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Texas Loosening Concealed Gun Law

AUSTIN (CN) - A Texas Senate committee unanimously approved a bill that will make it easier to get a concealed-handgun license.

The Senate Criminal Justice Committee voted 7-0 to send Senate Bill 864 to the full state Senate. It will reduce from 10 to 4 the minimum number of classroom hours needed to get a concealed-carry permit - and let people take classes online to renew their permits.

The maximum classroom time will be reduced from 15 to 6 hours.

To get a license to carry a concealed gun, applicants must complete the portion of the course and get instruction at a shooting range with a .32 caliber handgun or higher.

The bill also gives the Texas Department of Public Safety and qualified handgun instructors the right to offer online instruction for license renewals.

State Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, introduced the bill on Feb. 26.

Campbell, an emergency room physician, was elected to Senate District 25 in 2012.

District 25 includes all of Comal, Guadalupe, Hays and Kendall counties, and parts of Bexar and Travis counties.

Texas issued more than 146,000 concealed-handgun licenses in 2012, according to the Department of Public Safety website.

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