Beginning September 1, 2017 Texans can legally carry a handgun for a reduced price. Governor Greg Abbott signed a Senate Bill 16 (SB 16) this week that lowers the fees for a license to carry a handgun in the state of Texas. According to the Governor’s office, this legislation will “decrease the financial burden on law-abiding Texans that are seeking to obtain or renew the proper licensing to legally carry a handgun. Additionally, the bill waives the license fee required for peace officers and members of the Texas military forces.”
“Texas is known for its strong Second Amendment rights laws, and I’m proud to further strengthen those rights today,” said Governor Abbott. “No law abiding Texan should be priced out of the ability to exercise their Second Amendment rights. I’d like to thank Senator Robert Nichols and Representative Phil King for their work in expanding liberty in Texas.”
SB 16 fee reductions include:
- Cutting the first-time license to carry a handgun fee from $140 to $40.
- Lowering the renewal fee from $70 to $40.
- Waives the fee for peace officers and members of the Texas military forces.
In 2013, the Dayton News of Dayton, Texas, found that of the 50,869 convictions of individuals age 21 or over that year for violent crimes in Texas, only 158 convicted individuals — or 0.3106 percent — held a concealed handgun license. That didn’t include all crimes, such as drug crimes, frauds, or traffic offenses. They focused on violent crimes and weapons-related offenses to include: murders, sexual assaults, kidnappings, and terroristic threats, burglary, consumer product tampering and public lewdness.
Prior to his election as governor in 2014, Greg Abbott was the 50th and longest-serving Attorney General of Texas. As the state’s chief law enforcement official, he made protecting Texas communities the focus of his tenure. He also previously served as a Justice on the Texas Supreme Court and as a State District Judge in Harris County.
“It’s unbelievable [that] Texas is one of the most costly states in the United States of America to get a license to carry,” Abbott said Friday. “No Texan should be priced out of their way to defend themselves.”