Everything about the Texas License to Carry in one place!
Navigating all the rules, regulations and laws in Texas for concealed carry and open carry is not easy. Even the license itself to carry a pistol has been called multiple names over the years. We will try and break down exactly what is needed and what everything means in this article.
The following topics will be covered below:
- Terminology – what license/permit is needed to carry a gun.
- Training Requirement (LTC Class)
- Training Exemptions and Discounts
It seems that every state has a different name for the permit to conceal carry a pistol, which can make things confusing. In Texas, concealed carry and open carry are legal, but require a license. The same license works for both open and concealed carry in Texas. This is officially called the License to Carry a Handgun. Prior to 2017, when open carry had not yet been legalized, it was called the concealed handgun license. Here are different acronyms you will find that refer to concealed carry:
- LTC – License to Carry
- CHL – Concealed Handgun License
- CCW – Concealed Carry Weapon
- CHP – Concealed Handgun Permit
- CWL – Concealed Weapons License
For Texas, all you need to remember is the LTC. This is the license you will apply for through the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Regulatory Services Division (RSD). Be careful of any business or instructor advertising a permit that does not specifically state it is a Texas License to Carry. For more information about the LTC class, you can go HERE.
Over the years the training requirements for the Texas License to Carry have changed. There are two methods to take the LTC class; the online class with proficiency demonstration and the traditional in-person class.
Starting in 2017, the Texas License to Carry class can be taken online through an approved online course provider, such as OnlineTexasLTC.com. The minimum class time is still 4 hrs, just like the standard in-person classes, but instead of scheduling it over the weekend and taking it with a bunch of other people, the online LTC class can be taken on your own time at home or anywhere else. Using your smartphone, tablet or computer, the online class can be taken all at once, or broken into 20 minute video segments. After the 4 hours, a easy 25 question quiz must be completed. You are then automatically issued your LTC-101 certificate of completion.
The LTC-101 will then need to be taken to any License to Carry instructor for the proficiency demonstration. This consists of the shooting qualification and range instruction. Texas DPS requires 1-2 hours of range instruction before the shooting qualification can be completed. This is the LTC instructors opportunity to go over the class with you and to ask any questions. Most facilities will use the minimum amount of time (1 hour) to complete this unless extra time is needed. You can expect to spend about 1 – 2 hours total with the instructor. Go HERE for more information about the proficiency demonstration and HERE to see if you may be exempt from it.
The online class and proficiency demonstration together generally cost more than an in-person class. This is because taking it online is a unique and convenient option. The traditional in-person class will require 5-6 hours of your day and must be scheduled in advance. Some people prefer a live instructor, and that is definitely fine. The online class was created to give people a second and convenient option. The online class is still 4 hours long (the time required by TX DPS), but can be completed at your own pace from anywhere in the world. After the online portion is completed, the student needs to meet with any LTC instructor for the shooting portion.
Whether you completed the class online or in-person, the shooting qualification is the same. 50 rounds total is shot from the 3 yard line back to the 15 yard line. It is not difficult and is a very basic qualification. There is no need to be an expert shooter, just the ability to safety handle and shoot the pistol you are using. Further information for the shooting can be found HERE.
The easiest way to determine eligibility is to use the questionnaire tool HERE. In general, if you are able to purchase a handgun from a gun store, you are more than likely able to receive a Texas LTC. Information can be found in Texas Government Code Chapter 411 Subchapter H.
The LTC application is completed through the Texas DPS website, found HERE. This is where information required for the background check will be entered. A $40 fee is also paid to DPS unless you are exempt. Detailed instructions for applying can be found HERE.
The DPS application can be completed before or after the LTC class is completed. After the application is submitted, an email for scheduling a fingerprinting appointment will be sent. This is through a third party company, Identigo, and costs $10. After everything is submitted, licenses can be expected to be received within 60 days.
If you have already applied and want to know the status of your application, just return to the original DPS application page and login as a returning user. Your current application status should be visible.
Students may be eligible for discounts and exempt from certain training requirements depending on their profession. This includes discounts from DPS for the application fee as well as discounts from Online Texas LTC for the class itself. The easiest way to find this information out is through the page HERE.
An example would be an active duty military member with proof firearms qualification within the last 10 years. The DPS application fee is free, the Online Texas LTC class is only $35 (normally $50) and they are exempt from having to do the proficiency demonstration (shooting portion).
If you have further questions about the online LTC class or anything else, please do not hesitate to contact us.