According the Texas Department of Public Safety, in 2013 Hays County had an increase in concealed handgun licenses by 62.7 percent in comparison to 2012.
Gun interest is on the rise nationally per FBI numbers, and the trend is evident in both the state and Hays County. State Senator Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, authored Senate Bill 864, which cut down the requisite class hours from a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 15 to a minimum of four and a maximum of six for first-time concealed handgun license applicants. The bill, which became law in September 2014, also separates the shooting range demonstration from the instruction portion.
In the same session, lawmakers passed legislation streamlining concealed handgun license renewals so that they may be applied for online. The number of concealed handgun licenses issued in Hays County has grown steadily throughout the years. The only recent year in which licenses issued declined was 2008, when the total fell from 437 in the previous year to 376. But even as the popularity of firearms has heightened, gun owners in San Marcos, Buda and Kyle did not have a gun range on which to practice shooting until December when two shooting ranges opened. The ranges—County Line Shooting Center in San Marcos and The Shooting Ranch in Creedmoor—are both battling litigation.
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