Texas police chiefs fighting 'unlicensed carry'

Some police chiefs across the state are asking lawmakers to scrap a bill that would let Texans carry a handgun without a license.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo is asking state lawmakers to scrap a bill that would let Texans carry handguns without a license.

“Texans understand rights come with responsibilities, and those that have proven to be irresponsible do not deserve, do not have, under the law, a right to carry a gun,” Acevedo said. “Quite frankly, we in law enforcement cannot have our hands tied.”

Officers in Dallas, Austin and San Antonio agree. They say concealed handgun licenses are needed to properly very and train gun owners.

The chamber voted 111-30 on Tuesday to decrease gun licenses to $40, down from $140 for first-time permits and $70 for renewals. The move has already cleared the Texas Senate and now needs only a final House vote before Gov. Greg Abbott can sign it into law.

The decrease should cost Texas nearly $22 million over the next two years alone, but supporters said current, high fees had Texans traveling to neighboring states to get cheaper licenses to use back home.

Also passed was a proposal allowing volunteer firefighters to bring guns into restricted areas, while nearing approval was one letting license applicants take handgun proficiency courses online.

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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