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SHOT Show: Gov. Pete Ricketts Wants to Expand Nebraska’s Share of the Firearms Business

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By Matt Manda

Nebraska Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts is getting the word out and wants it known – the Cornhusker State is open for business. That’s especially true for firearm and ammunition businesses. Gov. Ricketts is in his second term, a staunch Second Amendment supporter and attended SHOT Show® 2022 to make the pitch for businesses to make the move to his state.

Gov. Ricketts participated in the NSSF Governors’ Forum to highlight his strong belief in the right to keep and bear arms along with five fellow governors, but he also joined SHOT TV for a one-on-one discussion with NSSF’s Michael Findlay, Director of Government Relations – State Affairs, to get into more specifics about what Nebraska has to offer industry businesses that may be looking to move from unfriendly states to one with open arms.

“One of the most important reasons why we’re all here is to show our support for the Second Amendment to our neighbors and communities,” the governor added.

The Nebraska state economy demonstrates how vital the Second Amendment industry is. Gov. Ricketts knows there are nearly 4,000 jobs in the firearm and ammunition industry with an economic impact of almost $668 million dollars in 2021. He’s looking for those numbers to go up.

Gov. Ricketts explained it’s not just economic opportunities that makes Nebraska a good fit for firearm and ammunition business. Hunting and recreational shooting play a defining role in Nebraska’s economy and is a defining characteristic of resident who treasure the outdoors.

“First of all it’s a great sport. I love all aspects of shooting, whether it’s just target shooting or hunting,” Gov. Ricketts said. “It’s something I’ve been able to share with my son, he and I go Spring turkey hunting every year. I take my daughter target shooting and she’s a better shot than me. It’s a great way to build those family traditions.

“If you’re a gun manufacturer, or in a business related in any way – come to Nebraska,” he added. “I see manufacturers picking up and leaving other states like California and moving to states that will be more friendly. In Nebraska it gets back to again, people have that heritage… and Nebraskans understand the importance of our Second Amendment rights.”

Gov. Ricketts has legislative achievements that backs up those beliefs.

“Last year we passed a number of bills to make it easier for folks who have concealed carry,” he explained. “We made some of the transportation issues easier. We’re looking to make it even easier with regard to state pre-emption of some of the local gun laws and just in general where we’d like to get to is state Constitutional carry. We want to make it crystal clear.”

Gov. Ricketts provided viewers with a detailed assessment of what the 2022 legislative session could look like in Nebraska regarding Second Amendment bills and said he was full steam ahead on continuing his earlier successes. You can watch the full SHOT TV interview with Nebraska Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts here.


Matt Manda is Manager, Public Affairs for the National Shooting Sports Foundation

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