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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.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.


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    • True enough but this is at least still a step forward, even if a small one. I can still remember Suzanna Hupp’s testimony very clearly from the early ’90s and know the immense progress that has been incrementally accomplished by wins like this one since then, while other states, unfortunately, are moving in the opposite direction. I’ll gladly take this win and use it to build on it in the future.

    • Do recall that our very own gun “friends” were calling out anyone who dared to normalize open carry not one year ago. The portion of Texans that want CC is pretty small, but we do have the initiative and are making steady progress of late. Texas has made incredible strides over the last decade or so. Forgive one of the largest & most populous states in the nation for being slightly more complicated to steer toward a policy goal than some small player with a single significant city.


    Tired of these elected so-called “representatives” not voting in a manner that represents their constituency.

    Time to overhaul that again.

    • The problem is what “we the people” really aren’t demanding constitutional carry. Yes, the bubble that you live in most likely is but Texas is one of the largest states in the union. Many people living in the state just don’t care about any form of carry, it’s not something they think about on a daily basis.

      • From one “bubble” to another … if you don’t want don’t vote for it. If your favorite state and local politicians ever get replaced over something you personally do / do not support then don’t complain.

  2. Speaking of which, a certain state senator in California is pissed that the Sacramento county sheriff issues CCWs “like candy.” Although this senator no longer sits on the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors, he is distressed that the fees charged for a CCW (about $150) are not sufficient to cover the costs of the program, and that California taxpayers should not be “supplementing the cost of such permits.” He therefore arranged for an audit of the CCW programs in San Diego, Los Angeles and of course, Sacramento for the purpose of determining whether the fees should be further increased. I think we all know how that will turn out.

    Oh, and the fee does not include the cost of a psych eval. should a sheriff, in his or her discretion, require one (another $150). Nor do these fees include the cost of the required “up to 16 hours of training” as mandated by state law, that costs $150 to $200, half that for the four hours required for the renewal every two years. Maybe this is why, even in the “essentially shall issue” counties the average is about 5% of the population.

  3. This was the win for this session. Unfortunately both HB 375 – Constitutional Carry and HB1911 – Sort of Constutional Carry didn’t make it to the floor. A couple of reasons for this, and it had almost everything to do with internal politics, vice anything Everytown or the Manic Moms did.

    1. There are three factions within the House GOP in the state Lege – Center Right (Strauss and his click 1/5), Far Right (1/5), and Right (3/5) – not exact ratios BTW. Strauss holds power because the Dems have no chance, and will back him him over the Right/Far Right in a vote for speaker. Strauss and Co are not particularly 2A friendly and won’t move on a bill unless there is big party support. The Right won’t go against Strauss, because he’s a powerful speaker, and well he’s made examples of those that oppose him. The Far Right has tried to oust him twice, and paid for it dearly in terms of committee assignments, and getting their bills and amendments to the floor. HB375 was filed by Rep Stickland, who is without a doubt, and certainly following the Mother’s Day Massacre, is Strauss’ least favorite. It was DOA before session started.

    2. Poorly written bills. HB375, was straightforward, but DOA because of the author. HB1911 was a round about way to get to Const Carry, but the wording was confusing, and no one was really sure what the bill did. It languished away in multiple re-writes to find a way to achieve Const Carry without outright saying it. In the end it never made it to the floor because it never gained the support it needed. Had a companion bill passed the Senate, it would have gotten more traction maybe. But the Lt Gov had different priorities this session.

    Hopefully, next session Const Carry will get more support. The key will be getting a greater number of co-authors from the middle of the party.

    • Until Recently Iowa had a “Strauss” as Senate Majority leader (a demtard). Ran the statehouse and thought himself (and regarded as) the rump Governor.

      Large due to the efforts of gun rights supporters he was defeat in 2016, the dems lost their majority and the SOB Gronstal is unemployed.

      I’d think PERHAPS the Tx gun owners could primary the ass of this Strauss??? Defeat them at polls and you don’t get sucked into/loss the games in the statehouse smoke filled rooms.

  4. My wife and I completed our initial CHL in Texas and a renewal after our licenses were set to expire. We’ve since received our CHL in another state where the required class was about an hour long.

    I found significant value in our Texas CHL Class and truly understanding the ramifications of carrying a firearm, the right type of ammo, use of deadly force (etc.). The class in a different state didn’t event touch on things like your criminal or civil liability should you injure an innocent bystander even if use of deadly force was clearly appropriate.

    Everyone (Black, white, Hispanic, Asian, straight, gay or transgender) has a right to defend themselves, but with that right comes great responsibility.

    • We do not have to ask for rights that already granted ib the first place. THESE TURDS … need to be replaced, especially those that think they are God’s gift to Texas and keep having personality conflicts with their peers. And yes, this includes that sorry bastard Strauss.

  5. With constitutional carry, there is no need to lower a thing. End the license process, it’s unconstitutional.

  6. A Texas carry permits are no longer called CHL, for Concealed Handgun License (CHL). They’re now just called LTC, to reflect the change in the law in 2015 allowing open carry, in addition to concealed carry, for licensed individuals.

    • Texas is a faraway mystical place to TTAG. You cannot expect that the editors have ever even heard of a Texas License to Carry Handgun, let alone SEEN one.

  7. Texans, your legislature wouldn’t give you Constitutional Carry, so the powers that be are trying to buy you off.

    Take the hundred and spend it on pushing for hard for your rights.

    • I think you just nailed it. That is EXACTLY what I was thinking and is what they are doing. Texas may be a “red” state but I’ve never really trusted a large amount of the so-called “conservatives” here. We do have a few but most of them are fence riders.

      I really do wish the Heller-based lawsuit filed by GOA a couple of years ago to overturn the unconstitutional Hughes Amendment had brought success. This victory is sincerely needed as it will begin the end of all the bullshit anti-gun laws currently plaguing our nation.

    • LOL, constitutional carry wasn’t even a glimmer in the eye of the folks in charge of this state four years ago, and now they are “thwarting the irresistible will of the people” (after just passing open carry & conditional campus carry, and normalizing legal NFA status, and broadening areas where concealed licensing is valid, and…) Yup, such unaccountable tyrants we have running the show, how could we ever hope to make any progress…

      Point that frustration at the actual “allies” of ours sitting on their hands instead of helping us win our freedoms back; the ones over in the US congress and especially the white house. Couldn’t spare a single day to roll back decades of anti-gun restrictions before tilting at an unbeatable windmill (healthcare) and tripping into an obvious tarpit of distracting scandal & infighting. So much wasted potential, and it’s only a little over a hundred days in.

      • You have a valid point indeed but it’s still far better than what the alternative was (another criminal communist Clinton).

    • Our legislature decided to continue with the practice of infringing on our right to Constitutional Carry. Perhaps we’d have more progress on this issue if Dan Patrick would let go of the bathroom doors which seems to be what he’s going to hang his hat on this session. Barely even lip service to Constitutional Carry and a direct assault on “an efficient system of public free schools.” with school vouchers. I just love it when a politician “holds the Constitution in the highest regard” while running for office, then craps all over it when they get there.

      • I agree. My complaint(s) exactly. And IMHO, Patrick is one of the fence-riders. I don’t really trust him. I have the opinion of him that the only thing(s) that are going to pass are the things HE WANTS PERSONALLY.

    • Even random cynicism rarely misses the mark when it comes to politics. Here, it does, however.

      Lower fees isn’t some afterthought consolation prize, as you so glibly suggest. It was a campaign issue and promise right from the start, alongside constitutional carry. Lowered fees made it; constitutional carry didn’t.

      Nevertheless, Texas has made firearms freedom progress in every recent legislative session. True, there are still some RINOs roaming the hills and it is too soon to unfurl W’s old “Mission Accomplished” banner.

      Still, Texans are winning and advancing on all fronts. So go sow resentment elsewhere.

  8. Many members of the Texas Legislature remember well the words and deeds by the likes of the Chipolte ninjas and CJ Grisham, yet despite numerous counterproductive stunts by those few open carry obsessed nuts, open carry nevertheless became State law on Jan 1 2016.

    In the months since, many Texas law makers couldn’t help but notice that after all that squeaky wheel noise by a few zealots, actual open carry by handgun carry licensees in the Lone Star State has proven to be as rare as hens teeth.

    Constitutional Carry legislation died in the 85th session of the Texas Legislature because all that open carry obsessed bull$#it and hiperbole that worked for OC in 2015 didn’t work for CC in 2017.

    Only a fraction of a percent of Texas LTC holders have opted to openly display the handgun they carry resulting in few law makers feeling a sense of urgency to pass legislation that only a few thousand constituents statewide out of a population of nearly 28 million Texans know or give a $#it about.

    Truth is that an overwhelming majority of Texans are content with our lenient State firearms statutes and the State Constitution just the way they are.

    So Dean, touching on a related topic; what’s the latest on your dream for Federal legislation enacting International reciprocity so you won’t be pissed off when you see those signs posted on the north side of the Rio Grande warning you can’t carry a firearm into Mexico?

  9. Replace LTC card with voter registration card and see how far you get. What makes any fee (tax) to excercise a fundamental right constitutional no matter how much the cost is cut?

    • Knife laws are also things that need to change though. We just got autos and gravity knives legalized. The 3.5″ blade thing still needs to go. Progress is progress.

  10. Explain to me why it is “ok” for the state to impose fees and permitting requirements on some rights but not on others. Or are they just biding their time to impose fees on the other rights too?

    • With that one idiot openly stating that lawmakers have a right to impose a tax on constitutional rights then I’m sure more than one of them has focused on imposing more and will if they think they can get away with it.

    • “Sec. 23. RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS. Every citizen shall have the right to keep and bear arms in the lawful defense of himself or the State; but the Legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms, with a view to prevent crime.”

      Soccer and GRA, since the both of you are obviously clueless about Article 1, Section 23 of the Texas Constitution which took effect on February 15, 1876; there it is for your reading pleasure.

      Pretty straight forward and unequivocal, don’t you think?

      • GO POUND SAND – This bullshit doesn’t mean it’s ever been constitutional and you know it isn’t.

        And I don’t care who all loses money as LTC instructors. I’m not for paying a tax for a constitutional right just to keep corrupt politicians in power and other folks otherwise employed.

        Constitutional carry needs to be passed; if for nothing else to repeal this nonsense AND to stop folks like you from quoting it at your convenience.

        • GRA you’re embarrassingly full of $#it. Typical low information blowhard dumb@$$ tossing out bombastic lines of bull$#it you can’t even pretend to back up with an intelligent argument. What part of Article 1 Section 23 of the Texas Constitution enacted in 1 8 7 6 did you not understand? Too funny!

  11. For anyone wondering this will take effect on September 1st, 2017 if (when) Abbott signs this into law.

    My fiancee has been wanting to get an LTC but between planning a wedding and buying a house we have had nary a free weekend (or dime) to get around to this. May just put it off a little bit longer so we can save some extra cash.

  12. And I will turn 60 years old on Sept. 8th, which lowers the fee even more.

    I supported HB375, although it meant quite a profit loss for several instructors I know. We’re also taking a noob to the Range this Sunday, classes would be very beneficial to her, luckily, she can sign up for several shooting type classes. The LTC class would still be an excellent class for her. I am torn between complete Constitutional Carry, verses some sort of mandatory class, especially for the “I have absolutely no idea what the hell I am doing, but owning a gun sounds cool” group.


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