Nebraska allows a handgun transfer from a federally licensed importer, manufacturer, or dealer to occur only if the transferee either presents the dealer with a handgun certificate or concealed weapons permit, or completes a consent form and passes a criminal background check.1 Persons wishing to obtain handguns through private sellers (non-firearms dealers) must obtain a handgun certificate or concealed weapons permit, and are therefore subject to a background check.2
However, a transferee may receive a handgun without a handgun certificate, concealed weapons permit, or background check if:
- The transferee is a licensed firearms dealer under federal law;
- The handgun is an antique;
- The transferee is authorized to do so on behalf of a law enforcement agency;
- The transfer is temporary and the transferee remains: (i) in the line of sight of the transferor; or (ii) within the premises of an established shooting facility;
- The transfer is between a person and his or her spouse, sibling, parent, child, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, or grandparent; or
- The transferee is a peace officer.3
To obtain a handgun certificate, an applicant must apply to the local chief of police or sheriff.4 The permit application will be granted if the applicant is at least age 21 and is not prohibited from purchasing or possessing a handgun under federal or state law.5
A handgun certificate authorizes the holder to acquire any number of handguns during the period that the certificate is valid.6 The certificate becomes invalid three years after its effective date.7 The chief of police or sheriff who issued the certificate may revoke it if he or she determines that the applicant has become disqualified for the certificate.8
Nebraska has no law requiring a person to obtain a license or permit prior to purchasing a rifle or shotgun.
See our Licensing of Gun Owners or Purchasers policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.