Texas relaxes concealed carry renewals

Come September, the concealed carry renewal process in Texas is getting streamlined. Instead of requiring permit holders to re-qualify at the range and fulfill a continuing education requirement, the new procedure will consist of nothing more than filling out paperwork online.

Some Texans aren’t too happy with the change.

“For the state to turn around and say ‘well, we’re going to start doing this and you don’t have to, we’re going to make it more convenient for you,’ well lets just hope and pray that some innocent bystander doesn’t get hurt because of convenience,” said Burnie Stokes, owner of Panhandle Gunslingers.

What he is referring to is the new law that says it will eliminate the continuing education requirement and handgun proficiency demonstration currently required to renew a concealed handgun license. Now, renewal can be done all online.

“The reason they want to do this is to save time. But you know, if you haven’t got time to carry it, then you don’t need to have it. If you don’t want to take the time to take the responsibility, then don’t carry it… it’s that simple,” Stokes added.

Instruction time for receiving that license will also be reduced from 10 hours to around 4.

But, State Representative Four Price says these laws, which go into effect on Sunday, offer some benefits.

“I think these are good laws that modernize existing statutes and actually improve on them,” Price said.

“We’re not watering down any of the restrictions or the laws with respect to whose qualified and what the application process really requires. What were saying is if you are a qualified applicant, we’re going to make it as easy as possible for you to obtain your license,” he added.

Other changes to concealed hand gun laws will now make it easier for people living in rural areas to submit their fingerprints for the license, rather than having to travel to larger urban areas to do so.

I don’t live in Texas and won’t pretend to know the intricacies of their laws currently in effect, nor those that replace them next week. Mr. Stokes presumably does, however, and as a shooting range owner, probably had a pretty good vantage point from whence to judge the firearms competency of the public at large.

He seems to be suggesting that since shooting is a very perishable skill without frequent practice, that this new revision of the law is going to put people in public with a carry permit who simply can’t operate firearms safely on a range, much less under the sort of circumstances that justify drawing a concealed weapon.

We test drivers to make sure that they are safe on the road.

Is it wrong to require concealed carriers to prove basic competence as well?

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