Bill Reducing Handgun License Fees Heads to Senate

The price for Texans to get a license to carry could be cheaper if Senate Bill 16 makes it through both chambers and is signed by the governor.

The bill reduces the first-time fee for obtaining a handgun license from $140 to $40 and the annual renewal fee from $70 to $40.

Kathy Richardson teaches CHL classes once a week and has around 60 students a month.

She says reducing the fees will encourage more Texans to get their permit.

"The biggest thing that I've heard over the years of teaching--I've been doing this for over 16 years--and the biggest thing I've heard was, 'oh my gosh it's going to cost me over $200 to get this license to carry'." 

But those against the idea of firearms aren't happy about the bill.

Doug Kelmer says he thinks more needs to be done to combat gun violence.

"I don't think they should drop it I think they should make it more expensive."

His nephew is a sergeant with the Iowa Park Police Department, and he believes only law enforcement should be allowed to carry guns.

"The more licenses you have the more guns you're going to have," Kelmer said. "I don't think they should be making it any easier for people to get a license to carry a handgun."

No one testified against the bill before it was approved in a unanimous vote late Monday afternoon. Gun safety advocates want the state to fund more education on safe storage for firearms and think a portion of the fee could fund that.

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