Texas gun-rights advocates had a lot to celebrate after the 2015 legislative session — legalized open carry of handguns in most places and concealed carry on public college campuses.
More could be coming in the 2017 session.
State Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, has refiled his bill to eliminate all licensing requirements for people who carry handguns. It’s House Bill 375.
Stickland’s bill went nowhere in the 2015 session, and it should suffer the same fate next year — but maybe not.
SB16 would still require handgun licenses but would make them free. That means the regulatory structure, including Department of Public Safety background checks, would remain in place but taxpayers would pay for it.
At least part of the typical $140 fee for each license today goes to pay the administrative cost of issuing about 200,000 licenses a year. Taxpayers shouldn’t bear that burden.