Texas is known for its gun rights. It may soon be easier to own a gun in the Lone Star State after the Texas House gave its tentative approval to a proposal that would slash the fee for a license to carry a handgun.
In May, the House backed the change by 111-30 following an amendment by state Rep. Jeff Leach, R-Plano. It would waive the fee for peace officers to obtain a license to carry a firearm.
The Texas Tribune reported Senate Bill 16 by state Sen. Robert Nichols, would reduce the first-time fee for a license to carry from $140 to $40 and the annual renewal fee from $70 to $40. The fee would meet the Department of Public Safety’s cost to administer its license program as well as $27 required for state, county, and federal background checks, according to Nichols.
The legislators heard Texas has some of the highest handgun license fees in the country. Only Arkansas and Illinois have higher fees to obtain a license to carry a handgun.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick gave the bill “priority” status in the Senate, allowing it to have a faster route through the Texas Legislature.
A Reduced Handgun License Fee and Texas’ Liberal Gun Laws
Texas has some of the most liberal gun laws in the country. An open carry law has been in place since the start of 2016.
However, some people have fallen foul of the law for exercising their gun rights. Texas also has concealed campus carry laws at its universities. To take advantage of these laws, you must be a licensed gun holder.
There are some stiff penalties for unlawful carry of a handgun in Texas.
The offense of Unlawful Carry of a Weapon refers to the illegal possession of a handgun, a club or an illegal knife in Texas.
Theses offenses are covered under Penal Code Section 46.02. You are barred from carrying a handgun if you are a felon. People without a felony conviction can generally carry a handgun if he is or she is:
- On his or her own premises;
- On a premises under his control;
- In a vehicle or en route to a motor vehicle by the person carrying the gun; and
- in or en route to a motor vehicle under his or her control.
You can read more about gun charges on our website. If you have been charged with an offense of this nature, please call our experienced Austin criminal defense lawyers as soon as possible at (512) 474-4445.