Legislative Updates

DPS’ Regulatory Services Division (RSD) and its statutory licensing programs continue to implement many updates from the regular session of the 83rd Texas Legislature.

   Concealed Handgun

House Bill 48
Effective: Sept. 1, 2013
Relating to the procedure where a person may renew a CHL.

  • Eliminates the requirements for CHL holders to complete a renewal course, or demonstrate proficiency, to renew the license.
  • CHL holders will continue to have an option to submit the renewal application online.
  • CHL may be renewed for up to one year after expiration. There is no grace period for continuing to carry, once the CHL has expired.

House Bill 333
Effective: Sept. 1, 2013
Relating to requiring notice of a hotel’s firearms policy and other guest policies; providing a criminal penalty.

  • Requires hotels to clearly state their firearms policy on their website and in written guest policies.

House Bill 485
Effective: Sept. 1, 2013
Relating to the amount of fees paid by certain peace officers, correctional officers, members of state military forces, and veterans of the armed forces for a license to carry a concealed handgun and to the issuance of such a license to certain peace officers and members of state military forces; authorizing a fee.

  • Reduces the fee to $25 for certain peace officers. Full-time peace officers already pay a reduced fee. This bill expands the criteria by removing the requirement for the officer to be full-time. Peace officers who wish to pay the reduced fee must be employed by a law enforcement agency.
  • Reduces the fee for both an original and a renewal for veterans from $70 and $35 respectively, to $25.
  • Authorizes a reduced fee of $25 for correctional officers employed by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ). This new law authorizes a fee reduction only. TDCJ correctional officers may apply online under the special condition of “active peace officer,” but will be required to complete the required four (4) to six (6) hour CHL course. Additionally, these applicants must provide proof of current employment with TDCJ.
  • A new fee schedule is on the DPS website

House Bill 698
Effective: Sept. 1, 2013
Relating to certain procedures for submitting legible and classifiable fingerprints with an application for a license to carry a concealed handgun.

  • Directs DPS to establish a procedure for submission of fingerprints for CHL applicants who reside in a county with a population of 46,000 or less and does not reside within a 25-mile radius of a facility capable of processing the electronic fingerprints.
  • More information regarding eligibility and detailed instructions are located on the CHL webpage.

House Bill 1009
Effective:  Immediately
Relating to the creation of a new category of law enforcement officer who shall be designated a school marshal, the training and appointment of certain employees of a school district or open-enrollment charter school as school marshals, and the rights, restrictions, limitations and responsibilities as school marshals; authorizing the imposition of a fee.

House Bill 1349
Effective:  Jan. 1, 2014
Relating to the information that may be requested by DPS from a person applying for or renewing a CHL.

  • DPS has modified its processes and application system to eliminate the requirement of a Social Security Number (SSN) for the CHL application. A SSN is no longer required to apply for a Texas CHL.

House Bill 3142
Effective: Immediately
Relating to handguns used to demonstrate proficiency in handgun use for purpsoses of obtaining a CHL.

  • The category of the handgun used for proficiency demonstration is no longer required, whether a semi-automatic or a revolver was used.
  • RSD has developed changes to remove the weapon category from the printed CHL to reflect the individual may carry either a semi-automatic or a non-semi-automatic handgun. Changes to the laminated license are being implemented, effective May 1, 2014.

House Bill 3370
Effective: Sept. 1, 2013
Relating to the authority of certain retired peace officers and former reserve law enforcement officers to carry certain firearms.

  • This bill expands the criteria for certain retired peace officers to obtain a CHL, including a discounted fee. Applicants will need to provide a sworn statement from the head of the law enforcement agency where the applicant last served. The statement must meet the requirements set forth in Texas Government Code 411.1992(b).

Senate Bill 164
Effective: Sept. 1, 2013
Relating to the issuance to veterans of specially marked licenses to carry a concealed handgun and specially marked personal identification certificates.

  • Authorizes DPS to print “Veteran” on the laminated CHL
  • Changes to the laminated license have been made to allow for the “Veteran” designation. Licenses issued to individuals who have applied as a veteran now display “Veteran” on the face of the license.

Senate Bill 299
Effective: Sept. 1, 2013
Relating to the intentional display of a handgun by a person licensed to carry a concealed handgun.

  • This bill amends the Texas Penal Code by changing the language from “fail to conceal” to “unintentional display.”

Senate Bill 864
Effective: Sept. 1, 2013
Relating to a handgun proficiency course that is taken to obtain or renew a CHL.

  • Reduces the classroom training house for the CHL course to a minimum of four (4) hours and a maximum of six (6) hours. The time spent for proficiency demonstration will no longer be included in the classroom training.
  • Original applicants must attend the classroom instruction and complete the proficiency demonstration in person in Texas.
  • The course material must still cover the same four topics.
  • Detailed information for CHL Instructors, including a course outline, new student test and updated forms is on the CHL webpage. 

Senate Bill 1857
Effective: Sept. 1, 2013
Relating to the certification of certain qualified handgun instructors to conduct school safety training.

  • DPS is currently developing rules and procedures to implement this bill. More information will be posted on the DPS website asit becomes available.

Senate Bill 1907
Effective: Sept. 1, 2013
Relating to the transportation and storage of firearms and ammunition by CHL holders in private vehicles on the campuses of certain institutions of higher education.

  • Prohibits a place of higher education (such as a college), from prohibiting a student from storing a handgun and / or ammunition in a vehicle on campus.

   Controlled Substances

House Bill 1803
Effective: Jan. 1, 2014
Relating to the renewal of a controlled substance registration by physicians.

  • House Bill 1803 amends the Texas Health and Safety Code to require a physician’s Controlled Substance registration be valid for two years and expire on the same date as the physician’s registration with the Texas Medical Board

Senate Bill 406
Effective: Nov. 1, 2013
Relating to the practice of advance practice nurses and physician’s assistants and the delegation of prescriptive authority by physicians to and the supervision by physicians of certain advance practice nurses and physician’s assistants.

  • Senate Bill 406 amends the Texas Occupations Code allowing supervision and delegation of prescriptive authority, including Schedule II Controlled Substances, by physicians to advance practice nurses and physician’s assistants.

Senate Bill 1643
Effective: Sept. 1, 2013
Relating to the monitoring of prescriptions of certain controlled substances.

  • Senate Bill 1643 amends the Texas Health and Safety Code
    1. Redefines “hospital” to include a licensed, free-standing emergency medical care facility
    2. Redefines “patient” to include for whom , or an animal for which, a drug is intended to be administered, dispensed, delivered or prescribed by a practitioner for purposed of the Texas Controlled Substances Act.
    3. Defines the “health information exchange” as an organization that assists in the transmission or receipt of health-related information.
    4. Extends the date DPS must destroy patient records from the end of the 12th month to the end of the 36th month following entry of the data.
    5. Allows a person authorized to receive information under (a)(3)(B) or (C) access to the information through a Health Information Exchange, subject to proper security measures to ensure against disclosure to unauthorized personnel.
    6. May allow prescription information be stored in the patient’s medical or pharmacy record.
    7. Establishes an Interagency Prescriptive Work Group including DPS, Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), Texas State Board of Pharmacy (TSBP) and the Texas Medical Board (TMB).
  • Senate Bill 1643 amends the Texas Occupations Code
    1. Authorizes delegate accounts for a pharmacy technician, defined by §5451.003, acting at the direction of a pharmacist or a nurse licensed under §301, acting at the direction of a practitioner to access the prescription data.

   Metals Registration

House Bill 555
Effective: Sept. 1, 2013
Relating to the creation of certain criminal offenses for violations of the law regulating recycling entities.

  • House Bill 555 amends the Texas Occupations Code to make it a Class C Misdemeanor to violate a statutory provision or rule relating to the regulation of metal recycling entities. The bill increases from a general misdemeanor to a Class A Misdemeanor with a maximum fine of $10,000 the penalty for knowingly violating registration requirements of a metal recycling entity.

   Private Security

House Bill 1093
Effective immediately
HB 1093 amends the Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1702, to add to the Texas Private Security Board one member who is a licensed locksmith, and reduce the number of public members from four to three.

House Bill 2135
Effective: Sept. 1, 2013
HB 2135 amends the Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1702, to allow service credit and experience to an individual who DPS determines has acceptable experience gained during service in the United States Military.

House Bill 3433
Effective immediately
HB 3433 amends the Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1702, as follows:

  • Requires the submission of fingerprints at renewal.
  • Creates a Class A Misdemeanor for license holders who knowingly fail to maintain documentary evidence of insurance sufficient to cover all of the business activities of the applicant or license holder related to private security.
  • Add exemptions for realtor who place lockboxes on homes for sale and for auto clubs and similar services that provide vehicle lockout services.
  • Authorizes DPS to deny an application or revoke a license based on the return of payment as delinquent, following adequate notice.

HB 3433 also amends the Health and Safety Code to require the medical advisory board to assist DPS in determining whether certain applicants or holders of a commission as security officer are capable of exercising sound judgment with respect to the proper use and storage of a handgun.

   Vehicle Inspection

House Bill 38
Effective: Sept. 1, 2013
Relating to the penalty for an offense involving motor vehicle airbags.

  • House Bill 38 amends the Texas Transportation Code to increase the penalty from a Class A Misdemeanor to a State Jail Felony for offenses involving motor vehicle airbags. The bill enhances the penalty to a First-Degree Felony, if it is shown during trial that the offense resulted in the death of a person.

House Bill 2305
Effective: Various dates from Sept. 1, 2013 to March 1, 2015
Relating to motor vehicles; creating an offense; changing the collection method for certain fees.

  • House Bill 2305 amends the Texas Transportation Code to establish a registration-based system of enforcing motor vehicle inspection requirements and providing a single-sticker display for both inspection and registration. 
  • House Bill 2305 also prohibits an inspection station or inspector from issuing a passing vehicle inspection report for a vehicle equipped with a compressed natural gas container, unless the owner demonstrates that certain conditions have been met.