Texas License To Carry A Handgun
Getting Started

Begin by ensuring you meet the eligibility requirements as listed by the Texas Department of Public Safety for a Texas License to Carry a Handgun (see the box labeled TX LTC Eligibility Summary). Next, If you have not already done so, you may want to start your paperwork with the State of Texas Department of Public Safety. Once you have started your paperwork, you have 1 year to complete the course requirements and submit your application. You can start the application process at the following URL:

https://txapps.texas.gov/txapp/txdps/chl/

At this site, you will:

  • Enter your personal information which will be used for your application and background check
  • Schedule an appointment to get fingerprints done at an approved electronic fingerprint collection provider. We strongly suggest you schedule this at the time of your application, and complete the fingerprinting as soon as possible. (There is a $9.95 fee for fingerprinting)
  • Provide payment for your application and license fee. The standard fee is $40.00 for a new application.*

*You may may be eligible for a discounted fee. The fee schedule is located at:http://www.dps.texas.gov/RSD/CHL/documents/CHLFeeSchedule.pdf

Before your LTC class

If you are new to handguns or shooting, we advise that you take an introductory course specifically on handgun safety and shooting. While the Texas LTC course includes a section on Handgun Use and Safety, this is more of a review, and not a "how to shoot" class for beginners. To qualify for a Texas LTC, you must be able to perform the handgun proficiency qualification, which includes safely handling and operating the firearm, and hitting a target at different distances.

If you are interested in pursuing an introductory course, please consider our NRA First Steps Pistol Orientation class. At a minimum, you should practice shooting at the distances specified in the Texas LTC Qualification Shooting Stages listed below.

TX LTC Eligibility Summary
Applicants must:
  • Be at least 21 years of age (unless active duty military)
  • Meet Federal qualifications to purchase a handgun.
  • A number of factors may make you ineligible to obtain a license, such as:
    • felony convictions and some misdemeanor convictions, including charges that resulted in probation or deferred adjudication;
    • pending criminal charges;
    • chemical or alcohol dependency;
    • certain types of psychological diagnoses
    • protective or restraining orders,
    • and defaults on state or city taxes, governmental fees, or child support.
Detailed eligibility requirements can be found in GC §411.172.
Training requirements

An original (first-time) LTC applicant must complete four to six hours of classroom training, pass a written examination and pass a proficiency demonstration (shooting). All classroom and proficiency must be conducted by a LTC instructor certified by DPS.

The classroom training covers four (4) required topics:

  • Use of Force
  • Non-­‐Violent Dispute Resolution
  • Handgun Use and Safety
  • Safe and Proper Storage of Handguns and Ammunition

Please note, the classroom time does not cover topics of insurance, how to select a firearm or carry holster, or options for firearm concealment. Additional conversation about these and similar topics can be held at the completion of the classroom and examination time, if desired, and are optional for attendance.

At the completion of the classroom training, the applicant must complete and pass a written examination with a score of 70% or higher. The exam covers the topics discussed during the classroom sessions. Each applicant must complete the exam on her/his own. Adequate time will be provided for completing the exam.

(Students with testing concerns or special requirements for taking the exam, please let the instructor know as soon as possible; we work with people of varied backgrounds and understand special circumstances and will work with you to the best of our ability, within the scope of Texas statutes and DPS regulations.)

You can preview the Texas LTC related laws with the CHL-16 document, available as a free PDF here.

Please Note: Do not bring your firearm or ammunition to the classroom. No firearms are used during the classroom portion, and live ammunition is specifically prohibited from the classroom.

Proficiency Demonstration

The course of fire is mandated by the Texas Department of Public Safety, and must be performed as described, by all applicants. The B-27 target to be used and the method of target scoring is also mandated by Texas DPS, and will be explained at the proficiency exercise by the instructor. Hint: Aim for the X).

Example of the B-27 target used for qualification B-27 Target

Please keep the following in mind, as we want you to have a great shooting experience:

  • You must use a revolver or semi-­automatic handgun of at least .22 Caliber for this exercise.
  • This is a proficiency exercise, and not a training course for shooting. Basic pistol training is available as a separate course.
  • If any malfunctions are encountered, the shooter will work through the problem and finish the course of fire.
  • If rounds are not fired within the allotted time, the shots will be scored as misses.
  • Be sure you have the operational knowledge and are capable of loading, unloading, and firing the handgun, including the operation of any safety mechanisms.
  • Even experienced shooters can feel stressed during the proficiency exercise. Relax, be safe, and focus on the task at hand!

Important: we reserve the right to disqualify any firearm or ammunition deemed to be unsafe or malfunctioning at any point during the proficiency demonstration. Please bring factory ammunition (Reloaded ammunition may not be allowed at the qualification range).

Texas LTC Qualification Shooting Stages

Stage 1: Twenty shots (20) will be fired from 3 yards.

  1. Five (5) shots fired in a “One Shot Exercise”, 2 seconds allowed for each shot.
  2. Ten shots (10) fired in a “Two Shot Exercise”, 3 seconds allowed for each two shot sequence.
  3. Five (5) shots fired in 10 seconds

Stage 2: Twenty shots (20) will be fired from 7 yards.

  1. Five (5) shots will be fired in 10 seconds
  2. Five (5) shots will be fired in 2 stages:
    1. Two (2) shots will be fired in 4 seconds
    2. Three (3) shots will be fired in 6 seconds
  3. Five (5) shots fired in a “One Shot Exercise”, 3 seconds allowed for each shot.
  4. Five (5) shots fired in 15 seconds.

Stage 3 ten shots (10) fired from 15 yards.

  1. five (5) shots fired in two stages
    1. two (2) shots fired in 6 seconds.
    2. three (3) shots fired in 9 seconds.
  2. five (5) shots fired in 15 seconds.

Dress appropriately for the range
  • Footwear must cover the entire foot
  • Wear a shirt with a collar and “high” neck line (hot brass, hurts, especially when it goes down your shirt!)
  • Eye protection and hearing protection are mandatory. If you do not have eye and hearing protection, you may borrow some from the instructor.
  • No phones, cameras, or similar devices are allowed on the line during the proficiency exercise.