General

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)

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.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

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.

  5. 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!

    1. @ 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)…

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

  10. 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)

    1. 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?

    2. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

    1. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

    1. 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…

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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…

    1. 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.

    2. @ 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…

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit exceeded. Please click the reload button and complete the captcha once again.

Your discussions, feedback and comments are welcome here as long as they are relevant and insightful. Please be respectful of others. We reserve the right to edit as appropriate, delete profane, harassing, abusive and spam comments or posts, and block repeat offenders. All comments are held for moderation and will appear after approval.