East Texas defense trainer sees younger students looking for handgun licenses

East Texas defense trainer sees younger students looking for handgun licenses
Published: Feb. 28, 2023 at 5:53 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 28, 2023 at 11:00 PM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - An East Texas defense trainer has an influx of phone calls recently, from parents asking to sign up their teenagers.

“There’s definitely been more interest. I’ve had a lot of phone calls,” said Ray Barron, owner of Freedom Defense Training Ray Barron. “Recently, you know we’re starting to see some of the younger generation come up.”

The Texas Department of Public Safety, which oversees the licensing process, announced the change mid-January that young adults aged 18-20 can now get a license to carry handguns.

“For Department of Public Safety, you had to be 21 to apply for a license to carry unless you were military,” Barron said. But a federal Judge, “Recently overturned it to where now 18, 19 and 20-year-olds can apply for the license to carry, even if they’re not in the military.”

“We have a class this Saturday. There’s two signed up for that class that we know of that are in that age bracket, but a lot of phone calls, especially from college aged,” Barron said. He is also noticing more calls from parents.

“Parents are concerned for their children’s safety once they move off, they go to other places. If they have the option to get some training, and we’re big on training, not just an LTC class, but understand truly how to use it. What it’s for, what it’s not for, how to secure it properly,” Barron said.

Barron said he is also seeing an increase in women getting licenses and training within the past few years.