New law trims CHL requirements - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

New law trims CHL requirements

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You can now get your concealed carry license in Texas in half the time. Prior to September first, classes were between 10 and 15 hours. Now they can be anywhere from four to six hours long.

The shorter class time, as signed into law this past legislative session, triggered Kirk Kronenberger to sign up.

"It's something I've been thinking about for a long time and the laws changed and got easier so what better time than now," said Kronenberger.

The same goes for Bruce Spark.

"So many things are going on today especially um there's a lot of weird people out there," Spark said. "The more I read the stories the more important I feel it is to be able to protect my family."

"Nobody wants to sit in a class more than you have to." Kronenberger said.

"Our classes go from 10 to 15 hours to four to six hours."

Central Texas Gun Works Owner and CHL instructor Michael Cargill lobbied for the law. His goal was to get those who are thinking about taking the course into the classroom instead of taking short cuts which he felt could be dangerous.

"Like Virginia, you can go online and get it in Virginia," Cargill said. "We had people that were going to Utah and other places and getting a concealed handgun license there. We wanted to say hey, you live in Texas, learn the laws in Texas."

Computer courses do not include shooting. Cargill says he's found that some of his students will realize they needed more practice and ask to re-do the class.

"Anytime you can have interaction it's important because there are some people who area good with reading. Some people have to be hands on so I think it's ideal for everyone," Spark said.

Cargill says reducing class time doesn't reduce instruction.

"We're actually going to get to the meat of what we need to cover," Cargill said. "Sometimes we would show an hour long video and then a 30 minute long video. We were worrying about whether or not we're going to make 10 hours."

"I don't see how it could be stretched to 10 hours and get anything more out of it," said Kronenberger.

Cargill just hopes the change continues to work by creating more informed CHL holders.

"You need to learn the laws of the state you're in because ignorance of the law is no excuse," said Cargill.

Another new law regarding CHLs took effect on September first. If you are a CHL holder, you will no longer need to take a renewal course. You must renew online on the DPS website, but there is no longer a one year grace period. You must renew before your license expires. Once your license expires, you must take the full course again and pay the full fee.

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