83rd Legislative Session

Texas 83rd Legislative Session News: Senate Panel Considers Revised Gun Training Requirements

The following is a digest of a story originally published at the Austin American Statesman. The Texas Lobby Group is posting this summary as a public service to citizens of Texas interested in the 83rd Legislative Session.

Texas lawmakers are considering a proposal from Senator Donna Campbell to decrease the number of instructional training hours required for persons seeking a concealed handgun license in the Lone State.

Current Texas law requires 10 to 15 hours of classroom instruction before a citizen can legally carry a concealed handgun. After hearing testimony from gun-owners, a co-author of the concealed handgun license law, and instructors of concealed handgun courses, members of the Senate are reevaluating the provision.

Charles Cotton, who helped write the law in 1995, testified the minimum 10-hour requirement “was literally pulled out of the air.” Some doubt whether the decrease in the hours of instruction will still appropriately train people in proper gun-handling techniques, but instructors on gun-handling courses insist current rules force them to pad classroom content and the material can be adequately taught in six to seven hours. The bill would not change any standards of the written or range exams.

Lawmakers with reservations are concerned the measure will anger gun rights activists, but no one testified against Sen. Campbell’s bill at the committee. If this measure is passed, it could potentially advance other gun rights bills to the forefront of this legislative session.