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Dozens Sign Up For Free Concealed Handgun Licensing Class In Galveston County

County Judge Mark Henry and two commissioners are footing the bill to train 65 county employees who want their own CHLs.

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What would you do if your boss offered to pay for the class to earn a Concealed Handgun License, or CHL?

When the top elected official in Galveston County made that offer to his employees, dozens rushed to take him up on it.

Galveston County Judge Mark Henry has had a state concealed handgun license for ten years. He says county employees often asked him where they could carry a gun if they earned a CHL of their own.

"And so, just over time, it occurred to me ‘well, a lot of them are very interested. And it's certainly their Second Amendment rights, so why don't I just facilitate the acquisition of their license?’" Judge Henry said.

When registration opened, the 65 available slots for next month's class filled up in five minutes. The judge will split the $1,500 cost to train the employees with County Commissioners Ken Clark and Ryan Dennard. But even with their CHLs, employees won't be able to carry guns everywhere.

"In some facilities, such as the jail or Justice Center, no — you can never carry a concealed handgun unless you're a peace officer," Judge Henry said.

Also, if a county building includes a Justice of The Peace Court, and that court is in session, then no concealed weapons are allowed. However, in other departments and facilities, employees are under no such restrictions.

Judge Henry says he sees offering employees an easier way to get a CHL as an additional layer of security – though he's quick to add they are always able to do it on their own, and they don't need his help or permission. He plans to make free CHL classes for county employees a regular event, and eventually expand the classes to include spouses.

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David Pitman

David Pitman

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David was HPM’s local Morning Edition host from 2009 to 2020 -- when he was moved to the position of Technical Director of Houston Matters with Craig Cohen, and Town Square with Ernie Manouse. David has extensive public and commercial broadcast journalism and production experience dating back to 1993 –...

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