Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick (R) has prioritized Senate Bill 16, authored by state Senators Robert Nichols & Joan Huffman, an NRA-backed measure to eliminate the fees for original and renewal Licenses to Carry (LTC) in Texas.
The fee for an original Texas License to Carry (LTC) is among the highest in the nation. No law-abiding Texan should be priced out of the ability to exercise his or her right to self-defense.
The amount ($140) was set in statute in 1995 and has not been seriously revisited for more than two decades, despite advances in technology and the passage of several bills streamlining the Lone Star State’s carry law. Federal and state criminal records databases have been automated for quicker access and use by law enforcement agencies. The application and renewal processes are both almost exclusively completed online now. Fingerprints are taken electronically by an outside vendor (for a separate charge borne by the applicant) and stored by DPS for use when renewing a license. Photos are lifted from driver’s licenses and utilized for carry licenses.
Under the 1995 law, senior citizens and the indigent enjoyed a 50% discount for original licenses. In the years since, the Legislature has carved out additional reduced application fees for certain groups, such as current and retired peace officers, active and retired judicial officers, and honorably discharged veterans (all $25 each). While these are well-intentioned and, many would say, well-deserved – the average, hard-working Texan has not experienced any relief in over 20 years.
LTC holders are among the most law-abiding citizens of the Lone Star State. They are 21 times less likely than the general population to be charged with a crime, according to DPS statistics from 2002-2015. Senate Bill 16 will allow honest citizens at all income levels to have equal access to this vital personal protection option.
Please contact your state Senator and urge them to sign on as a co-author to Senate Bill 16 if they have not done so already. If they already have, please thank them for their support! For help in locating your Senator and their contact information, click here.
Senate Bill 16 is authored by state Senator Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) and co-authored by Senators Joan Huffman (R-Houston), Brian Birdwell (R-Waco), Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham), and Charles Perry (R-Lubbock).