Texas has one of the highest shall-issue concealed carry license fees in the country. The current cost is $140 for the original and $70 for renewals. A bill to lower those fees, SB 16, has now passed both houses of the legislature and is headed for Governor Greg Abbot desk and likely signature.
The reform law reduces the license fee and renewals to $40. People who qualify as indigent would have the initial fee reduced by half and renewals would be only $5. Seasoned citizens, 60 years or older, would pay $40 for the fee and $5 for renewals.
SB 16 passed the Texas House by a vote of 111-30 and cleared the Senate by a resounding 31-0.
John Lott’s research has confirmed the obvious…you can’t repeal the laws of economics. The higher the cost of a concealed carry permit, the lower the percentage of people who will obtain one.
Each $10 increase in fees reduces the percent of adults with permits by about a half a percentage point.
The Texas bill reduced the fee for a concealed handgun license in Texas by $100, a substantial amount. According to the research cited above, that should result in a 5% increase in the percentage of adults with CHLs in Texas. The population estimate for Texas in 2017 is 28.4 million. 73.3% of which are 18 or older. That is 20.8 million adults.
Texas showed 1,150,754 active license holders at the end of 2016. Assuming Lott’s numbers are correct, that new law’s $100 fee reduction could mean as many as another 1 million permit holders.
The number of people with concealed handgun permits in the United States was estimated at 14.5 million in the middle of 2016. The addition of another million permit holders in Texas will continue the rapid increase in Americans who are licensed to carry. Ten states have more than 10% of the adult population with permits. Indiana has over 15% of adults with permits.