Concealed Handgun Licenses Spike with Changes in Laws

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BURLESON COUNTY A law that went into effect last September reduced the number of hours required to get your concealed handgun license, but there's a delay in actually getting the license. As requirements to get a CHL have gone down, the demand to get one has gone up. Some local gun ranges are happy with the business, but disagree with some of the new requirements to get a license.

The new year is ringing in people across Texas and the Brazos Valley to get their Concealed Handgun License and shooting ranges around the Brazos Valley say business is right on target. But they don't agree with some of the laws.

"The worst thing you can do in a bad situation is not know what you are doing and either get yourself or someone hurt because of that," says Jack Baumann, the owner of Gunsmoke Shooting Range in Burleson County

The requirements to get a CHL decreased when a new law went into effect this past September. You used to have to take 10 hours of classes but it's dropped to just four-to-six. Range time doesn't count as a part of class time anymore. According to DPS, that's a separate requirement that's dependent on each individual instructor.

The state has so many requests for licenses coming in that it's become stockpiled, so people are getting their licenses nearly three months later than expected.

Jack Baumann is the owner of Gunsmoke Shooting Range in Burleson County and says although business has been great, people need to take getting their CHL seriously.

"I don't think four-to-six hours is enough training," Baumann said. "I don't think 10 hours is enough."

The laws are making it extremely easy for people to get their CHL, and DPS Trooper Jimmy Morgan said people are taking advantage of that.

"A lot of the people that are actually getting concealed handguns are some of the most law abiding citizens that we have, so we haven't had any trouble with these licenses," Trooper Morgan said. "I know that most of them that do just get a license just want to protect themselves and their families."

Champion Firearms in College Station declined to go on camera, but said although business has been booming, they expect it to slow since another thing that changed with the law--those looking to renew their license no longer have to take a class.