Buying Ammo and Guns in Nebraska

DISCLAIMER: It is your full responsibility to make sure the firearm, ammunition, or accessories you are purchasing is legal for you to own in your state or jurisdiction. The information contained throughout this web site, including the firearm and ammunition state guide provided below, is not legal advice and should not be construed as legal advice.

This piece covers the ammunition and firearms-related laws in Nebraska. To do so, the piece starts off with NE’s ammunition laws with an aim at explaining the processes and requirements for having ammunition shipped to a residential address in the state. From there, the piece covers the firearms laws first in terms of the processes for buying guns in the state and, second, the legalities of carriage of firearms in the state, whether openly or concealed. To wrap things up, the piece concludes with some information and resources that we think will be useful for folks who want to legally purchase, own, and carry firearms and ammo in Nebraska.

We do not intend this piece as legal advice. Instead, we hope that you can use the information here to make your own informed decisions.

Nebraska, like many other states, has preemption. This means that the state legislature has declared that no localities, such as counties, cities, and towns, can make firearm laws that are stricter than those at the state level. For gun owners, this means that once you know the relevant state laws and how to follow them, that understanding is applicable in the entire state. There is one noteworthy exception in Nebraska, however: the preemption statute allows for local laws from 1991 or before to continue to be enforced.

The good news with that exception is that, whether in the 90s or today, Nebraska is one of the more gun-friendly states in the country. Thus, the local laws pre-1991 tend to be of the sort that prohibit the discharge of firearms without a good reason inside city limits, and do not ban certain types of firearms. Since the state has few regulations on firearms and ammunition, the state is a permissive one, and many of the laws that govern the purchase of firearms and ammo in the state come from the federal level.

Ammo Laws/Buying Ammo in Nebraska 

First, we will cover the ammo laws of Nebraska. 

Nebraska has some of the most permissive ammunition laws in the country: the state does not ban any specific types of ammunition, or categories of ammunition. Thus, the processes for buying ammo in the state follow the federal guidelines set out by the ATF.

To satisfy the ATF’s regulations, buyers have to meet two sets of qualifications. The first is an age requirement: people have to be eighteen years of age or older to purchase long gun ammo (for shotguns and rifles) and at least twenty-one to buy handgun ammo. Additionally, ammo buyers cannot be prohibited persons, which the ATF defined generally as people who have been convicted of felonies or domestic violence, people who’ve been found mentally deficient in a court of law, or those who have been involuntarily committed to a mental health facility for inpatient care.

As long as the buyer meets those requirements, then the state of Nebraska is fine with having ammunition shipped to a residential address. Do keep in mind that some carriers can and do impose additional restrictions. Commonly, carriers might ask for an adult with valid identification to be present to sign for a package that contains ammo.

Since Nebraska does not place additional restrictions above those enforced by the ATF at the Federal level, Nebraska is about as permissive with ammunition as the Federal framework will allow.

Gun Laws/Buying Guns in Nebraska

Next, we will do the same analysis for NE’s gun laws.

Nebraska is similarly permissive in its gun laws when compared to the ammunition laws in the state. There are no magazine bans in the state. Similarly, there’s no assault weapons ban that either prohibits weapons by name or by a list of features. Nebraska is also fine with its residents owning NFA items as long as the still-applicable Federal laws are followed. 

There is one exception to Nebraska’s permissiveness: the state requires that people have a permit to purchase or possess a handgun.

Generally, buying a gun in Nebraska from an FFL follows the Federal process. To buy a gun in the state, the buyer should bring both a valid form of identification and a form of payment to the gun store. There, the FFL will have the buyer fill out Form 4473 for a background check and to make a record of the transaction. As soon as the background check clears and the payment is received, the buyer can go home the same day with their new firearm.  Note: handgun buyers have to get a Firearm Purchase Permit before going to the gun store: while the fee is only $5, it does, in effect, enforce a de-facto waiting period that is dependent on local law enforcement.

Those selling long guns to private parties do not have to do a background check. Technically, neither do folks selling handguns, but the seller should see, and consider keeping a record of, the buyer’s firearm purchase permit. There is also an exception to that permit for immediate family in the above-linked statute.

While the Firearm Purchase permit is something of a hiccup in terms of permissiveness, Nebraska is still fairly permissive in terms of its gun laws, since it has no major bans.

The state is very permissive when it comes to the carriage of firearms. No permit is required to carry a firearm in the state, whether openly or concealed. Of course, folks with handguns should have either the Purchase Permit, Concealed Carry Permit, or a good explanation as to how they legally acquired their handguns, so as to not run afoul of the statutes.

Like most states with permitless carry, Nebraska still offers its concealed carry permit. In  Nebraska, this offers two benefits: the concealed carry permit acts as a substitute for the Firearm Purchase Permit, and is also fairly widely accepted as a valid carry permit in other states. Many folks in Nebraska, we surmise, will still get the concealed carry permit to take advantage of those two benefits.

The vast majority of states have a list of places where it is generally forbidden to carry a firearm, and Nebraska is no exception here. Folks in this state cannot carry a firearm legally in the following places:

  • Police facilities

  • Correctional facilities

  • Polling places

  • Courtrooms

  • K-12 schools

  • Colleges and universities

  • Hospitals 

  • Bars

  • Political rallies

  • Legislative meetings 

  • Private property with notice

  • Professional athletic events

While lists like these are not unusual, Nebraska’s list is a little longer than most. Some might take issue with the inclusion of political events, since, for example, the creation and enforcement of the Second Amendment was a political act, and thus the law disarms pro-gun demonstrators by default, which is more than a little bit questionable on both First and Second Amendment grounds.

Nebraska is also home to Hornady, which is a testament to the state’s gun and ammo policies.

Overall, Nebraska is on the more permissive end of the states in terms of its ammunition and firearms laws. The ammunition buying process in the state is as simple as it gets, and carrying firearms is extremely permissive. The remaining requirement to have a Firearm Purchase or concealed carry permit to buy a handgun is a slight ding against the overall permissiveness of the state, however. 

Sales Tax on Guns/Ammo in Nebraska

The general sales tax in Nebraska is 5.5%, and some localities impose additional taxes that take the effective tax rate up to 6.8%. The state does not compose additional, special taxes on firearms and ammo, though some might consider the $5 fee for the Firearm Purchase Permit a defacto tax on handgun owners in the state. 

More Resources:

  • The ATF keeps a list of every FFL in the country, including in Nebraska. The list is kept up to date and can be used to locate local gun stores, which are usually Type One or Type Two FFLs. 

  • is an excellent tool for finding ranges that are convenient for you. Use the city, zip code, and mileage filters to find a range that is close to where you want to shoot. Users can add more ranges, too, and the information is fact-checked for accuracy. 

  • There are a number of well-rated gun stores in the state.

  • There is a somewhat active subreddit that caters to the local events and knowledge of the Nebraska firearms community.

Nebraska Gun Law FAQ:

As long as the buyer meets federal age requirements and is not a prohibited person, ammo can be shipped to a residential address in Nebraska.

No, the state does not require a concealed carry permit. But, the concealed carry permit can act as the permit the state does require to purchase a handgun from both FFLs and private sellers, so many folks will still get the permit for those reasons.

Yes, the state allows for permitless open carry. With that said, Nebraska does have a firearms purchase permit for handguns, so if you plan to openly carry a handgun, either that permit or a very good explanation as to how you acquired that handgun is necessary.

Generally, the state is gun-friendly, though the permitting required to buy a handgun is a slightly less permissive policy. 

No, Nebraska does not at this time have an assault weapons ban, and it is unlikely that one would pass in the state in the foreseeable future.