About Firearm Permits

We no longer accept handgun permit applications online or by mail. If you wish to complete a handgun permit application, please come in person to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

An applicant for a gun permit applying in Washington County must be a resident of the county and have a valid Nebraska photo ID or driver’s license. If you live in the city limits of Blair, you will be required to obtain the permit through the Blair Police Department. Persons who are a holder of a valid permit under the Concealed Handgun Permit Act are not required to have a gun permit.

The applicant must be at least 21 years of age and have no felony convictions, a criminal history check will be conducted when the application is made. Providing fraudulent information on an application for a permit is a felony offense.

Applications for gun permits may be made at the Sheriff’s Office Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, excluding legal holidays.

Permits are $5.00 and are good for 3 years.

If you have questions, or if we can be of service, contact us

Additional Information

Additional information about Concealed Handgun permits is available on the Nebraska State Patrol website  or visit the Nebraska Legislature website to review the statutes.


Pay a Citation Online

Need to Pay a Citation? Online Options Available.

Those needing to pay a citation can do so through the Nebraska Judicial Branch Internet Payment System.

Electronic payments processed through the system will be applied to the selected accounts immediately but will not be disbursed by the court for seven days. Transactions can only be processed by using a credit/debit card with a Visa, MasterCard, or Discover card logo, or entering your bank account information (eCheck) as payment. Transactions will incur a minimum additional charge of $1.25 for each case or ticket/citation payment. Bond payments are not allowed online.

Spooktacular Safety: 10 Ways to Stay Safe on Halloween

Halloween, with its costumes, candies, and carved pumpkins, is one of the most beloved holidays of the year. However, amidst all the fun, it’s crucial to prioritize safety. Whether you’re a child trick-or-treating, a teenager attending a party, or an adult hosting an event, taking precautions is a must. Here are ten ways to ensure you have a safe and spooky Halloween.


  1. Plan Your Route
    For parents with little trick-or-treaters, it’s essential to plan your route in advance. Stick to well-lit neighborhoods and well-known streets. Knowing where you’re going will not only ensure a safer journey but also prevent kids from getting too tired.
  2. Choose Safe Costumes
    Whether you’re a parent or a reveler, selecting the right costume is key. Opt for flame-resistant materials and costumes that fit well, reducing the risk of tripping. Bright, reflective colors and accessories also increase visibility, especially at night.
  3. Use Makeup Instead of Masks
    Masks can obstruct your vision, making it difficult to navigate safely. Consider using face paint or makeup to create the desired look. If a mask is a must, make sure it has large eye holes for clear sight.
  4. Carry Flashlights or Glow Sticks
    Visibility is crucial, especially when trick-or-treating after dark. Equip yourself and your children with flashlights or glow sticks to ensure that you can see and be seen by others.
  5. Stay on Well-Lit Paths
    Whether you’re walking through the neighborhood or a haunted house, stay on well-lit paths. Avoid shortcuts through dark alleys, overgrown areas, or dimly lit streets.
  6. Check Treats Thoroughly
    For children, the excitement of Halloween candy is unparalleled. However, it’s essential to inspect the treats before indulging. Discard any open or tampered packages, and check for allergens or potential choking hazards.
  7. Trick-or-Treat in Groups
    It’s always safer to go trick-or-treating in a group. There’s strength in numbers, and children and adults alike can look out for each other. Plus, it’s more fun to share the Halloween experience with friends and family.
  8. Set Ground Rules
    If you’re sending your children out to trick-or-treat, establish a set of ground rules. Make sure they know your contact information, the curfew, and what to do in case they get separated from the group.
  9. Don’t Overdo It with Decorations
    When decorating your home, be mindful of the placement of props, lights, and candles. Avoid creating tripping hazards and keep decorations away from flammable objects. Ensure that pathways are clear for visitors.
  10. Plan a Sober Ride
    For those attending Halloween parties, planning a sober ride home is non-negotiable. If you’re hosting an event, consider offering non-alcoholic drink options and encouraging your guests to use designated drivers, taxis, or rideshare services.

Halloween is a time for spooky fun, but safety should always come first. By following these ten tips, you can ensure that your Halloween celebration is both memorable and secure. Whether you’re out trick-or-treating or hosting a haunted gathering, taking precautions is the best way to enjoy a Halloween that’s full of treats and free from tricks.

Happy Halloween from Washington County Sheriff’s Department!


Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

In 2022, 6,325 drivers were arrested for DUI and there were 77 alcohol-related fatalities. Among all alcohol-related crashes in Nebraska, there were 76 fatalities and an additional 602 injuries in 2020. Although final data is not available for 2021 crashes, data show 30% of all fatalities were alcohol-related and nearly 62% of fatalities were not buckled up. We must do everything we can now to stop these dangerous driving behaviors!

Therefore the Washington County Sheriff’s Office NE is participating in the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Crackdown. Beginning August 18th and running through September 4th we will put extra Deputies on roads in Washington County where most of our driving complaints originate from and injury accidents occur. We are entering the last part of summer and the Labor Day holiday. We want to ensure everyone gets home safely. So please if you drink an adult beverage have a plan to get home safely. Do risk your life or the lives of others.

Funding for this event comes from the NDOT Highway Safety Office.

Fraternal Order of Police Raffle – Win a Cub Cadet!


It’s that magical time of year! SUUMMMMER! Which means it’s time for a raffle! This year we’re raffling off a Cub Cadet zero turn 46” mower with bagger (valued at over $5500)! Tickets are $10/each! Winner will be drawn August 2!

To get your tickets hit up your fav FOP member, stop by the Sheriff’s Office during business hours or leave us a message on FB and we’ll make arrangements with you!

Proceeds from the raffle support local scholarships, community foundations, shop with a sheriff and other great activities.

Thank you for supporting us and helping us support our communities!

Click It or Ticket Campaign Encourages Drivers to Buckle Up

Click It or Ticket

Washington County Sheriff’s Department is urging drivers to buckle up during the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) national Click It or Ticket high-visibility enforcement effort. The national seat belt campaign, which coincides with the Memorial Day holiday, runs from May 15 to June 4, 2023.

“We want seat belt use to be an automatic habit for drivers and passengers alike,” said Lt. Butch Groves. “It’s not just a safe thing to do — it’s the law. During the Click It or Ticket campaign, we’ll be working with our fellow law enforcement officers across local and state lines to ensure the message gets out to drivers and passengers. Buckling up is the simplest thing you can do to limit injury or save your life during a crash. We see the results of not wearing a seat belt all the time. We see the loss of life. So often, it could have been prevented.”

According to NHTSA, in 2021, there were 11,813 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in the United States. In that same year, 57% of passenger vehicle occupants killed at night (6 p.m.–5:59 a.m.) were not wearing their seat belts. That’s why one focus of the Click It or Ticket campaign is nighttime enforcement. Participating law enforcement agencies will be taking a no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement, writing citations day and night.

“No matter the type of vehicle you’re driving in or the type of road you’re driving on, the safest way to stay safe in case of a vehicle crash is to wear your seat belt,” said Captain Brensel.

NHTSA data shows that seat belt use is higher among females than males. In fact, nearly twice as many males were killed in crashes as compared to females in 2021. Of the males killed in crashes during that same year, more than half (54%) were unrestrained. For females killed in crashes, 42% were not buckled up.

“If the enforcement effort alerts people to the dangers of unrestrained driving, we’ll consider our mission to be a success,” said Sheriff Robinson “If you know a friend or a family member who does not buckle up when they drive, please ask them to consider changing their habits. Help us spread this lifesaving message before one more friend or family member is killed as a result of not buckling up. Seat belts save lives, and everyone — front seat and back, child and adult — needs to remember to buckle up.”

For more information on the Click It or Ticket mobilization, please visit NHTSA.gov/ciot.

New Policies for Obtaining Handgun Permits

We no longer accept handgun permit applications online or by mail. If you wish to complete a handgun permit application, please come in person to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

Below are instructions on obtaining and submitting firearm purchase certificate applications. You must be a resident of the county and have a valid Nebraska photo ID or driver’s license. If you live in the city limits of Blair, you will be required to obtain the permit through the Blair Police Department.

Pursuant to Nebraska Statute 69-2403 a firearm purchase certificate is required to purchase, lease, rent, or receive a handgun. The law applies to both retail and private party transactions. The law also prohibits selling, leasing, renting, or transferring a handgun to a person who does not possess a handgun certificate. Individuals possessing a valid Conceal Carry Permit are not required to have a Handgun Purchase Certificate.

Certificate Exceptions

A certificate is not required if:

  • The person acquiring the handgun is a licensed firearms dealer;
  • The handgun is an antique;
  • The person acquiring the handgun is authorized to do so on behalf of a law enforcement agency;
  • The transfer is temporary and the transferee remains within the line of sight of the transferor
  • Within the premises of an established shooting facility; or
  • The transfer is between a person and his or her spouse, sibling, parent, child, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, or grandparent.

Documents Required at Time of Application

  • Current Nebraska operator’s license or Nebraska state ID card. The Nebraska license or ID must have your correct legal name. The address on your Nebraska license or ID must be a current residential address in Washington County and match the address on the application. Completed permits will only be mailed to the Washington County residential address on the application. The Sheriff’s Office will not accept applications or issue purchase permits to applicants with only a post office box.
  • If your only form of ID is a Military ID card (must be active duty and temporarily or permanently stationed in Washington County with military orders), you must also provide two forms of proof of Washington County residency (i.e. utility bill, vehicle registration, pay stub, etc.) with your current address.
  • Application fee of $5.
  • Applicants born on a United States military base outside the U.S. must provide their birth certificate.
  • Applicants that are not U.S. citizens must also provide a copy of their citizenship papers, U.S. Passport, or alien resident card.

Age & Residency Requirements

To obtain a handgun certificate from our office you must be at least 21 years old and a current Washington County Resident.


Applications will be denied if the applicant:

  • Fails to answer all questions on the application
  • Has been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year
  • Is a fugitive from justice
  • Is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance
  • Has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to a mental institution
  • Is an alien unlawfully in the United States or an alien admitted to the United States under a non-immigrant visa
  • Has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions
  • Having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced his or her citizenship
  • Is subject to a court order that restrains the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of such intimate partner
  • Has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence
  • Is under indictment or information (i.e. charges have been filed in court) for a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year

Re-Application Upon Expiration

Certificates are valid, statewide, for three years at which time applicants must re-apply for a certificate. All documentation above is required at the time of application regardless of whether a certificate has been issued to applicants in the past.

What to Do When You Receive Your Firearms Purchase Certificate

Upon receipt of your certificate, please inspect the document and ensure that the personal information is correct and that the Sheriff’s signature appears. In the event of any typographical error or omission, please bring the certificate to the Sheriff’s Office within thirty days for any corrections that may be necessary. Notification of any corrections beyond thirty days after issuance shall require a new application.

We are Hiring!

Washington County Sheriff’s Office is looking for “exceptional employees” – dedicated, hardworking, safety conscious individuals.

At this time, we especially need applications from those seeking roles as Sheriff’s Deputies, or Correctional Officers.

We will not be taking telephone calls regarding these positions until such time as the application and resumes are on hand and filed. Please visit this link for more information, and to complete an application.



A Long Journey Completed

Washington County hosts ribbon cutting for new $24.5M justice center

A ribbon cutting to celebrate the opening of the long-awaited $24.5 million Washington County Justice Center commenced Thursday afternoon.
Members of the public, Washington County Board of Supervisors and law enforcement officers were invited to listen to guest speakers and have a chance to tour the facility.
Board of Supervisors Chairman Steve Dethlefs hosted the program, with several officials speaking on the project, including Gov. Pete Ricketts, who served as the keynote speaker.
Dethlefs said the official opening of the justice center was “historic.”
“This is the single-largest investment the county has ever made,” Dethlefs said. “We’re making the necessary investments and fiscal plans and people that will serve and protect the people of this county.”
Capt. Rob Bellamy, jail administrator, gave an overview of the project.
“For years, county officials have discussed the concerns regarding the jail overcrowding in Washington County,” he said. “We are about to realize what nine years of planning, three years of construction and countless hours in pursuit of a dream will offer: a better and safer jail.”
Though Bellamy, who will retire in August, said there were some issues with the project over the years, he was proud of the facility and the people he worked with.
“We survived the pandemic and endured a great deal along the way, and I loved every minute of it,” Bellamy said. “I’m extremely proud of what we have done here.”
Sheriff Mike Robinson recognized several people during his speech, including Weitz Construction, Prochaska and Associates and the Board of Supervisors.
“I felt like we might never achieve this milestone,” Robinson said of the project. “I’m very proud of the end product that we’re able to provide the great citizens of the community.
“Specifically, I have to thank Rob Bellamy. We’ve been through this together for the last nine years. There were times I was down and depressed, and Rob kept me going.”
In an interview with the Pilot-Tribune, Ricketts said the new jail facility is an important addition to the county and to the state of Nebraska.
“I think what it says is the citizens of Washington County are supporting law enforcement, that they understand the need to protect the public safety and that the county leaders here have done a good job communicating how this will actually help save taxpayers’ money in the long run and make the facility more secure,” he said. “Because of the two-way video (inside the cells), they’re going to actually allow the inmates here to have better contact with their families. That’s a step that helps the folks who are incarcerated be able to get re-integrated back into society.”
In closing, County Attorney Scott Vander Schaaf said many people contributed to the justice center project.
“This project was a long journey,” he said. “It involved many people to see it to the end. On this special day, I encourage everyone here to take a tour of this facility. I think that when you do, you’ll be as proud of it as we are. It’s because of this great community, the people of Washington County, that we are able to share this with you.”