New Texas CHL Laws

There are new laws and changes in existing laws starting September 1, 2013 that will affect how you get your license and how and when you carry your firearm.

Pay attention folks, there’s a new Sheriff in town!

SB 864 – CHL Instruction Time

Let’s start with SB 864, the new regulations for classroom training and range proficiency training and demonstration regulations. On the surface, it looks like they are cutting the time you spend to get your CHL down to between 4 & 6 hours… NOT EXACTLY!

First let’s look at what it says, then at what it doesn’t say…

SB 864 CHL Instruction Time reduces the minimum number of required classroom training for original CHLs from 10-15 to 4-6 hours. (Effective 9/1/13)

Now, what it doesn’t say…

In the past we started the day with safety inspection of safety gear, ammo, and firearms, review of gun safety rules, gun range orientation talk, and discussion of what makes guns work, common malfunctions of ammunition, how to score a target and just general range instruction and gun training. Then at the shooting range, a quick review, answer any questions, and then proceed with the shooting proficiency test.

We will still do these things to keep our classes informed and safe. However by the new law changes, none of these will be counted as part of the 4-6 hour class time. You still need it! You are still required by law to have safety instruction, range orientation, and shoot the qualification round.

Feel Safe Gun Training has an obligation to our customers to make sure you are not just licensed, but trained to handle your firearms to a minimum level of safety, and be able to hit somewhere near what you are aiming.

So, while the 10-15 hours of training are thankfully going to be gone, don’t be lulled into thinking you can get your license in 4 to 6 hours, or that you can be taught what you need to know in that short period.

Our CHL classes will begin at 6:45am, the same as always, by making sure we’re safe, informed, and ready for the range qualification. Then we leave for the range to shoot. Upon returning to the classroom, we’ll review a few common mistakes to avoid, cover gun malfunctions, ammo malfunctions, concealment methods, etc. Then, on to peaceful Dispute Resolution, the Castle Doctrine, and Texas Gun Laws as they apply to the CHL holder. Lunch will still be served in our CHL Classes. Free coffee, snack cakes, and bottled water will still be available in the classroom. We will still take breaks each hour.

The first of these classes has yet to be held. We expect to be finished with both the non-classroom and the classroom portions of the class and have you on your way by 3:00 pm.

This may vary some depending on the number of questions, and how well you do on the range and the written test.

More Law Changes that We Need to Know About

  • SB 1907 Firearms in Cars prohibits public and private colleges and universities from adopting or enforcing policies restricting the possession, transportation and storage of any lawfully-owned firearms and ammunition by CHLs in their locked, privately-owned motor vehicles while driving through or parking on campus. (Effective 9/1/13)
  • SB 987 State Preemption Injunction allows the Texas Attorney General to seek a temporary or permanent injunction against a city or county that adopts a regulation in violation of the State Firearms Preemption Statute. (Effective Immediately)
  • SB 1400 BB and Air Guns Inclusion protects BB guns and other air guns against most local regulations by including them in the State Firearms Preemption Statute. (Effective Immediately)
  • SB 1857 School Safety Certificates directs the Texas DPS to establish a process by which qualified concealed handgun instructors may obtain additional certification in “school safety”. Successful completion of this advanced training would allow the instructor to teach these advances security techniques to employees of school districts or open-enrollment charter schools who hold CHLs. (Effective 9/1/13)
  • HB 48 CHL No Class Renewals streamlines the process for renewal of a CHL. Applicants would still be required to renew their licenses every five years, but they would be provided with an informational form regarding pertinent firearms and deadly force laws, which would have to be signed and turned in with the CHL renewal application. Renewal applications can be submitted on the Internet. (Effective 9/1/13)

We at Feel Safe Gun Training will continue to offer CHL renewal refresher classes after September 1. Though the law doesn’t require you to take these classes, common sense dictates you need a refresher and to make re-qualification shooting demonstration just like policemen do. If you plan to carry a deadly weapon with you, please don’t jeopardize yourself, your family, and bystanders by not keeping up your training!!

  • HB 333 Firearms in Hotels requires hotels which restrict the possession, storage or transportation of firearms to notify guests of such policies on their websites or when confirming reservations. (Effective 9/1/13)
  • HB 485 CHL Renewal Fees reduces fees for original/renewal CHL charged to veterans who are honorably discharged after at least one year of military service, reserve and part-time peace officers, Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) correctional officers and members of the Texas Military Forces from $70 to $35, respectively, to $25. (Effective 9/1/13)
  • HB 698 CHL Fingerprints requires DPS to establish procedures for the submission of fingerprints by CHL applicants who live in counties with populations of less than 46,000 and do not live within 25 miles of a designated facility capable of processing them digitally or electronically. Availability of such services continues to be a problem in rural areas, as the state currently only contracts with one company. (Effective 9/1/13)
  • HB 1009 School Marshal The “Protection of Texas Children Act” creates a new category of law enforcement called a “school marshal” in public k-12 schools and charters. Marshal’s will be allowed to carry a gun and their identity would only be known to the school’s head administrator and law enforcement. If working in a classroom or around children, the school marshal’s weapon will be locked away but within reach. Effective immediately. In order to become a school marshal, applicants would have to complete an intensive training program developed by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education (TCLEOSE). However, the program would also be open to any employee of a school district or open-enrollment charter school who has a CHL. The governing bodies of the institutions would decide whether to appoint marshals to certain schools. (Effective Immediately)
  • HB 1349 CHL No SSN Required prohibits the Texas DPS from requesting or requiring that an applicant’s social security number be disclosed during the process of obtaining an original or renewal CHL. (Effective Jan 1, 2014)
  • HB 1421 Seizure and Sell allows firearms seized by law enforcement in connection with a crime, and not returnable to a rightful owner, to be sold at a public sale to a federal firearms licensed dealers rather than be destroyed. Proceeds go to the law enforcement agency that seized it. (Effective 9/1/13)
  • HB 3142 CHL Handgun Category Removed repeals both the requirement that CHL applicants demonstrate proficiency with a specific category of handgun (semi-automatic or non-semi-automatic) and the limitation on CHLs carrying the category of handgun with which they qualified. (Effective Immediately)

Let me try to clarify this: If your license currently restricts you to revolver only, you are still restricted until you renew your license; but from this point on, there will be no restrictions put on new licenses or renewed licenses with regard to semi-auto or revolvers.

They want what? HB 508 Intended to add clarification to existing CHL law, got twisted into extending special privileges to lawmakers to carry in locations where ordinary CHLs cannot legally protect themselves. Lawmakers objected to the hypocrisy of the proposal and since the amendment could not be separated from the underlying bill at that stage of the process, the measure was voted down.

TX Cities’ Achilles Heel on Gun Laws: TX Firearms Preemption Statute states that a municipality may not adopt regulations relating to the transfer, private ownership, keeping, transportation, licensing, or registration of firearms, ammunition, or firearm supplies…