When I lived In NC you had to get a Sheriff's permit to buy a handgun. NE, I don't know.
I’m in Omaha. One does need a permit to purchase handguns. The Sheriff’s office has them. If one lives in the Omaha metro, the handguns also have to be registered with the Omaha Police Dept. You buy your permit, you take it to the store, they check it out, you buy your piece, they give you the receipt you take it downtown to the OPD HQ where you stand around while they ‘check it out’ some more, after they stamp the receipt you take it back to the store and they give you your gun.