Proposed bill will cut class time for concealed handgun applicants

Alberto Long

A proposed bill authored by State Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, would limit the amount of classroom hours required to obtain a concealed handgun license. 

The bill would reduce the 10-hour minimum, 15-hour maximum state-mandated class time to a minimum of four hours and maximum of six. Campbell cited current state laws’ inefficiency and an individual’s constitutional freedom as the driving forces behind the bill. 

The bill would not change the test standards or the testing process. Students would still have to take and pass state-mandated writing and gun range exams. 

“We’re trying to not waste people’s time,” Campbell said. “There are certainly options for those who feel they need more time or need to repeat a test. We’re just trying to take away some legislation that has built-in inefficiencies.”

According to a bill analysis filed March 28, a statute requiring a CHL licensure course was enacted in 1997. The course curriculum was not finalized, and Campbell’s bill is the first to address the discrepancy between mandated course hours and the timed delivery of the course curriculum. 

The bill was discussed Tuesday before the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice. It was not met with much opposition. 

Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, who chaired the committee agreed the current CHL curriculum was inefficient. 

“I took the course and I thought it was terribly long,” Whitmire said. “The safety aspects were covered easily in the first half of the session. The rest felt like filler.”