This bill might make free Texas concealed carry permits a reality.
Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick just announced a new bill in the Texas Senate that will eliminate all fees associated with obtaining a Texas License to Carry (LTC) Permit. Yep, you read that right: free Texas concealed carry permits will be a thing if the bill passes.
The proposed law is formally known as Senate Bill 16 (SB 16), and you can read the full text of the bill here. It was authored by State Senators Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) and Joan Huffman (R-Houston).
It may seem funny, given the Lone Star State’s reputation as being so friendly to gun owners, but Texas actually has one of the most expensive concealed carry permits in the country. A new permit costs $140 and and the state charges $70 for renewals. SB 16 aims to change that by eliminating all fees paid to the state for a permit, thus transforming Texas LTC permits from some of the most expensive in the country to the least expensive.
Keep in mind, though, that this change will apply only to fees paid to the state. You’ll still need to pay for training from a certified LTC instructor to get a permit. Additionally, prospective LTC instructors will still need to pay the state a $100 fee.
The Texas Legislature next convenes on January 10, 2017 and SB 16 is just one of the many bills up for consideration. However, Lt. Governor Patrick said that the bill will be one of his top priorities during this session of the legislature.
Not surprisingly, the National Rifle Association (NRA) strongly supports the bill, as does Students for Concealed Carry on Campus (SCCC), which was a key supporter of Texas’ new campus carry law.
The NRA released a statement regarding SB 16 stating:
Your NRA-ILA applauds Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and state Senator Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) for prioritizing and pre-filing legislation for the 85th regular session to address License To Carry (LTC) fees in Texas. Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston), chair of the Senate State Affairs Committee, will co-author the bill with Sen. Nichols… This is important legislation for the 2017 Texas Legislative Session — License To Carry (LTC) fees in the Lone Star State are some of the highest in the nation. No hard-working, law-abiding Texan should be priced out of the ability to exercise his or her right to self-defense.
Keep checking back with us for updates on the status of the new bill concerning free Texas concealed carry permits.