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Texas to Reduce the $140 Fee for Concealed Carry Permits?

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Tx Lt. Governor Dan Patrick. (Photo: Flickr)

Tx Lt. Governor Dan Patrick. (Photo: Flickr)

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick wants to reduce the licensing fees for concealed carry permits, which are currently some of the highest in the nation.

In a press release discussing additional legislative priorities for 2017, Lt. Gov. Patrick outlined the goal of “SB 16.”

“License To Carry Fee Reform – SB 16 will continue to support 2nd Amendment rights by making lawful carry more affordable for the average law abiding citizen. Texas currently has one of the highest License to Carry fees in the country, and we will fix that,” it stated.

It’s true. Lone Star State residents can expect to pay $140 for their original application fee, assuming they don’t meet any of the discount requirements (discounted fees exist for judicial officers, military personnel, veterans, senior citizens, among others).

While the lieutenant governor didn’t explain exactly how much he would cut the fees by, it has to be a welcome sign for the almost million or so concealed carry permit holders in Texas (renewal fees are due every five years and are a whopping $70).

Of course, what would be even better than a reduction in fees would be a Constitutional Carry bill that allows gun owners to carry openly or concealed without a permit! That’s right no permit, no fees, no mandatory training! Just buy a gun and you’re good to carry.

Earlier this month, State Rep. Jonathan Stickland filed HB 375, which would make Texas the eleventh state to approve Constitutional or permit-less carry.

“It is time in Texas to restore our Second Amendment rights to their originally intended level,” Stickland, R-Bedford, said in a statement. “No Texan should have to pay a fee or take a class to exercise their right to bear arms.”

Last year, a similar bill failed to clear the Legislature, meanwhile, a campus carry bill for public universities and an open carry bill for licensed permit holders were recently enacted into law. So, maybe 2017 will be the year for Constitutional carry.

However, at least one political analyst believes that the Second Amendment will take a back seat this coming year due to all the other hot-button issues that need to be addressed.

“Much of the oxygen for contentious issues will be taken up with other social issues or addressing high profile policy failures,” Brandon Rottinghaus, a political science professor at the University of Houston, told The Star-Telegram.

“Second amendment activists got a lot of attention and several wins last session, so given the short session and limited political bandwidth, we are not likely to see these issues back in a major way.”

We’ll have to wait and see what happens. If Constitutional Carry once again falls by the wayside, hopefully, Lt. Gov. Patrick’s quest to reduce licensing fees takes hold because charging someone to exercise a fundamental right is tantamount to infringement. Much in the same way we’ve outlawed a poll tax, it’s time to put a stop to taxing someone for simply bearing arms.

{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Wayne Cook December 2, 2016, 12:46 pm

    The $140 fee is a small part of the process cost.
    Fingerprints $35
    Class $120
    Qualifying $12 (ammo)
    Gun $267 for mine (upgraded to larger pistol and more rds $599)
    Range $10

    I had originally intended to get my family through the LTC process…We could not afford it…I did the next best thing…get them trained and the house defended. I paid for my LTC.

    • mike Jennings December 3, 2016, 11:09 pm

      I like get gun permit. No crime recorder of any kind need work on credit all. I seek 380 cal. I use out shoot range..lower cost.

  • Pat Bryan December 2, 2016, 8:03 am

    I was with Dan Patrick last Monday night. He firmly opposes \”constitutional carry\” for the same reasons Law Enforcement, and I, do. The Constitution also conveys the Right to move freely among States and live wherever you want. That does not free you from the obligation to get a Driver\’s License.

    • Mike S, Nam vet December 2, 2016, 9:36 am

      Give me ONE reason, not some emotional, irrational tirade, for not allowing Constitutional carry. Your drivers license is an ID, plus part of the fee goes toward paying for the upkeep of the roads on which you drive, among many other things. It’s a tax, no different than the tax on automotive fuels. And as with any tax, the money collected goes into the state coffers and is used for whatever the state wishes. As you pointed out, one does not need a license to move freely among the the states. You can freely walk, or ride a horse, or a bicycle, or your riding mower, and do so without a license. Tell me why one should require a license to carry a weapon among those same states. Just one non-emotion-driven reason. I know of only one……MONEY! And that’s not a good enough reason, in my book.

      • Kevin December 2, 2016, 11:46 am

        Hi Mike:
        You have a very valid point and I agree on the right to carry as well as the right to operate a motor vehicle. But, along with these rights comes a huge responsibility. The issue I have is that the license requirement insures that the operator has as least some knowledge of the operation and safety issues required to safely operate the item requiring the license. I don’t want anyone operating a motor vehicle or carrying a gun without proper training……….Have you ever been to the firing range and seen someone there that you thought had no business with a gun: I have.
        Thank you for your service.

      • Wayne Cook December 2, 2016, 12:39 pm

        Touche.

    • Chuck Wagon December 2, 2016, 10:26 am

      The flaw in your “opinion” is that the Right To Keep and Bear Arms is specifically enumerated in the Constitution under the 2nd Amendment and is the only Constitutional Right that is protected against regulations by the qualifier of “Shall Not Be Infringed”. The Constitution does not grant the right to move freely between the States and/or live where you want. That was never included in the Constitution itself under any Amendment, it is in the Privileges and Immunities Clause which states that a citizen of one state is entitled to the privileges in another state. In the 1982 case of Zobel v Williams, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed that the Privileges and Immunities Clause plausibly includes a right of interstate travel. You are comparing an enumerated Right in the Constitution to an interpreted ruling by the SCOTUS. Additionally you are comparing an enumerated Right to a privilege not guaranteed under the Constitution by using a drivers license as an example. While both you and Dan Patrick may oppose Constitutional Carry, it is a Constitutionally guaranteed Right and how you or he feels about it is quite frankly immaterial. I oppose people protesting against the US, but that doesn’t mean the 1st Amendment should be voided. I am working with my State Representative on a Bill to make business owners who restrict a licensed individual from carrying concealed on their premises liable for any injury, loss or death that results from the inability of the licensed individual to protect themselves due to being disarmed. This Bill is what I would call a “Common Sense” gun law. As a side note, I am a retired LEO and have no issue with Constitutional Carry, nor do the majority of other LEO’s that I know. Bad Guys are going to carry concealed regardless of whether or not Constitutional Carry is passed or not. You are only criminalizing lawful gun owners.

      • Wayne Cook December 2, 2016, 12:54 pm

        Interesting read…agree with much of what you wrote “Chuck Wagon”…
        Especially about the “common sense” law…my office has an illegal 30.06 and .07 sign posted, which I brought to the attention of security some weeks after I got my LTC and showed it to the Cof Sec. I don’t carry to work, but have encountered several situations here which made me question both the training level of our guys, and the resistance to properly complying with the law.

        I’ve told the head guy what will happen if someone gets shot on our premises…

    • Cam December 2, 2016, 11:01 am

      Dan Patrick? The guy who lead the revision to the dui law that put housewives in jail for having 2 glasses of wine in jail for first offense and made the lawyers who work dui cases a lot of money. That guy? Then he relized he was destroying people’s lives and tried to revert the law but was unable to because the lawyers had gotten fat on all the cash and lobbied and stopped him, That guy?
      He has no clue about real life and the constitution.

      • Pat Bryan December 2, 2016, 3:50 pm

        I certainly concur as to Dan’s wisdom and insight. My point in the thread is that CC indiscriminately puts handguns on the hips of every criminal, idiot and incompetent, public safety be damned. CC advocates say more about their own thought processes than anything practicable.

  • American USMC November 29, 2016, 6:39 pm

    Don’ mess with TEXAS I hope this goes thru. If it does I hope my state follows !

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