A Texas gun bill approved by a Senate committee would reduce the first-time fee for a license to carry significantly. Senate Bill 16 would take Texas from having some the highest fees in the nation to one of the lowest.
Right now, it costs $140 for a license to carry. If this bill passes the Senate, it would cost $40. The annual renewal fee would also drop from $70 to $40.
Conceal carry owners in East Texas say this is good news for the community.
"I think it's a good thing for the state. I think it's a good thing for conceal carry owners. I think it's a good thing for our community," conceal carry owner Allen Gardner said.
Not only would this bill save him some money, but he said the community will benefit.
"Ultimately, I think any bill that would reduce the cost of getting that license while still going through that background check is a good thing," Gardner said.
Republican Senator Robert Nichols from Jacksonville is the author of the bill. He said Texas has one of the highest fees in the country to obtain a license to carry.
In a statement to CBS19, he writes:
"These fees impose an undue burden on Texans constitutional right to bear arms and obtain a concealed carry or license to carry. Senate Bill 16 lowers that fee by $100, making it one of the lowest in the country."
At just $40, Nichols said the fee would cover the necessary cost by the state for county, state and federal background checks.
"We're still having to go through the background checks and do all the same things as before. It's just lowering the fees - so none of that has changed," said Wes Bride, an employee at Mac’s Gun Shop in Tyler.
He said he’s hoping this bill, if passed, will bring in more revenue for the shop.
Some argue a portion of the $40 fee should go towards gun violence - noting there are roughly 3,200 gun deaths each year.
A spokesperson for Sen. Nichols said this bill is expected to be on the senate floor sometime next week.