“I would say, in the State of Nebraska, the answer is absolutely yes” Ricketts said, without hesitation. Later, he said that 18 is an appropriate age for someone in Nebraska to buy a rifle.
Ricketts said the solution to mass shootings is to improve and expand mental health care, not limiting access to guns. The Governor cited a Stanford University study that said 28 of the last 35 mass shooters had untreated mental health problems. He pointed to the Legislature’s appropriation of millions of dollars to expand care, including the training of over 900 people in mental health first aid.
“We need to focus on the person, and that’s what we’ve been doing here in Nebraska and U.S. News and World Report actually says we’ve got the third best mental health care in the country.”
Ricketts pointed to gun laws in Cook County, Illinois as support for his position.
“Cook County, Illinois has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country and one of the highest murder rates in the country as well. So, I don’t actually think those things would be effective. Chicago’s pretty much proved they’re not effective.”
The Governor had no problem with a special committee, composed of members of the Legislature, which is planning discussions on whether the State needs to strengthen security around schools.
“I think we can always look at all of our processes to see how we can improve upon them.” He pointed to the Department of Education’s new program in which over 900 people have been trained in Mental Health First Aid.