New law trims requirements for concealed handgun license

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by MONIKA DIAZ

WFAA

Posted on September 2, 2013 at 9:56 PM

Updated Monday, Sep 2 at 10:37 PM

FORT WORTH — Labor Day arrived in Texas with new laws for concealed handgun license holders.

The requirements to get a CHL dropped from 10 to 15 lesson hours to four to six hours (not including shooting range training).

Some gun range owners told News 8 the changes will bring in more business.

“I'm definitely going to get my CHL now, said gun owner Joshua Mangano. “It's a lot more convenient.”

Shoot Smart in Fort Worth had its first shortened class on Sunday, and more are scheduled this week. It is offering four hours of training in the classroom with one hour on the range.

It also created a workbook for students.

“We've been preparing for it for quite some time so that we can provide the same amount of knowledge,” said Shoot Smart operations manager Jared Sloane. “It’s a drastic change, but we can do it.”

Slashing the hours for the required training course has its critics. Some North Texas instructors told us that new CHL students will be less prepared, less safe.

Others disagree.

“What makes you more safe, prepared, is coming back,” said Shoot Smart firearms instructor Luke Rochon. “It's continual education of training courses. It's not something you are going to learn in one course, whether it's 10 hours or the six.”

Also new this September, CHL holders can renew their permit online with no continuing education required. For some permit holders, that's a problem.

“Everyone ought to re-qualify,” said CHL holder Bill Huber. “I prefer that someone know how to get the target they are aiming for.”

For Garrett Sager, it's the training beyond the CHL class that makes the difference.

“If I'm not trained or proficient, perhaps I will present a danger to the public at large, as opposed to the person who is a threat to me and my family,” Sager said.

E-mail mdiaz@wfaa.com

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