Q: May I use a photocopy of an application packet, or must I get one from DPS?
A: Application packets must come from the DPS.
Q: How much will a concealed handgun license cost?
A: For most Texans, the license will cost $140. But for senior citizens or indigent Texans, the cost is only $70. For active/honorably retired peace officers or active / retired judicial officers, the cost is $25. For elected felony prosecuting attorneys, fee is waived.
Q: How poor do you have to be to be considered indigent?
A: According to federal poverty guidelines, you may be considered indigent if you are single and you earn $7,470 per year or less. The maximum income for indigence classification is $25,390 for a family of eight.
Q: Will a license from my home state be recognized under the reciprocal license provision?
A: The DPS will evaluate each state’s handgun licensing program to determine whether statutory reciprocity requirements are met. Laws in those states must be at least as stringent as federal eligibility requirements for buying a handgun for reciprocity to be allowed.
Q: If I am licensed in Texas, can I carry my concealed handgun in another state?
A: Your Texas license doesn’t allow you to carry a handgun in another state, unless that state recognizes Texas licenses. Contact the state you will be entering to find out if it recognizes Texas concealed handgun licenses.
Q: Can I get my money back if my application is not approved?
A: Sorry, fees are non-refundable. Please make sure you qualify before turning in your application.
Q: Once I send my application in, how soon should I expect to get my license?
A: The department will make every effort to issue your license within 60 days or notify you that you did not meet the qualifications. If your application is incomplete or some other problem arises, processing may take up to 180 days.
Q: I retired from being a peace officer several years ago when this law was not in effect. Can I be “grand- fathered” and allowed to pay the $25 fee and waive the proficiency test?
A: Yes. Under an amendment to the statute, you may apply at any time after retirement. However, you must demonstrate proficiency through your agency before applying and must demonstrate proficiency annually through your agency after you receive the license.
Q: If I am a legal resident alien, can I get a license?
A: Under federal law, aliens who have been admitted to the U.S. under a non-immigrant visa are not qualified to purchase a handgun and therefore do not qualify for a license. As long as you were not admitted under a non immigrant visa and are a legal resident of Texas, you may qualify.
Q: If I am in the military and was just transferred here, can I get a concealed handgun license?
A: If you intend to be a Texas resident, you may qualify after you have been here for six months.
Q: How can I prove my Texas residency?
A: Texas driver licenses or identification cards, voter registration cards, utility bill stubs and other official documents listing your address may be used to establish Texas residency.
Q: I spend a lot of time in Texas, but don’t live here year round. Can I get a license?
A: A new revision to the law allows people who live in states that don’t issue concealed handgun licenses to apply for Texas licenses. Additional fees may be charged to out-of-state applicants to cover the cost of conducting background checks in other states. If you live in a state that issues concealed handgun licenses, check to see if a reciprocity agreement is in place. Also, if you have a permanent residence in Texas and a Texas driver license or identification card, you may apply for a license even if you do not live here for the entire year. (You must have had the permanent residence for at least six months before applying.)
Q: If I move to another state, do I have to turn in my license to DPS?
A: Maybe. If you plan to keep your Texas residency (your driver license, permanent address, voter registration, etc.), you may keep your license. Students frequently attend universities in other states but maintain their Texas residency. If you do move out of state and get a new driver license there, or intend to make it your residence, the move probably will be viewed as permanent and you may be expected to turn in your license.
Q: How long will my license be valid?
A: An original CHL expires on the first birthday of the licenseholder after the fourth anniversary of the date of issuance.
Q: If I am only 20 years old, can I take the proficiency class and still get a license when I turn 21?
A: It’s best not to take the course more than six months before your 21st birthday so that your proficiency certificate is current. Your application may not be turned in to the DPS until your 21st birthday.
Q: If I move, how do I change the address on my license?
A: You must notify the DPS Concealed Handgun Licensing Section within 30 days of the address change, or you may send a letter including your full name, CHL number, old address and new address and a cashier’s check or money order for $25. You may call 1-800-224-5744 or write Texas Department of Public Safety Concealed Handgun Licensing Section, P.O. Box 15888, Austin, Texas, 78761-5888.
Q: What are the requirements for obtaining a license?
A: The concealed handgun law sets out a number of qualifications that must be met. Your application packet will list them in detail. For example, you must be a legal resident of Texas and you must be qualified to purchase a handgun under all state and federal laws. A number of factors may disqualify you from obtaining 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, defaults on taxes, governmental fees, student loans or child support.
The application packet also will include information about materials you need to return with your application packet. These include: two recent color passport photos, two sets of fingerprints taken by a law enforcement agency employee, a copy of your Texas driver license or identification card, and a notification of completion form (TR 100) from a DPS-authorized handgun course.
After receiving completed application packets, the DPS will conduct extensive background checks of juvenile records for the previous 10 years and all adult records.
Q: How much will fingerprinting cost?
A: The Legislature has authorized law enforcement agencies to charge $10 for this service. The DPS is among the agencies charging this fee.
Q: If I was convicted of DWI two years ago, can I still get a concealed handgun license?
A: No. DWI is at least a Class B misdemeanor, and you are ineligible for a license for five years after a conviction for a Class A or Class B misdemeanor or disorderly conduct. This includes cases that were dismissed after you completed probation or deferred adjudication. If you have been convicted of two or more alcohol or drug-related offenses within the last 10 years, you may not be eligible.
Q: I was arrested four years ago for unlawfully carrying a weapon and the judge gave me deferred adjudication. Is this considered a conviction even though the charges eventually were dismissed?
A: Yes. The concealed gun law states that deferred adjudication will be treated as a conviction.
Q: If I was arrested for a crime but the charges were dismissed, will my application be rejected?
A: No. Dismissals will not be grounds for denial, as long as you weren’t placed on probation or deferred adjudication prior to the dismissal.
Q: Do you have to meet all of the federal Brady Law requirements to get a license in Texas?
A: Yes. Texas law requires you to meet all state and federal laws regarding handgun possession.
Q: Should I list all arrests on my application even if the cases were dismissed or I was found not guilty?
A: Yes. If your criminal history background check indicates an arrest but does not reveal a final disposition, DPS might have to check local records which is time consuming and could significantly delay your application. Always indicate the year, the offense, the location, the outcome and preferably the level of the offense, such as felony, Class B misdemeanor, etc. Attaching copies of the dispositions should help DPS process your application more quickly. Include information on cases that resulted in probation or deferred adjudication.
Q: Will I need to have a gun before I begin my training class?
A: Some instructors may require you to use your own gun during the firing range portion of instruction and testing. However, others may provide guns for you to use. The permit licenses you, not a specific gun.
Q: Can I start carrying a concealed handgun as soon as I receive my license in the mail?
Q: What does concealed mean? Can’t I carry my handgun in plain view?
A: No. The weapon can’t be visible, and its presence can’t be discernible through ordinary observation.
Q: Can I still carry a handgun without a permit while traveling?
A: Yes. The concealed handgun law augments existing state weapons laws but does not replace them. The offense of unlawfully carrying a weapon does not apply if you are traveling.
Q: Can I carry my handgun to a shooting range without a license?
A: Yes, the handgun must remain concealed at all times.
Q: What type of gun will I be able to carry?
A: You may carry any type of legal, concealed handgun you are qualified to use. If you wish to carry a semi-automatic weapon, you must complete your firing range test with a semi-automatic. If you do not wish to carry a semi-automatic, you may test with a revolver. You must demonstrate proficiency with a handgun of .32 caliber or above to qualify for a concealed handgun license.