Starting in 2017, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) started allowing a new class type for License to Carry applicants. This was the start of the online classes.
Texas License to Carry instructors, which before 2017 were called concealed handgun license instructors (more over that in another article), traditionally could only provide the LTC class in a single 4 hour block in a classroom setting. After the 4 block of classroom instruction, students would go with the instructor to the range for the shooting qualification. In total, students would need to set aside 5-6hrs of their day for the training. For many people, this is difficult to do on a busy schedule. In order to give people more options and flexibility with classes, the online LTC class was born.
The online Texas LTC class fullfils the 4 hour classroom portion of the regular in person LTC class. Instead of having to sit in a crowded classroom for 4 hours with a bunch of random people, students can be wherever and take the class at anytime online. With Online Texas LTC, the class can be taken on a smartphone, tablet or computer. The 4 hour class can be started and stopped as many times as needed and completed in one sitting, or over months. Unlike other companies offering the online class, ours is all audio and video based. You do not have to sit and read material for hours.
The online class is the same instruction and material you would receive in a regular in-person class. The downside? Because it is on the computer, any questions you have cannot be asked and answered right then and there. There is a solution though, the proficiency demonstration. Everyone that does an online Texas License to Carry class, regardless of the company hosting the class, must also take the proficiency demonstration.
The proficiency demonstration consists of two parts. The range instruction and shooting qualification. These are both set and required by Texas DPS. Every LTC instructor must include these two parts for the proficiency demonstration. What the instructor chooses to do for the 1-2 hour range instruction is up to them however. There is no standard set by DPS with exact material to cover. I take this time and allow the student to ask any questions they have, then we go over basic firearms safety and shooting before going out for the qualification. The qualification is the same as a standard LTC class. 50 rounds shot at the 3 yard, 7, yard, and 15 yards.
I have had students and other LTC instructors state (before seeing the online class) that it is not good because students can’t ask questions and “what if they didn’t pay attention”. The proficiency demonstration answers both of these concerns. The students can ask all of their questions here and the LTC instructor administerimg the proficiency demonstration can determine if the student watched the material.
To sum up, the online LTC class is good for some, and not others. Which the same can be said for the in-person class. The content and delivery of the material are the same for both class types. Many people just prefer to take it on their own time from home, instead of having to set aside that 5-6hr block during the day.