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Note: The processes listed below apply to the majority of people. If you are active-duty military, honorably discharged military, law enforcement, or retired law enforcement, the processes below may be slightly different (easier) when applying for a concealed carry permit.
Types of Concealed Carry Permits
Note: Texas sometimes refers to their concealed carry permit as a license to carry (LTC).
1) Residents & Non-Residents
- Must be a minimum of 21 years old to apply
- Must be a U.S. citizen
- Initially valid for 4 years, renewals valid for 5 years
- Costs $40 (+$Safety course +$Fingerprinting fee)
Is it Required to Carry Concealed?
No – you may open carry or carry concealed with a concealed carry permit. If open carrying, the gun must be in some sort of holster on your person. Furthermore, you cannot open carry at colleges or universities.
May Issue or Shall Issue?
Texas is a shall issue state, meaning the law states that they shall issue a permit if you meet all requirements.
Process to Apply
To get a TX license to carry as a resident, you can apply online to the Texas Department of Safety (DPS).
- Complete 4-6 hours of classroom firearms training. As part of the training, you must pass both a written test and a shooting proficiency test. The course may be conducted in Texas or online by a TX Department of Safety approved instructor.
- Note: The instructor should provide you a training certificate CHL-100 form after successfully completing the course.
- Find a DPS certified instructor here.
- Complete an application online here. You’ll need the following items to complete the application:
- Your CHL-100 training certificate that proves you completed firearms training and passed the written and shooting tests.
- Your TX state issued I.D. or driver’s license.
- Application fee: $40 which you can pay by credit/debit card through the online portal.
- Make an appointment to get a complete set of fingerprints taken. Make the appointment online here, or call (888) 467-2080 . These are needed to initiate your criminal background check.
- Note: Use Service Code: 119Q91 to make your appointment.
- The fee for this service varies based on the location you choose.
*Note: if you cannot submit your CHL-100 training certificate as part of the online application, you must mail your certificate to DPS at the following mailing address:
Texas Department of Public Safety
Concealed Handgun – MSC 0245
PO Box 4087
Austin, TX 78773-0001
After these steps are completed, the Department of Safety is legally required to inform you in 60 days or less whether the permit has been approved or denied. A denial, whether it be for a new issue or a renewal, may be appealed.
To get a TX license to carry as a non-resident, you must submit the following items to DPS in addition to the above:
- Form LTC-6. Print the form here.
- 2 passport style photos.
- A copy of both sides of your state issued I.D. or driver’s license.
Besides submitting these additional items, the application process is the same as above for residents.
Reasons an Applicant Won’t Be Approved
If the applicant meets any of the following conditions, his/her application is almost guaranteed to be denied:
- You are illegally in the United States.
- You’ve been convicted of a felony.
- You’ve been convicted of a violent crime, including domestic violence.
- You’ve been convicted of a crime punishable by a prison term greater than 1 year.
- You’ve been convicted of a DWI within the last 5 years.
- You are subject to a restraining order or other similar court order.
- You are a drug addict, habitual drunkard, an unlawful user of any controlled substance, or are determined to be of unsound mind.
- You have a mental illness.
- You’ve received voluntary or involuntary treatment in a psychiatric hospital, mental institution, or similar treatment facility for any reason.
- You are a fugitive from justice.
- You’ve been dishonorably discharged from the Armed Forces.
- You are subject to a firearms seizure order.
Location Restrictions for Carrying
It is unlawful to carry a handgun, even if you have a concealed carry permit, in the following locations:
- Federal buildings.
- Federal prisons.
- Courthouses, or anywhere judicial proceedings are in progress.
- Any meeting of a government entity.
- Jails, prisons, or other correctional facilities.
- Within 1,000 feet of locations designated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice as a place of execution on a day that a sentence of death is set to be imposed.
- Certain state-owned lands.
- Indian reservations.
- At any racetrack.
- Post offices.
- Polling places on election days or during early voting.
- Hospitals or nursing homes.
- Military bases.
- School grounds, including some colleges and universities.
- As of 8/1, carry on community colleges and junior colleges is legal.
- Amusement parks.
- Houses of worship.
- Passed the security checkpoint at airports.
- Bars, or establishments that derive more than half of their income from the sale of alcohol to be consumed on the premises.
- Anywhere you decide to consume alcohol. You cannot carry a firearm if you consume any alcohol.
Transporting a Handgun Through & Throughout TX
With a Concealed Carry Permit
If you have a TX or TX recognized concealed carry permit, you may transport a concealed loaded handgun on your person in a vehicle. Alternatively, you may open carry a loaded handgun if you keep it in a holster on your person.
Without a Concealed Carry Permit
If you do not possess a TX or TX recognized concealed carry permit, you can transport a concealed loaded handgun in a vehicle. However, the handgun cannot be on your person – it can be in your center console, glove box, or anywhere else hidden in the vehicle.
Additional Notes About TX Handgun Law
Does TX Law Incorporate Stand Your Ground?
The Stand Your Ground law permits you to use force, and not retreat, when faced with a threat. Stand Your Ground protects your use of force, even deadly force, when used to protect yourself or others if you reasonably believe there is an imminent threat of serious harm or death. To be protected under Stand Your Ground, you must be in a place where you have the lawful right to be.
Does TX Law Incorporate the Castle Doctrine?
The Castle Doctrine is similar to Stand Your Ground. The Castle Doctrine permits you to use force (even deadly force), and not retreat, when you’re in your own home. This again assumes you reasonably believe there is an imminent threat of serious harm or death on yourself or others in your home.
This ‘castle’ is sometimes broadened to cover you when you’re in your yard, car, etc. Each state’s Castle Doctrine law is written differently – consult your state’s law to confirm if your state extends the meaning of a ‘castle’ to cover more than just your home.
Reciprocity – What State Permits Does TX Recognize?
TX recognizes the following states’ concealed carry permits:
Read more about Texas’ reciprocity agreements here.
Reciprocity – Where is the TX Permit Recognized?
The TX license to carry permit is recognized in the following states:
- July 29, 2017 – Links to supporting documents updated.
- August 5, 2017 – Carry on community and junior colleges is legal as of 8/1. Added wording to note this change in the Location Restrictions for Carrying section.
- September 1, 2017 – You can now take the classroom training online through an approved online instructor. Additionally, the fee to apply for a permit is now $40. Respective sections updated to reflect this change.