This week, the Senate approved HB 823 by Representative Terry Keel (R-Austin) and Senator Juan Hinojosa (D-McAllen), an NRA-backed bill which takes important steps toward clarifying that law-abiding Texans can carry a handgun for protection in their vehicles without a Concealed Handgun License (CHL). The bill now goes back to the House for concurrence with Senate amendments. Also this week, the House voted to concur with Senate amendments to two more NRA-backed bills, sending them both to Governor Rick Perry (R) for his signature. HB 322 by Representative Suzanna Hupp (R-Lampasas) and Senator Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls), which lowers CHL fees and the minimum age requirement for a CHL from 21 to 18 for active military personnel; and HB 1038 by Representative Carl Isett (R-Lubbock) and Senator Kim Brimer (R-Fort Worth), which reduces CHL renewal fees for senior citizens by 50% (that`s down to $35 for anyone 60 years or older).
Lastly, Governor Rick Perry (R) signed HB 685 by Representative Patrick Rose (D-Dripping Springs) and Senator Leticia Van de Putte (D-San Antonio), which exempts military personnel with recent handgun training from the range instruction portion of the CHL course. Note: The Legislature will be in session over Memorial Day weekend for final work on concurrence and conference report votes, and will sine die on May 30. Several other NRA-supported measures are expected to be given final consideration during this time. We`ll report back to you with a full wrap-up in next week`s Grassroots Alert.