Texas has a reputation as being a pretty gun-friendly state. In fact, if you were asked to name a state when someone says the word “gun,” chances are good that most folks would answer, “Texas.”
I guess that means it’s no surprise that Governor Greg Abbott has those who lost their permits during Hurricane Harvey covered.
Governor Greg Abbott has directed the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to provide no-cost replacements of License to Carry a Handgun (LTC) cards and Private Security Board (PSB) licensee cards for eligible residents who have had their cards lost or damaged as a result of Hurricane Harvey.
“As Texas begins the recovery process, we are prepared to respond to a wide range of issues to help victims of this Hurricane,” said Governor Abbott. “By eliminating burdensome fees to replace these important licenses, Texans can focus on rebuilding their lives and communities.”
Residents who live in counties that have received a gubernatorial disaster declaration, and who are currently active Texas LTC or PSB license holders, are eligible to apply for free replacement cards. Affected customers must call the Regulatory Services Division contact center at 512-424-7293 for assistance in waiving the fee (This service is not available online). Cardholders should be prepared to provide proof of identity. LTC standard replacement cards would normally cost $25, and PSB replacement cards normally cost $15.
For more information on the DPS LTC and private security programs, please visit http://www.dps.texas.gov/RSD/.
While the normal cost for a replacement license is hardly a burden under most circumstances, it probably won’t feel that way if you’ve lost everything else on top of the permit that allows you to carry a piece of lifesaving equipment with you on a daily basis.
Now, there’s one fewer expense victims of Harvey need to concern themselves with. After all, many already need to pay for home repairs, new furniture, new clothes…basically, new lives.
Here’s hoping Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina–all states that dealt with flooding following Hurricane Irma–follow Texas in this.
While it’s easy to say there shouldn’t be any fees associated with a constitutional right–because there shouldn’t–the fact remains that there are. By waiving those for people negatively impacted by a natural disaster, at least some of the pain is lifted. No, not a lot, but there’s only so much a state can do in a time like this.
Gov. Abbott’s announcement is a good step forward, but may also be a roadmap for other states to do the same following natural disasters. Not just hurricanes.
That said, I fully expect to hear the usual suspects prattle on about how this makes people unsafe or something, mostly because that’s the only tune they know how to play. I’ll preempt those arguments by pointing out that these are replacement permits. In other words, they not putting any new permits in any new hands…not that it would matter since law abiding gun owners aren’t the problem in the first place.
Good on Governor Abbot, though. May his example in this be followed throughout the nation.