Man concealing gun

The Texas License To Carry (LTC): All You Need to Know


The State of Texas has historically had an Open Carry policy on rifles and shotguns as long as the owners are appropriately licensed. 

The Texas handgun carry permit was previously called a "Concealed Handgun License" or CHL. This has changed on Jan 1. 2016 to LTC "License To Carry" and at the same time the laws changed to include "Open Carry." Permits are issued on a non-discretionary ("shall-issue") basis to all eligible, qualified applicants.

LTC Course, Exam and Issuance

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), all applicants must undergo a four to six hour concealed handgun certification class. Applicants must then pass a written exam consisting of 25 questions as well as a shooting proficiency test. The course and the exam cover the following topics:

  • Concealed Carry Law
  • Where you can carry and where you cannot
  • When you can use force or deadly force
  • Legal implications of use of force or deadly force
  • Texas weapons laws
  • Nonviolent dispute resolution
  • Firearms safety

Once the applicant has finished the course and passed the exams, a background check will be conducted and documents will be requested. The issuance of a license will then follow. Once you have a Texas LTC, you will no longer be subjected to a background check in succeeding gun purchases.

What to Bring

All applicants are required to bring the following equipment when taking the LTC shooting proficiency exam:

  • A handgun
  • 50 rounds of ammunition
  • Safety glasses
  • Hearing protection

Please keep in mind that you have to know how to shoot properly and responsibly by the time you apply for the LTC. Shooting training is not part of the licensing course.

Where to Take the Course

If you’re interested in obtaining a LTC, you may take the License To Carry Certification Course from a Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) certified instructor like GunCo Arms. You can select a date by booking a class here. If you have limited experience with firearms and you want to better prepare for LTC, we also offer courses that will get you ready. Get in touch with us today!