Whether you’re new to owning a firearm or have had a gun for home defense for years, getting a concealed carry license may seem daunting. It doesn’t have to be. There are many reasons and ways to carry a concealed weapon, but the first step is knowing the laws. Applying for a CCW varies by state. Read about the process for getting a Texas License to Carry (LTC) below.
Similar to license requirements, states vary greatly in their processes for how an applicant obtains a concealed carry license, what their permits/licenses are called, whether licenses include photographs, whether fingerprinting is required, license duration, license costs and turnaround times. Some states allow an applicant to complete an application online, while others require an in-person visit to the office of the respective issuing authority. There are even states that require the applicant to provide a list of non-related character references.
Concealed Carry license Basics
Texas is a shall-issue state with Licenses to Carry (LTCs) issued at the state level by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). This means that licensing authorities in Texas are compelled to issue a license as long as an applicant meets the basic requirements set out by state law.
Applicants for an LTC must be at least 21 years old (18 if a member of or honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. military). They require a four- to six-hour training course as well as passing both a written exam and a shooting proficiency demonstration. LTCs are issued to residents and non-residents. An LTC is valid for five years.
Federally Prohibited Persons
The Federal Gun Control Act of 1968 and the Federal Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997 make it illegal for a person who fits into any of the prohibited categories to ship, transport, receive or possess firearms or ammunition. These laws prevent a state from issuing a concealed carry license/license as it would be illegal for people who fit in these categories, by federal law, to own or possess a gun.
What Are the License Requirements in Texas?
An applicant must:
- Be a legal resident of Texas for six months or have relocated with the intent to establish residency in the state
- Be at least 21 years of age, 18 if a member or veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, Reserves or National Guard or discharged under honorable conditions
- Meet training requirements
- Have not been convicted of a felony
- Have not been charged with the commission of a Class A or Class B misdemeanor or equivalent offense, or of an offense under Section 42.01, Penal Code, or equivalent offense, or of a felony under an information or indictment
- Not be a fugitive from justice for a felony or a Class A or Class B misdemeanor or equivalent offense
- Not be chemically dependent
- Be capable of exercising sound judgment with respect to the proper use and storage of a handgun
- Not, in the 5 years preceding the date of application, have been convicted of a Class A or Class B misdemeanor or equivalent offense or of an offense under Section 42.01, Penal Code or equivalent offense
- Be fully qualified under applicable federal and state law to purchase a handgun
- Not have been finally determined to be delinquent in making a child support payment administered or collected by the attorney general
- Not have been finally determined to be delinquent in the payment of a tax or other money collected by the comptroller, the tax collector of a political subdivision of the state, or any agency or subdivision of the state
- Not be currently restricted under a court protective order or subject to a restraining order affecting the spousal relationship, other than a restraining order solely affecting property interests
- Not, in the 10 years preceding the date of application, have been adjudicated as having engaged in delinquent conduct violating a penal law of the grade of felony
- Not have made any material misrepresentation, or failed to disclose any material fact, in an application submitted pursuant to Section 411.174
- Meet the federal law requirements mentioned above
Do I Need Firearms Training in Texas?
Texas law requires you to submit proof of competency with a firearm. A copy of a Certificate of Training or similar document from any of the following courses or classes is acceptable:
- A handgun proficiency course must include 4-6 hours of classroom or online instruction in:
- Laws that relate to weapons and to the use of deadly force
- Handgun use and safety
- Non-violent dispute resolution
- Proper storage practices for handguns
- Range instruction, including an actual demonstration of the applicant’s ability to safely and proficiently use a handgun. The proficiency exam must also include a written (or online portal) test concerning the subjects listed above
No additional training is required for license renewals.
How Do I Get a Concealed Carry License in Texas?
Step 1: Download the application form or submit an online application.
Step 2: Schedule an appointment for fingerprinting. All fingerprints must be submitted through L-1 Enrollment Services.
Step 3: Complete classroom training. Pass the written exam and pass a shooting proficiency demonstration.
Step 4: Submit the Certificate of Training to the Dept. of Public Safety to complete the application.
Step 5: You will be notified if your application has been approved.
The information contained on this website is provided as a service to USCCA, Inc. members and the concealed carry community, and does not constitute legal advice. Although we attempt to address all areas of concealed carry laws in all states, we make no claims, representations, warranties, promises or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information disclosed. Legal advice must always be tailored to the individual facts and circumstances of each individual case. Laws are constantly changing, and as such, nothing contained on this website should be used as a substitute for the advice of a lawyer.