Texas Senate approves bill that would reduce handgun license fee

Texas Capitol star

March 27, 2017

The Texas Senate on Monday approved a bill that would significantly reduce the fee to get a license to carry a handgun. 

In a 26-5 vote, the upper chamber gave final passage to Senate Bill 16, which 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 bill is now headed to the House. 

Only Illinois and Arkansas now have higher fees to obtain a license to carry a handgun. Reducing the fees in Texas is one of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s priorities for the legislative session.  

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“They’re getting these licenses from out of state because our fees are so high. So what we want to do is remove that incentive,” the bill’s author, Sen. Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, said Monday. 

Reducing the fee would cost the state roughly $15 million, Nichols said. Some Democrats expressed concerns with that. 

“We’ve been told we’ve got to prioritize our needs over our wants,” said state Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin. “I just don’t believe this is a need we should be prioritizing.” 

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2017/03/27/senate-gives-final-approval-bill-would-reduce-license-carry-fee/.

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