Senate passes bill to trim handgun fee
The Texas Senate on Monday approved legislation to cut the fee for a license to carry a firearm from $140 to $40.
Senate Bill 16, which also would cut the renewal fee from $70 to $40, next goes to the House after the 26-5 vote.
The $140 fee, among the highest in the nation, “places an undue burden on the right to bear arms,” said the bill’s author, state Sen. Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville.
Nichols estimated the lower fee would cost the state about $15 million a year.
State Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, said he would have supported the bill because “we are clearly charging more than the actual cost of getting a handgun license.” However, he said SB 16 went too far, particularly in a tight budget session, adding that $15 million a year could be used to hire child-welfare workers or fund a veterans employment assistance program.