CENTRAL TEXAS (September 3, 2013) -- On Sunday, hundreds of new laws were ushered into effect across Texas. One of those laws slashes requirements for concealed handgun licenses.
In the last legislative session, Texas lawmakers voted to lower the required lesson hours of CHL classes; originally they were 10 to 15, and now they’re 6 to 4. A range proficiency qualification is still required.
The new requirements have drawn criticism.
Many CHL instructors across Texas have voiced skepticism about the change, saying less instruction time may mean fewer students who are prepared.
“For half of the folks out there it's probably going to be great, but the other half may need more time," CHL Instructor John Price said.
"We cover so much in those 10 hours, not just the laws but stories from places all over where students learn about situations and being aware of your surroundings,” Price said.
“Now, a lot of that is going to be cut out."
Changes to how you renew your CHL license went into effect Sunday as well.
In the past, renewing a CHL meant completing four instruction hours and a range proficiency test.
Now, all you have to do is renew your license online. It’s another measure that’s receiving criticism.
“The proficiency is where I think it will hurt folks the most,” Price said.
"Thousands of Texans out there don't have to go back to the range to qualify for a license renewal anymore and I think we'll see repercussions from that down the road."
For some, the new CHL requirements raise concern. However, some say a lengthy course was too restrictive for gun owners.
Price agrees it will give people more freedom to obtain a CHL who may have had little time to in the past.
“With these new requirements, people who didn’t want to sit in a 10 hour class can now complete it at more time that best fits their schedule.”