If you’re a handgun owner in Texas, you may have heard the terms “license to carry,” or “LTC,” and “concealed handgun license,” or “CHL,” or seen them referenced online. To be fair, even experienced gun owners can get a bit confused with all the acronyms used in reference to gun laws and licensing requirements. Today, we’re going to focus on LTC and CHL. The firearms education pros from Online LTC, a premier provider of CHL online classes, explain what you need to know.
What an LTC Is
An LTC is a license to carry. In Texas, this has been the preferred official term since 2017. That’s when the state legislature voted to use this term instead of “concealed handgun license.” A license to carry refers to both concealed carry and open carry, which has been legal in Texas since 2016.
What a CHL Is
Prior to 2017, if you applied for a license to carry your handgun in Texas, you would apply for a concealed handgun license. CHL was so named because prior to 2016 the only option for carrying handguns in Texas was to keep them out of plain view.
There’s no difference between an LTC and a CHL in Texas. “License to carry” is the current official term, and “concealed handgun license” is the term that was used prior to 2017. Since this change occurred fairly recently, these two terms are often used interchangeably. However, legally they refer to the same thing. As for why the change was made, it was because open carry became legal in Texas in 2016. This meant that a concealed handgun license also extended to open carry. Therefore, it made sense to update the term to “license to carry.”
LTC/CHL License Requirements
No matter which term you prefer to use, there are license to carry requirements you’ll want to keep in mind. In Texas, this includes classroom instruction and a proficiency requirement.
The classroom part can now be completed in person or online. If you opt for instruction in a traditional classroom, you’ll need to set aside 4–6 hours, since the class is presented in one long session. If you go with the online option, you can break up the learning sessions into 15–20 minute video sessions.
You’ll also need to take a written exam as part of the classroom instruction. The final step in the process to obtain what was once called a concealed handgun license is a proficiency requirement. With this part of the licensing requirement, you’ll need to visit a range to perform various shooting tasks.
In-State vs. Out-of-State Licenses
Other states sometimes refer to a license to carry as a “firearms permit” or “license.” If you have this type of license from another state Texas recognizes for licensing purposes, you’ll be able to use it in the Lone Star State. However, there are some perks associated with obtaining your LTC in Texas. For instance, the background check requirement may be waived if you have a Texas license to carry and you’re purchasing a handgun in this state.
When you’re ready to get your Texas LTC, make sure you choose a premier training provider. Online Texas LTC is committed to offering the best firearms training possible. When they need information on firearms safety or they want to take a Texas LTC online course, gun owners trust the expertise of the pros from Online Texas LTC. If you have questions about any aspect of gun ownership in Texas, give us a call today at 512-675-2124.