Handgun license fees reduced by new Texas law
ABILENE, Texas - Texans will now pay less for a license to carry a handgun after SB 16 took effect in September. First-time applicants will now pay $40 instead of $140, and it decreased from $70 to $40 for renewals. In 2016 there were 1,150,754 active license holders in the state of Texas, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. One of the owners at the Abilene Indoor Gun Range, James Hill, said he doesn't think this new law will affect gun sales. "I expect more people wanting the ability to carry," Hill said. "The ability to carry does not actually affect gun ownership." In Taylor County, 2,480 people were issued a license to carry in 2016, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. Hill said some people choose to not buy a handgun even after getting their license. "Once we go through the class, a lot of people might even make the decision, 'You know, that's a lot of responsibility that I don't think I wanna shoulder,'" Hill said. "They have it, but they don't use it." The state of Texas requires new applicants to sit in a 4-to-6-hour class, then take a standardized test and a shooting proficiency test that is graded for accuracy and scoring. Hill said he is in favor of the new law because the qualifications remain the same. "They didn't reduce any of the qualifications or the learning portions and all that so the fees, yeah, it's a good deal they lowered them," Hill said.