Requirements to obtain a Texas Concealed Handgun License (CHL)
To get your Texas CHL you must be 21 years of age or be an active member or former member of the armed forces. You must have a clean criminal record. Any felony will disqualify you from getting a license as well as all class A and B misdemeanors. For example, a DWI is at least a class B misdemeanor in Texas and you will not be able to apply for a CHL for 5 years after a DWI conviction.
You cannot be chemically dependent or of unsound mind. Chemically dependent is defined as having two convictions within the last ten years relating to alcohol or a controlled substance with a grade of class B misdemeanor or higher. Someone is considered of unsound mind if they have been diagnosed by a licensed physician with a psychiatric disorder, or declared by a court to be incompetent to manage one’s own affairs.
You cannot be under a protective order or be delinquent in paying state or city taxes, governmental fees, or child support. The concealed carry act was designed to encourage people to pay back taxes and child support. You must also be able to pass a NICS check. The National Instant Criminal Background Check System is implemented by the FBI and this is something you go through each time you purchase a gun from a dealer.
Finally you must complete an application and a training course. The application may be completed on the Texas Department of Public Safety website.
CHL Classes in Texas
Enter your zip code here to find chl classes near you.
How long does it take to get a Texas CHL
The Texas DPS is required by law to process your license in 60 days or less. If they run into any additional questions such as prior convictions they may ask you to provide more information. At this point they will have an additional 180 days to investigate and either issue or deny a license to you.
How much does the license cost
The typical license fees are $140 for a first time licensee and $70 to renew a concealed handgun license. Certain people will qualify for discounted rates. Click here to view the rate schedule.
What training do I need to have
Texas requires a training course that is a minimum of 4 hours long and a maximum of 6 hours long. This was reduced from 10 to 15 hours by a bill passed in September of 2013. There are four main topics covered in the class.
- Use of force
- Non-violent dispute resolution
- Handgun use
- Safe and proper storage of handguns and ammunition
Your instructor will require you to pass a written exam with a 70% score as well as a shooting proficiency test. To pass the shooting test you must fire up to 50 rounds at distances of 3 yards, 7 yards, and 15 yards. You will be shooting at a B27 target and will obtain points for hitting within certain rings.
- 5 points - 8, 9, 10, and X rings
- 4 points - 7 ring
- 3 points - on the silhouette but outside the 7 ring
You are allowed 3 tries to pass the shooting test and must have a minimum score of 175 points out of 250.
Reciprocity with other states
Texas has reciprocity agreements with many other states. This means that with a Texas CHL you will be allowed to carry a concealed weapon in those states. Be sure you understand the laws of any state you are carrying in because they can differ from the Texas laws that you learn in your chl classes. Click here to see a map of Texas' reciprocity agreements.
Where can I carry
Once you have your Texas CHL you will be allowed to carry in many places. Here is a list of places you are not allowed to carry a concealed handgun.
- Governmental buildings and meetings
- Amusement parks
- Businesses that derive 51% or more of their revenue from sales of alcohol for on-premises consumption
- Correctional facilities
- Hospitals or nursing homes
- Schools and universities and sporting events sponsored by high schools and universities
- Professional sporting events
- Churches or other places of worship
Here is a short list of some great instructors in Texas