September 1 is Here! This is How the Texas Gun Laws Have Changed

By Woody published on in General, News

Texas has always bred some of the most patriotic citizens and some of the most rebellious—all in the same package. The new round of laws passed by the legislature shows the same patriotic rebellious spirit by putting the power in the hands of the people. New laws include reduced fees, enhanced rights to carry certain firearms and knives and enhancements to make acquiring the Licence to Carry (LTC) more convenient to obtain. Read this release from TSRA to learn about the September 1 changes to Texas gun law.

Texas State Rifle Association red, white and blue logo

Texas State Rifle Association

LTC Fee Reduction Legislation

(SB16 by Senator Robert Nichols/Representative Phil King)

Background:

In 1995, the Texas Legislature passed the concealed handgun license. At that time the fee to the state for the CHL was put into statute at $140 for the initial license and $70 to renew. The only discounts in 1995 were for seniors over 60 at a 50% discount and to indigents for the same 50% discount. Over the years, the Legislature created discounts for various groups such as judges, district attorneys, military, law enforcement and others, but nothing for the average hard working Texan. In addition, the process of issuing the license became streamlined.

With SB 16

Those who would have paid $140 will now pay $40, and their renewal will also be $40. The cost will be $40 for seniors for their first license instead of $70, and a senior renewal will remain $35.

$40 is the most any Texan will pay the state for the License to Carry.

While TSRA strongly supports unlicensed possession of a handgun, the Texas license has become acceptable even to those who opposed the issue for decades.

Special thanks to Senator Robert Nichols the author of SB 16, to Representative Phil King for HB300, Representative Dustin Burrows for HB339 and Representative Kyle Kacal for HB1024; all filed to create support for SB 16.

SB 16 was Lt. Governor Dan Patrick’s #1 priority for Texas gun owners.

Governor signed (5/26/2017)  Effective Date 9/1/2017

Caliber Requirement for LTC Qualification

Multiple cartridges ranging from 9mm to 12 gauge

One thing is for certain; compared to long-gun cartridges, the handgun cartridge isn’t very powerful.

(SB263 by Senator Perry/Representative Drew Springer)

Since 1995, there has been a minimum caliber requirement in the statute for the range proficiency portion of the Texas License to Carry class. Range Proficiency requires the applicant shoot a 50-round course of fire.

Currently, those seeking a license must test with a .32 caliber or higher handgun although there is no caliber requirement regarding the firearm carried by the licensee on a day to day basis. This minimum caliber requirement negatively impacts those with hand injuries and the elderly who wish to obtain a license.

SB 263 by Senator Perry removes the caliber requirement for the range proficiency exam necessary to obtain a Texas License to Carry. The bill takes effect September 1.

Governor signed (6/9/2017)  Effective Date 9/1/2017

Volunteer First Responders

(HB435 by Representative Ken King/Senator Perry.) Relating to handgun laws as they apply to licensees who are volunteer first responders.

Governor signed (June 15, 2017) Effective Date 9/1/2017

TSRA Suppressor Bill Plus a Friendly Amendment

On Friday, May 19, at 8:55 p.m. the Texas House passed HB 1819, authored by Rep. Drew Springer (R-Muenster) with Senate sponsor, Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) plus an amendment by Sen. Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls).

HB1819 sets up Texas law in preparation for the Hearing Protection Act (HR 367) to pass in Congress. The Hearing Protection Act would remove suppressors, also known as silencers, from the provisions of the National Firearms Act (NFA). This means the purchaser of a suppressor would no longer be required to pay the suppressor dealer a deposit, fill out the form 4, transmit digital fingerprints, send BATFE $200, followed by waiting as long as a year for their application to be processed, the “tax stamp” issued, and the purchase finalized. Again, we’re only talking about suppressors. A device which simply muffles sound.

The U.S. Congress, under our current administration, is expected to act and when the change occurs Texas law will be ready to accommodate the change. This means law-abiding Texans wanting a suppressor for their firearm will show their LTC or submit to NICS as though they were purchasing a firearm. No forms or $200 tax to BATFE when the Hearing Protection Act passes in Congress.

But wait, there’s more! Mossberg Shockwave!

Mossberg Shockwave

The Shockwave is an ATF-approved 12-gauge Cylinder-bore shotgun with a 14-inch barrel.

It was brought to our attention by State Rep. Poncho Nevarez (D-Eagle Pass) and by TSRA members that the Mossberg 590 Shockwave could not be purchased in two states: Texas and Ohio. There is a Mossberg manufacturing facility in Eagle Pass.
You see BATFE does not require this 14″ barrel,  pistol grip “firearm” to be registered as an NFA device. The Shockwave is not a shoulder-mount shotgun.

The Mossberg amendment was added in the Senate by Senator Craig Estes. Thanks of course to Senator Charles Perry the Senate sponsor for HB 1819.

HB1819 has now been signed by Governor Abbott and takes effect September 1. We may have a wait to purchase a suppressor, but we will purchase the Mossberg 590 Shockwave and other similar firearms after September 1.

HB1819 Bill History with Co-Author’s List

Governor Signed (5/26/2017)  Effective Date 9/1/2017 for Texas law but we wait on Congress!

Online LTC Course Option

(HB3784 by Representative Justin Holland (R-Rockwall and Senator Van Taylor (R-Plano))

Creates an optional online course for the Texas LTC. The shooting portion must be done with a DPS certified instructor.

Governor signed (6/15/2017)  Effective Date 9/1/2017

Church Volunteer Security

Relating to the exemption from the application of the Private Security Act of certain persons who provide security services on a volunteer basis at a place of religious worship.

The original bill didn’t pass but was successfully amended to SB2065 by Senator Kelly Hancock (R-N. Richland Hills).

Governor signed (6/15/2017)  Effective Date 9/1/2017

Primary and Secondary Teachers and School Parking Lot

The language of HB1692 by Representative Cole Hefner (R-Mount Pleasant) relating to the transportation and storage of a handgun or other firearm and ammunition by a license holder in a motor vehicle in a parking area of a primary or secondary school.

This legislation protects the jobs of hard-working primary and secondary teachers with an LTC. This group was not previously covered by the employer parking lot bill from years ago. Neither the House Bill nor the Senate bill passed, but the language was amended.

Representative Hefner successfully amended his language to SB1566 by Senator Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham).

Governor signed  (6/15/2017)  Effective Date 9/1/2017

Legalize the Bowie Knife

Reproduction of a Bowie hunting knife.

HB1935 by Representative John Frullo/Senator John Whitmire eliminates daggers, dirks, stilettos, poniards, swords, spears, and Bowie knives from Texas law, allowing them to be carried in Texas. Governor signed (6/15/2017)  Effective Date 9/1/2017

LTC Range Qualifications and Veterans

SB138 by Senator Van Taylor/Representative Morgan Meyer to exempt certain military veterans and active duty service members with military range qualifications from the state required range portion of the LTC course. SB138 passed as an amendment to HB3784 Effective Date 9/1/2017

Big News on Big Knives Coming September 1

Which law are you most excited about? Which law would you most like to see enacted in your state? Share your answers in the comment section.

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Comments (33)

  • Donnie Long

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    Don’t live in texas, but relatives do. Also need retrain of police who violate the rights of your citizens who legally carry and let them personally be sued. Reference to police who harassed and arrested veteran walking down road with kids.

    Reply

    • Max Headroom

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      When approached by an officer where you think the stop may not be on the up and up, politely ask for his “Bonding Agent’s phone number”. Almost universally, law enforcement officers are required to be bonded, to protect citizens against improper actions by the officer. If found negligent, and the citizen is paid, the funds paid from the bond are replaced from the officer’s retirement account. Talk about a change in the tone of the conversation…

      Reply

  • Steven Steenhout, Wasilla, Alaska

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    Effective suppression is mostly acheved with subsonic rounds. That’s normally pistol cartridges at ranges of 5 to 50 yards. Super Sonic cartridges like rifle cartridges still have a loud report, or Sonic crack. Tax stamping a hearing protection devise is counter productive to public safety.

    NFA background checks shouldn’t need to take almost a year to complete. Especially if it is a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th time you’ve had them done. Why reinvent from scratch every time. If you’re a current tax stamp holder, they could do a NICS check in 10 minutes and approve your stamp application. It feels like they are trying very hard to punish the law abiding citizens.

    NFA should be abalished. It’s out dated and penilises the law abiding citizens. Crushing the 2nd admendment isn’t the job of government. And it has nothing to do with hunting. Besides the Hugh’s Admendment of 1986 was unconstitutional. A “voice vote” rammed through at 11:00 PM ish at night, the video of the event clearly shows that this dirty move wasn’t done fairly, or with honor.

    The RINOs in office should be voted out. Drain the swamp

    National resiprocity is your right as a citizen, especially if you have a conceled carry permit.

    Reply

  • Doug

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    All good steps in the right direction. However, the suppressor law shouldn’t even be a law. A suppressor is a metal tube! It fires nothing and isn’t even big enough to use as a club. There should be NO law or restrictions on metal tubes. I suspect this was done to appease the liberals and get something passed. The more you conform to irrational behavior, the more irrational behavior you will have. I also found interesting that some of the bills proposed didn’t pass and had to put forward as amendments to existing law. Hope the Texans know who blocked those bills and vote tham out of office.

    Reply

  • ScottM

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    To echo others, Laws only affect the Law abiding. But some regulation is wise. I love to now be able to carry my Bowie, but I have some problems with the “restricted location” idea. Drunk people should not be allowed to carry, any weapon, just like they can’t drive a car. Make the bar set up a weapons check system, either at the door, or before serving a time based drink limit. And you can’t get your sword back until you’re sober. Prisons? Really, the bad people are behind bars! No one should be in the same room as a prisoner, with a weapon on them anyway, but if you’re there on other business, the normal rules should apply. You should not be allowed to carry a weapon anywhere if you intend to use it. You can’t provoke, or intimidate or threaten someone if you’re armed, (not that you should do that anytime.) Anyway all the other laws are improvements.

    Reply

    • Lonnie Hopson

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      ScottM…”You should not be allowed to carry a weapon anywhere if you intend to use it.” This is the reason I carry daily. If an adverse scenario develops…”I intend to use it!” Your statement is kind of lame…just saying.

      Reply

    • ScottM

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      Do you “intend” to use your gun on a daily basis, or carry it just in case? If you arm yourself and go out looking for trouble, you’re a criminal, is all I’m saying. I intend to try and avoid shooting someone “if possible” but if I do have to shoot a bad guy I want to be sure it is his fault, and not an itchy trigger finger on my part. PS, Calling my statement “lame” is something a bully would do, just saying…

      Reply

  • RoboCop

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    You didn’t post a picture of the Shockwave- you showed a Regulated AOW!

    Reply

  • Sich

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    I suspect that “Certain Firearms” doesn’t apply to Open Carry of Assault Rifles…

    Reply

    • Ken

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      Sich, as far as I know through looking at the laws as an LTC instructor the open carry of any long gun has been permissible for a long tine. The only restrictions would be where a fire arm is prohibited by Statute and anywhere there is a 30.05 sign. That is the signage that specifically prohibits the carry of a long gun on the premises. Just my opinion though, any where that it is common not to carry a firearm legally maybe a person should apply that to a long gun. We are not trying to scare people and give them more reasons to dislike firearms or people who carry them, and the pistol was pretty much designed and used to get a person back to their primary firearm.

      Reply

    • Sich

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      @ Ken

      Are these “30.06” Signage “Well Posted”? Because the Ordnances’ of Tombstomb Arizona, were “Well” Posted in April 19, 1881! And STILL got Tom & Frank McLaury and Billy Clanton KILLED at the O.K. Corral in October 26, 1881…

      Reply

  • Deplorable Robert

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    I like the suppressors law, and the knife law. So, when the suppressors are no longer NFA controlled, will we be able to make our own? The prices of 800 to 1200+ is way too much. There are “kits” from maglite flashlight conversions. Wouldn’t mind having one for my 7mm rifle, and one for my AR-15.

    Reply

  • Dark Angel

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    Okay, I agree, having lived in Texas, it is relatively easy for those who are able to legally a firearm to get a CCW. My wish would be that Disabled Veterans, again, those that are legally able to possess firearms, could get a little extra help, especially those on limited incomes. What this ‘extra help’ should be, I will leave up to the lawmakers.

    Reply

    • Deplorable Robert

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      NO CHARGE FOR VETERANS. NO RENEWAL FEES. NO SKILLS DEMO REQUIREMENTS.

      Reply

  • Dragon

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    Since Texas enacted our concealed carry law in 1995 with it going into effect in January 1996, each year seems to have brought changes to the law that have resulted in more freedom to those who choose to live the armed lifestyle. Now…..If we could just get rid of the ridiculous, ineffective restrictions on places were we can legally carry, we’d be in a much better position to curtail the criminal shootings we continue to see in those so-called “gun free zones”. None of the those “gun free zones” has ever made a lick of sense, since the only people who abide by those restrictions to refrain from carrying there, are the law abiding carriers. The crooks and criminals will continue to carry where ever they choose, since by definition they don’t obey laws. We also need to put more pressure on our legislators to pass a Constitutional Carry Law, that results in unlicensed carry, whether concealed or open. Of course, for those who may venture outside the state, the option of licensed carry should still be available in order to conform to any reciprocity agreements that might exist.

    Reply

  • Robert Shirley

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    Deregulating knives is a great thing; but our legislature, mainly our liberal Republican Speaker of the House, sold us out with failure to pass Constitutional Carry.

    Reply

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