Texas just passed a law making its gun fees the lowest in the country

FILE -- In this Aug. 15, 2012 file photo, three variations of the AR-15 assault rifle are displayed at the California Department of Justice in Sacramento, Calif. While the guns look similar, the bottom version is illegal in California because of its quick reload capabilities. Omar Mateen used an AR-15 that he purchased legally when he killed 49 people in an Orlando nightclub over the weekend President Barack Obama and other gun control advocates have repeatedly called for reinstating a federal ban on semi-automatic assault weapons that expired in 2004, but have been thwarted by Republicans in Congress. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli,file)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Gov. Greg Abbott has visited a gun range to sign a law reducing Texas’ fees for licenses to carry handguns to the lowest in the nation.

The Republican endorsed Friday a law dropping to $40, from $140, the cost of first-time permits, and from $70 to $40 fees for 5-year-renewals. Abbott then took target practice, as he often does after signing gun bills.

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The National Rifle Association said Texas’ gun carry fees are now America’s lowest.

It’ll cost Texas nearly $22 million in its 2018-2019 budget, despite the oil-price slump leaving the state up to $6 billion short of being able to maintain current spending levels.

Still, supporters argued that Texas’ high, past fees made many people travel to other states to obtain cheaper licenses they could use back home.

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