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)

  • Albert

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    I am really excited about the suppressors/ silencers. When we go target shooting its always a problem with communication between shooters, it would be a lot safer if we could hear each other clearly!

    Reply

    • Secundius

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      @ Albert.

      According to “congress.gov” US. Representative Jeff Duncan (R-SC-3), introduced H.R. 367: The Hearing Protection Act of 2017. Was submitted to the US House of Representatives in 9 January 2017, WHERE it STILL SIT’s. Nobody has even Looked at it yet, with the Possible EXCEPTION of the Author Jeff Duncan (R-SC-3)…

      Reply

  • Raheem

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    Moved from away New York City due high cost of living and gun free zones is not news to anyone. Even though NYC is safer than it used from 80’s-90’s from the days in Harlem. Recently moved from Houston, Texas to Denver, Colorado. But chose the suburbs simply b/c Open Carry is not permitted without a valid CCW permit! Even though I’m legit carrying creates a lot of attention in the city of Denver. Have experienced a lot of people open carry in northern surburbs that’s not look down on! In my own professional opinion I believe open carry should be a common law not to create violence but as act to protect you and your families lives. Glad open carry is allow in Adams county as long as you have a valid permit to carry! Only thing I don’t agree with is Colorado has a ban on high capacity AR’s mags to 20 round instead of the standard 30 round mags! Currently, an a participant standing up for our 2nd Amendment rights without a doubt! Colorado is trying to push towards gun free zone wholeheartedly but there’s a lot of veterans living in the state of Colorado and other related patriots standing up against the scared law makers of Colorado!

    Reply

  • Sam

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    The section praising Phil King should be updated. He is no friend to our right to bear arms. He ignored the over 75,000 signature petition that were brought back in March specifically for HB375-Constitutional Carry. He deliberately ignoring 100-300 calls per day, and hundreds of voicemails and emails, also for HB375. Sadly, Phil King has single-handedly killed HB375 Constitutional Carry but thrown the public a few dollars is savings for the Government issues permission slip.

    Reply

  • tunnel rat

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    Your photo is not photo of the Shockwave.

    Reply

  • Charles

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    Things have went pretty well this past year or two, I just hope to see a lot more. Thanks to everyone that is in this battle and protecting our Second Amendment right.

    Reply

  • Frank

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    Hi, Can anyone tell me what the folding fore end (from horizontal to vertical) that is pictured is? Brand name, etc. Thanks, Frank

    Reply

  • Larry

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    I am a 100% disabled veteran permanent and total and would like to be able to defend myself and my family, but some misdemeanor in my past which I have paid for and was supposed to be dropped is still preventing me from purchasing a firearm, which I think is totally unfair since I almost died in combat more than once yet am still paying for it(I think. .been awhile since I checked)

    Reply

    • Deplorable Robert

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      You may be able to have it removed. Contact your state representative, a veterans lawyer, or request a “pardon” from your governor. If Terry McAuliffe can pardon felons to be able to vote, there’s no reason a minor misdemeanor should be able to keep an honorable discharged Veteran can’t be able to KEEP & BEAR arms. Anyone else out there have suggestions…GMan… Haven’t heard from you in a while. Got any suggestions to help a vet?

      Reply

    • Joe

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      What state do you live in? Our Concealed Carry License application allows for misdemeanor charges to be explained and the final outcome of the charges to be provided by the clerk of court or DA’s office. If it was dropped you should be able to get documented, certification from the county or parish it occurred in. Of course it does depend on the state you live in. It should be worth your time to find out exactly what you can do to prove your case. Good luck and God bless.

      Reply

  • Kyle Holland

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    I would like to see these laws pass in SC or the ones that aren’t already effective I should say. Our concealed carry program isn’t expensive by any means, but teachers aren’t covered by any such laws. I as well as friends got suspended when sled came to school and did a random search and we had shotgun shells but no weapon in our vehicles from a hunt the day before. Not to mention what would have happen if somebody forgot something else in the trunk or back of their suburban out of thought like I did. I would see it a lot worse losing my job. This was many years ago when they still required our whole school to take hunters ed and go to the range target shooting and clay shooting at age 13 including all students even with learning disabilities. All of this stopped when I was 14 as 9/11 occurred when I was 13 in 8th grade. Felt bad for a lot of my friends in grades below me that they had to go out and pay big money for hunters ed a lot of families didnt have.

    Reply

  • howe joseph

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    I would like to see laws that will allow concealed carry by a licensed gun owner in churches, because every thug and radical Jihadist in the world knows church goers are sitting ducks. At least in a hospital you got a chance because they have security and the means to save lives. Schools are another free zone that gets lots of criminal attention and although I don’t like gun free zones for lawful carry, there has to be some common sense applied. Some church officials and parish members may not want to carry and would refuse to allow others to lawfully carry and that is a problem.

    Reply

    • Mark D

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      In SC you can carry in your church if the pastor is aware of it and says it is OK. I go to a small Baptist church in Upstate and carry my gun in each service I go to. Of course it is concealed. My pastor is grateful I do carry. I hope to see open carry in SC pass. If I leave the house, I have my gun. No matter where I go. I stay away from the gun free zones. Also, in schools, all teachers that can carry legal, should be allowed to conceal carry a gun, period. These gun free school zones is crazy and dangers. School children are prime targets for the sickos.

      Reply

    • Normally Right

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      In Texas law allows churchgoers to carry their piece to Church.

      Reply

  • Bruce

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    As an educator I always found it frustrating that a parent could park their car in the lot next to mine with an arsenal in it and I could lose my job if I had a .410 and shot to go dove hunting after school. Hope the amendments really do protect ltc educators and not just rhetoric.

    Reply

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