Purchasing a Firearm? How To Obtain a CHL License in Texas

closeup image of handgun and CHL license

Texas is famous for its expression of gun rights.

And it shows—in 2017, the state counted 95,269 registered firearms (guns of all types).

However, being gun-friendly is a misnomer. Texas does heavily regulate guns, and if you want to carry a handgun, you need a license.

The license was formerly known as the concealed handgun license (CHL license). Today, it's called "license to carry a handgun" (LTC).

What is an LTC, and how do you get one? Keep reading to learn more.

How to Get an LTC/CHL License in Texas: Eligibility

Before you can even apply, you need to meet several eligibility criteria, including:

  • Be a resident of the state of Texas for six months before applying
  • Be 21 years old or be at least 18 if enlisted in the military
  • Have no felony record (including current charges)
  • Not being currently charged with a Class A or Class B misdemeanor (or equivalent)
  • Not be a fugitive
  • Have one or fewer convictions of Class B offenses involving alcohol or a controlled substance, or have evidence of any other chemical dependency
  • Be qualified under federal and Texas law to buy a handgun
  • Not be behind in any state taxes (of any kind)
  • Not be currently under a restraining order or protective order to stay away from a spouse

You need to have a clean record with no evidence of substance abuse or violence.

If you can prove this, you can move on to the next step: completing a class.

Complete Your Texas DPS Required Training

The Texas Department of Public Safety requires you to take a qualified classroom training session before you can apply for your LTC.

You are expected to have an understanding of how to use a handgun before you go to class. In class, you will learn how to safely carry, handle, shoot, and store your handgun.

Your class will last between four and six hours. You must also pass an exam. Only then will you receive the certifications needed to hand over to the state (the completed classroom curriculum certification and completed handgun qualification test certification).

Visit this website to learn more about what's involved in LTC training.

Apply for Your Permit

With your certifications in hand and your eligibility criteria met, you can apply for your LTC permit online through the Texas.gov portal.

Make sure you have the following documentation the first time you apply:

  • Valid driver's license or passport
  • Current address and contact information
  • Proof of residential address for the past five years
  • Employment information
  • Verification of employment information for the past five years
  • Any documents relating to criminal history, psychiatric history, or drug or alcohol history
  • Credit card to pay your fee

Once you get your permit, remember to update your address if it changes or report any lost or stolen gun licenses.

Make It Legal

Texas may love guns, but you need an LTC/CHL license to carry a handgun.

There's a lot of paperwork involved, and you need to take a course, so make sure you read the instructions carefully before you apply.

Now that you learned how to get a gun license in Texas, go learn some more cool stuff. Check out the rest of our archive for more 'how-to' articles.


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