SB864 "Reduces the number of hours needed for a new concealed handgun license to 4 to 6 hours.", and HB48 "... does away with the class room and demonstration of proficiency requirement to renew a Concealed Handgun License." The class time for a new license is cut in half and renewal is now just an online written test via the DPS website. And the lack of any Class "A" misdemeanors or any felonies, of course. :) Bob made the point about a lot of instructors not liking these changes, which caused me to comment:
Mad props to Bob S. for rounding up all this data, but the citizens of Texas are all over the place when it comes to guns (despite the seeming overwhelming belief to the contrary outside the state) and I tried to make the point that making political change is necessarily a gradual process if you want to avoid turmoil:
I’ve gradually come to the opinion that CHL is basically just a form of political liability insurance.
People have been trained (mostly via entertainment media – who get it wrong even worse than the news media does) to be afraid of another person wearing a gun openly. CHL avoids the in your face nature of open carry and establishes some (however minimal) standard citizens must demonstrate before going around strapped. This gets the pols off the hook electorally and allows the rest of the populace to not be disturbed by the obvious presence of more-capable-than-they people around them.
At some point the default position of fear will modify and open carry will become much more legislatively possible, but politics is always a process (and nothing is ever final as long as the legislature can come back into session ). I’m sure Texas will eventually arrive at open carry, but the need for political liability insurance will make that a more gradual process than any of us will likely be all that pleased about. It’s just how we make change happen without breaking things.Getting people to adopt the belief that they are going to have to pass judgement on the person instead of whatever tool they may be wearing is going to require a pretty extensive period of adjustment. Working out how to do that in a mutually acceptable fashion won't speed things up either. But that's basically what will be required for open carry to become "normal", that we all ignore what the person has on and concentrate on the person's actions instead. Once that is achieved, people actually complete the adjustment pretty quickly if events in Arizona in recent years are any measure.
Gradual modification of common beliefs through the political process necessarily will require acceptance by all of us of the lethargic nature of the legislative process itself. Frustrating, but there it is.