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

Texas State Rifle Association red, white and blue logo

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)


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 (39)

  1. Thanks, that’s a bit of history I was not aware of. Where did you come by learning this information? I’m a bit of a history buff.

    1. “English isn’t English” 21st Century English is ~32 Generations removed from “Proto-English” spoken in the 5th Century AD. The “NRA” kept trying to interpret the Second Amendment in 20th Century English to a 18th Century Document and always came up short. Maybe they should have used a modern equivalent to the “Rosetta Stone” to do the Translation (i.e. Literary Philologist). Even the “Rosetta Stone” had limitations, which was the Only Known Language in it to Translate from was “Ancient Greek”. Which has a much in common with Modern Greek ans the Italian Language does with Latin, other then they developed from the Same Country…

  2. The “Bill of Rights” was written in 1791, and the English spoken then was “Early Modern English” (i.e. Shakespearean English). And the English spoken in 1910 is “Late Modern English”. When was the Last Time you spoke ad/or texted to somebody in “Shakespearean English”…

    1. My apologies & thank you for pointing that out. I kind of rushed my previous comment & went to the earliest law dictionary I have.

      From 1773 Ainsworth Dictionary of English and Latin.
      Infringe (1) To break in pieces, to break, to bruise. (a) To tear, or rend, in pieces. (3) To break, to quell, (4) To move, to prevail upon. (5) to lessen, to diminish, to infringe. {6) To dishearten, to discourage. From 1773 Ainsworth Dictionary of English and Latin. Latin parts & old English spelling change to modern spelling. I’m sure if they had law dictionaries back then. It appears the meaning is inline with the later law dictionary. Hope this helps.

    2. @ Kirk B Mullins.

      One “Slight Problem”! The Book used in writing the “Bill of Rights” was the “Oxford Book of English Words and their Meanings” published in 1690, NOT 1773. A “Reproduction Copy” can be found in “Liberty Hall” in Philadelphia. The “Original Oxford” is under Lock and Key at the US Library of Congress in Washington, DC. “Late Modern English” didn’t exist before 1813…

  3. Our 2nd Amendment is very clear, it “shall not be infringed”.

    From Black’s Law Dictionary Second Edition 1910: Infringement. A breaking into; a trespass or encroachment upon; a violation of a law, regulation, contract, or right. Used especially of invasions of the rights secured by patents, copyrights, and trademarks.

    All of these so called laws pertaining to the bearing of arms are therefore unconstitutional. However our post civil war Texas legislature actually changed The Texas Constitution Article 1 Bill of Rights Section 23 to give themselves the power to regulate the bearing of arms.

    “The Texas Constitution Article 1 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.”

    Previous to the civil war it did not have the additional statement of the regulating the bearing of arms. Why this was changed I have not been able to find out, yet. Thankfully, Article 1 Sec. 1 states, “Texas is a free and independent State, subject only to the Constitution of the United States…”. That means the Texas Legislature does not have the power to regulate the wearing of arms for any reason because it would be repugnant to the US Constitution 2nd Amendment.

    People, I implore you to study the law. I cannot stress the importance of this enough. It is our duty to ourselves & our fellowman to have a good understanding of our common law rights. There are too many People out there that do not even know what their rights are. The ones that claim they do, think it’s OK for the Texas legislature to infringe upon them. We don’t need right infringing “common sense” laws passed to give people a warm fuzzy feeling and think they are safe & secure. What we need is people to get educated on the laws & how our legislature is acting outside the law in the guise of safety & security. Then we get together and hold them accountable.

    Article 1 Sec. 2. INHERENT POLITICAL POWER; REPUBLICAN FORM OF GOVERNMENT. All political power is inherent in the people…they have at all times the inalienable right to alter, reform or abolish their government in such manner as they may think expedient.

    An armed society tends to be a more polite, safe & secure society. The good People of Texas do not need permission from the government to exercise our constitutionally guaranteed right to keep & bear arms. It is a right, not a privilege granted by government.

  4. Very excited about the new freedoms for knife carriers. Always thought it was silly I could carry a firearm but not certain knives. Have been times a knife stopped the danger without needing my firearm.

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