Gov. Abbott Signs Law Making Texas Gun Fees Lowest in the Nation
AUSTIN, TEXAS –- Gov. Greg Abbott signed a new law yesterday reducing Texas’ fees for licenses to carry handguns. The change makes Texas' fees the lowest in the nation.
"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," reads a The Office of the Governor press release.
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," Governor Abbott said. "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." The new fee will go into effect on Sept. 1.
In Addition, supporters of the law argued that Texas' previous fees made many people travel to other states to obtain cheaper licenses they could use back home. In an effort to erase that incentive they pushed to pass the new bill.
However, reducing the fee will cost the state roughly $12.6 million in 2018, reports the Texas Tribune. To the misfortune of all news reporters, Gov. Abbott later joked, "I'm gonna carry this around in case I see any reporters," while holding his bullet-riddled target sheet, in the same gun range he signed the bill.
A House committee on Tuesday approved a handful of other gun-related bills already approved by the Senate, including one that would allow firefighters and emergency medical service workers to carry a concealed handgun on duty if they have a license to carry and complete 20 additional hours of training. Another would exempt county jailers and correctional officers from the shooting range requirement to obtain a license to carry, added the Texas Tribune.
These new proposed laws face a Sunday deadline before heading to the House floor for a vote.