6 On Your Side: September Laws - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

6 On Your Side: September Laws

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Newschannel 6 did the research to find out how more than 650 new laws that went into effect in Texas on September 1 will affect residents.

6 On Your Side anchor Brittany Glas broke them down to some of the most controversial and historic laws in Texas history for teens, families, students, and especially gun-owners.

The 10 to 15 hour concealed hand-gun licensing standard in Texas is now a thing of the past. This means C.H.L. instructors and students will spend less time in the class room by about half the time.

Karen Clark, a C.H.L. holder, said, "They've shortened it and I'm not sure how they're going to get all that in."

For some, the issue was wasted time. Mike Cargill, the owner of Central Texas Gun Works, said, "The problem was if you had about five people in class, you had to fill time because it had to be a minimum of 10 hours... and the topics could have been covered in a much shorter time."

Thanks to Senate Bill 864, supporters said it's possible.

Texas now requires only four to six hours of classroom instruction to learn fire-arm safety, where you can and cannot carry, dispute resolution tactics and de-escalation techniques, as well as justifiable use of force.

Advocates of the new law said with the condensed classroom time, more people will be willing to get licensed. C.H.L. instructor Tracy Sanford said, "Since it's not going to be that big of an inconvenience, they'll go ahead and go in and get their C.H.L."

This was intentional. Texas State Senator Donna Campbell wrote the revised law "in hopes of reducing the unnecessary time burden that made it difficult for working folks to obtain their concealed carry license."

Texomans are divided on the issue.

Because C.H.L. classes are shorter, they are also less expensive. It's another benefit for Texans debating whether to get their permit. Texans should keep in mind the required practice at the shooting range will remain the same.

Robert Greene, owner of TexasCHL.US, said "I do teach basic firearms for those individuals who are not comfortable and I say, 'You know what? Before you take this step to get your concealed handgun license, why don't we get you some basic shooting experience first.' Then we can take the next step."

Tracy Sanford said, "They're gonna have to take a little bit of personal responsibility onto themselves to continue their education outside of the classroom."

From the shooting range to the world-wide-web... Thanks to the new law as soon as someone's registered, owners can also renew their registration online.

S.B. 864 wasn't the only pro-second amendment law change that went into effect September 1. State Senator Craig Estes, who represents Wichita Falls, along with State Representative Kenneth Sheets of Dallas, wrote Senate Bill 299. The bill protects C.H.L.'s against charges of unlawful carry for the accidental display of a handgun.

The 659 total bills also directly impact Texans behind the wheel.

The "Move Over, Slow Down" law is aimed at protecting the lives of Texas Department of Transportation workers. When approaching a TxDOT vehicle, drivers must now move over to the furthest lane, or reduce their speed to 20 miles per hour under the posted speed limit.

If you get into a wreck and don't stop and render aid and someone is hurt, you could spend the next decade behind bars.

Hit-and-run crashes that result in death now carry the same penalty as intoxication man-slaughter: 20 years in jail.

A number of Department of Public Safety laws also took effect, including the option of using a cell phone to show proof of insurance.

Tanning beds are now banned under the law for minors in the Lone Star State, regardless of parental consent.

Texas students may be happy to hear they'll take fewer standardized tests. Lawmakers dropped the number of those tests from 15 to only 5.

Brittany Glas, Newschannel 6