- Associated Press - Monday, March 20, 2017

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - A bill reducing fees for gun licenses statewide is heading to the full Texas Senate.

Jacksonville Republican Sen. Robert Nichols originally wanted to scrap the entire $140 fee for first-time licenses to carry concealed and holstered handguns, as well as the $70 charge to renew licenses after five years.

But the nonpartisan Legislative Budget Board estimated that doing so would cost Texas $55-plus million during a two-year state budget cycle.

Instead, Nichols on Monday introduced a modified version reducing the first-time and renewal fee to $40 each. The fiscal impact of that hasn’t yet been calculated.

The Senate State Affairs Committee then unanimously approved Nichols‘ amended proposal to the full chamber, where it should pass easily.

Gun advocates are applauding the bill, saying Texas’ fees are among the nation’s highest.

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