Texas Senate approves big cuts to statewide gun license fees

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- The Texas Senate has approved a bill sharply reducing gun license fees.

Jacksonville Republican Sen. Robert Nichols originally sought to scrap the full $140 fee for first-time licenses and the $70 charge for 5-year license renewals. But doing so would have cost Texas $55-plus million during a two-year state budget cycle.  

Instead, Nichols proposed reducing the first-time and renewal fee to $40 each.

That means the bill will cost Texas about $15 million annually. It passed 26-5 Monday, and heads to the state House.

Gun advocates say Texas' current fees are among America's highest, and senators said classes in Houston and elsewhere have begun offering instruction needed to obtain Florida gun licenses. That's because that state has lower fees, and Texas has a reciprocal agreement recognizing gun permits issued there.

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