- Associated Press - Friday, July 22, 2016

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - An Omaha man has filed a complaint in U.S. District Court that challenges the constitutionality of a Nebraska law that prohibits some criminals from possessing deadly weapons.

Wa’il Muhannad, 54, filed the complaint last week. He had a halal meatpacking business in Dodge County for about five years until he discovered he couldn’t legally have a knife with a blade longer than 3.5 inches because he’s a felon.

Travis Penn, Muhannad’s attorney, said his client started Muhannad Halal Meats, slaughtering and packing animals in the manner permitted by Islamic dietary law, in 2006.

Muhannad is a felon stemming from convictions on providing false information to federal officials and a gun charge in the 1980s. He went to jail around 2011 and later prison on false imprisonment charges. He was released in January.

The Lincoln Journal Star (https://bit.ly/29Yp8SF ) reports that current state law prevents convicted felons, anyone with an arrest warrant, anyone who has violated a protection order or anyone who has been convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor within the past seven years from carrying deadly weapons.

Muhannad says that the law is too broad and violates his Second Amendment right to bear arms. He also argues that the law is a burden on his religious exercise.

Penn said the law doesn’t take into account legitimate uses for knives and that people aren’t really sure what they can and can’t do under the rule.

The lawyer has asked a federal judge to stop Nebraska from enforcing the statue and to order state Attorney General Doug Peterson to ensure the statute’s effects are eliminated.

Nebraska Criminal Defense Attorneys Association lobbyist Spike Eickholt said that the group has already been discussing asking a state senator to introduce a bill to alter the statutes in response to a Supreme Court ruling May 6 that defined all knives more than 3.5 inches as deadly weapons.


Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, https://www.journalstar.com

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