CCW-Fee Reform Bill Passes! Carrying in Texas Just Got a Whole Lot Cheaper!

Gov. Greg Abbott will soon sign a bill to lower concealed carry licensing fees in the Lone Star State.

Known as Senate Bill 16, the legislation would slash the initial CCW application fee from $140 to $40 and cut the annual renewal fee from $70 to $40.  Prior to this bill’s passage, Texas had one of the highest permit fees in the country, coming in third behind Illinois ($150) and Arkansas ($142.11).

“No Texan should be deprived of their right to self-protection because of onerous licensing fees imposed by the state,” said Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick in a video.

Patrick’s comment raises and interesting question.  Aren’t “onerous licensing fees” in the eye of the beholder?  What’s more palatable about $40 when you really think about it? Why is the state generating revenue off of a Constitutionally-protected right in the first place?  The state doesn’t impose a tax on free speech or a trip to church.

Now, the Texas government says that the money goes to cover the Dept. of Public Safety’s cost to run the licensing program as well as to fund the county, state and federal background check system.

But there’s a better solution, isn’t there?  The state can still keep its licensing system for those who want a permit to take advantage of the Texas’ concealed carry reciprocity agreements with other states, but for law-abiding Texans who don’t travel much, wouldn’t it be ideal to simply allow them to carry concealed without a permit at all?  This way they wouldn’t have to pay any “onerous licensing fees imposed by the state” at all.

Of course it would!  In fact, as many as 13 states already employ this type of system, known as Constitutional Carry.  Texas State Rep. Jonathan Stickland (R-Bedford) actually introduced Constitutional Carry legislation this session but it did not get the love SB 16 did.

“Constitutional carry as we know it is dead in the House,” state Rep. Stickland told The Texas Tribune on Monday.

Gee, I wonder why Constitutional Carry got shot down?  The state will lose approximately $12.6 million in 2018 with the passage of SB 16.  I bet it couldn’t stomach to lose any more cashola, which would certainly happen if a Constitutional Carry bill were to pass.

Yes, yes, yes, it’s still good news that carrying concealed will be less expensive but, at the same time, Texas has more work to do if it wants to keep its reputation as one of the vanguards for the gun community.

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Bill Busch May 21, 2017, 2:54 pm

    I don’t mind the $40. My state’s worth it. I DO, however, want people carrying to have at least a minimum of training and awareness of the consequences of firing in public, whatever the situation may be.

  • Charlie May 19, 2017, 9:56 pm

    Still do not understand why we have to pay any amount of tax to do something that the Constitution of the United States gave us the right to do.

  • Robert Gault May 19, 2017, 5:44 pm

    Well, I am surprised! I guess Virginia is doing really good on the gun issues. We have had open carry forever. Cost for concealed carry in my county is $15 for 5 years. Renewal is $15. Boy, do I really appreciate Virginia (is it OK to say Boy?). However, that may not last. Northern Virginia is getting overrun by liberals/government workers who use to live in Maryland but voted in every socialist thing they could, drove taxes through the roof then moved to Virginia to get out from under the mess they created. Have they learned anything? No, they’re turning our state Blue as we comment.

    Back to concealed carry issue, I sure hope you folks in Texas get hold of your government & clean that mess up.

    Thanks for reading my rant.

  • Mike Mackay May 19, 2017, 1:18 pm

    I love living in Texas!

  • Toby Murrah May 19, 2017, 12:18 pm

    Texas LTC is valid for 5 yrs. Article cited annual renewal.

  • Derrall Williamson May 19, 2017, 10:36 am

    I don’t understand why this an other articles I have read keep stating annual renewal. Texas does not have an annual renewal. The initial license was good for four years and renewal is for five years not annually. Stating 70 or 40 dollars annually misrepresents the overall costs of a license which would be 14 vs 8 dollars over 5 years.

    Like I said articles like this and others that are stating this are misleading the people of Texas on what the true costs of concealed carry licenses really are.

  • Maha May 19, 2017, 10:23 am

    While Texas is often cited as a great free state for liberty, it has some pretty high tariffs. Cost of property ownership is high, due to the tax rate. places the Texas median property tax rate at 3rd highest in the nation. It also costs to drive many places, with all the toll roads in place. State sales tax is 6.25%, with lots of municipal add ons. To be fair, there is no income tax.

    • Bill Busch May 22, 2017, 9:07 am

      Property taxes differ county to county. Stay away from the counties where the highest taxes are. Usually ones with big cities.

  • Ed Sunderland May 19, 2017, 9:54 am

    We shouldn’t have to ask permission to exercise our second amendment rights. That is what a CCW amounts to. I think there should be training for weapons because many people don’t know how many weapons work. A Glock for example has no visible safety as is common among a lot of automatic firearms. A de-cocker is also a different device. Folks should be able to tell the difference so I think education would be a better solution in use and application.

    Right now the laws are upside down. We are fighting to keep laws off the books that restrict our rights when we should be going after the persons and institutions that attempt to destroy and restrict our rights. A congressman that writes a bill to restrict freedom and liberty should be ridiculed and removed from office but the left hails these sots as heroes. But isn’t it ironic most of the mass murderers in society tend to be rabid lefties.

  • henry white May 19, 2017, 9:52 am

    I agree that the fee charged should be not more than $40.00 by any state but the federal government doesn’i care about us natiralised citizens just those whom come in here illegally and theyrape out system and we have to pay for their being here.

  • Randy May 19, 2017, 9:19 am

    Open Carry Texas ( OCT ) and C. J. Grisham have been working tirelessly for Texans right for constitutional carry. Rep. Phil King and Todd Hunter have been the major roadblocks to our 2A rights here. As pro-gun , pro 2A legislators ( ? ) , they have killed HB 1911 and HB 375 to expand our rights. The Texas State Rifle Association has given them A+ endorsements as being “pro-gun” state legislators. Are ya’ll seeing how politics in Texas works? The TSRA needs new leadership and a more modern , progressive vision for Texas and our 2A rights !! Please remember these two fools when the next election comes around and send them home in disgrace. The fight continues for our rights and the movement is growing !

    • John L May 19, 2017, 5:28 pm

      Time for all gun owners in TX to get busy. Being the 13th or 14th freest state ain’t much to brag about. Join the rest of us in the free states and make sure constitutional carry gets passed. Would love to see it happen.

      • Randy May 20, 2017, 4:04 pm

        John L. You are right. Thanks.

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