New Bill Drops CHL Application Fees to $40

5 years 9 months 4 weeks ago Monday, May 29 2017 May 29, 2017 May 29, 2017 7:18 PM May 29, 2017 in News

HARLINGEN – The cost to get a gun license in the state is about to be a whole lot cheaper for those interested in becoming gun owners.  

Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill dropping the application fee from $140 to $40. In addition, the change decreased the renewal fee from $70 to $40 and waived fees for police officers and Texas military.

People looking to obtain a concealed hand gun license need to take a class.

Brian Guerra, owner of Lone Star Guns in Harlingen, has hosted a concealed handgun license class for the past 15 years.

Guerra said his business sees, on average, 15 to 20 people a month.

“We normally do see an increase anytime there’s any type of change with licenses and stuff… We should see a surge in the amount of applicants and the amount of attendees to the classes,” he said.  

Guerra said the primary reason people don’t take the class in the first place is because of the cost.

“You’re looking at, in most cases, $100 class fee that the instructor will charge. Then you’re looking at what was $140 licensing fee. So, you’re looking at $240 just to get the person licensed,” he explained.

He said the lower fee will open the door for more people who are interested in learning about guns.

“The more education, the better. The more people who attend, the better.  You can never have too much education, especially when it comes to firearms,” he said.

Texas state representative Armando Martinez said the cut in the fee comes at a price, specifically with the state’s budget.

“I feel that in a time that the budget is in a shortfall and services aren’t fully funded, I don’t think it’s a time that we should be cutting back on fees, especially for gun owners,” he said.

Martinez said the fees for the license provided several million dollars a year for the state. He said it’s too early for the move when there are other departments in need of these funds like “education, healthcare, transportation and economic development.”

The changes will take effect starting September 1.

In order to apply for a Texas CHL, people need to be 21 with an ID, and be able to pass a background check.

According to the Department of Public Safety, there are more than 900,000 active CHL holders since the program started back in 1995.

The recent change isn’t the first time the state shifts its policies. In 2012, the state required people to take a 10-hour course. It has since been changed to only four hours. 

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