SB 16 Reforms the fee structure of the license to carry in Texas. Texas has one of the highest shall issue license to carry fees in the United States. The current cost is $140 for the original license and renewal is $70. The reform law reduces the original license to $40, and the renewal to the same $40. People who are indigent have the initial fee reduced by half, to $20. The renewal fee for the indigent will be $5. For people 60 years or older, the same $20 for an original and $5 for renewal, applies.
SB 16 passed the House 111 - 30. It passed the Senate 31 - 0. It was sent to Governor Abbot on Monday, 15 May, 2017. Governor Abbot has been a strong Second Amendment supporter. It is expected that he will sign SB 16.
John Lott's research has confirmed the obvious. The higher the costs to obtain a concealed carry permit, (or in a few states, license to carry) the lower the percentage of people who obtain the permit or license. From crimeresearch.org:
Each $10 increase in fees reduces the percent of adults with permits by about a half a percentage point.This bill reduced the fee for a License to Carry in Texas by $100, a substantial amount. According to the research cited above, that should result in a 5% increase in the percentage of adults with LTCs in Texas. The population estimate for Texas in 2017 is 28.4 million. 73.3% of which are 18 or older. That is 20.8 million adults.
Texas showed 1,150, 754 active license holders at the end of 2016. That is between 5% and 6% of adults in Texas. 5% of 20.8 million is another million active license holders.
Other consideration besides price can chill the acquisition of Concealed Handgun Licenses or Concealed Carry permits. Texas requires training by Texas certified instructors, and legible fingerprints.
It is reasonable to project that Texas will pass the 2 million mark for CHLs by 2027.
If Governor Abbot signs HB 16, the statute will go into effect on 1 September, 2017.
The number of people with concealed handgun permits in the United States was estimated at 14.5 million in the middle of 2016. The addition of another million permit holders in Texas will continue the rapid increase in permit holders. Ten states have more than 10% of the adult population with permits. Indiana has over 15% of adults with permits.