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Should You Get a CHL?

Who is a CHL holder?

The Texas Concealed Handgun License law went into effect on September 1, 1995. As of December 31, 2012, Texas had over 750,000 active Concealed Handgun License Holders. Approximately 30% are women. The number of CHL holders continues to grow as more and more Texas residents recognize that personal defense is both a right and a responsibility.

Police budgets are strained throughout the state and that trend is likely to continue. Even when police departments are fully staffed, they are more likely to show up after a crime has been committed rather than being available to prevent the crime.

Concealed handgun laws reduce violent crime for two reasons. First, they reduce the number of attempted crimes because criminals are uncertain which potential victims can defend themselves. Second, victims who have guns are in a much better position to defend themselves. Countless studies have shown this. For an in-depth look at the statistics and more, check out More Guns, Less Crime by John R. Lott, Jr.

Still the question remains: "Should I Carry?" Please read this article by Colonel David Grossman titled On Sheep, Wolves and Sheep Dogs. It will help you decide.

Before You Get a CHL

If you've never fired a handgun or if it has been a long time and you're not entirely comfortable carrying and operating a handgun, we recommed you take the NRA Basic Pistol Course before attending our CHL class. As a minimum, we recommend our Handguns 101 course.

After You Get a CHL

The responsibilities that attend your right to carry a firearm are awesome. It's imperative that you develop and practice the skills necessary to use your handgun under stress should it become necessary. If you use your firearm to defend yourself or a loved one, there are legal ramifications. You must think ahead about these things and be prepared physically, mentally and legally.

We recommend the NRA Personal Defense Outside the Home course. We highly recommend that you get legal protection for gun owners from Texas Law Shield.

Texas Recipriocity

What States Can I Carry In?

Holders of a Texas Concealed Handgun License may carry in the following states: (Remember, the individual state law is applicable in each state, not Texas Law.)

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Vermont (no license required to carry)
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

States in which you CANNOT
carry with a Texas CHL:

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New Hampshire
  • New York
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Washington
  • Washington, D.C.

NOTE: The Texas License To Carry (formally CHL) Class IS NOT a Beginners Shooting Class. You MUST KNOW HOW TO OPERATE AND SHOOT A GUN in order to pass the shooting Proficiency Test. DO NOT Register for this Class if you do not know how to shoot without making arrangments prior to the class to learn the basics. You can do that in one of our recommended Handgun 101 Courses or our NRA Basic Pistol Courses or through private instruction.

Steps to Get Your Texas License To Carry

There are four steps involved in getting your License To Carry (formally called Concealed Handgun License) in Texas. The license is a five year license.

  • Step 1: Attend one of our License To Carry Classes and pass the state shooting and written tests.
  • Step 2: Complete the Texas DPS Online Application at the Texas DPS website.
  • Step 3: Have Your Electronic Fingerprints taken with MorphoTrust USA.
  • Step 4: Upload Your CHL-100 and any supporting documentation to Texas DPS from the Contact Us Page at the Website.

Get Started

  Attend our One-Day Class

Our classes are taught in a relaxed, comfortable, non-intimidating atmosphere. Due to the recent shortening of required hours of instruction by the State, you will need to know how to shoot and how to operate your gun before coming to class. The shooting portion of the curriculum is a Shooting Proficiency Test, not Basic Firearm Instruction. We cover the legal aspects of concealed carry, safe firearm handling and storage, the use of force and deadly force and nonviolent dispute resolution.

    Fee Structure for our Class:
  • $80 - License To Carry Class Fee
    Additional Cost on Class Date:
  • Range Fee (typically under $20 per person)
  • 50 rounds of ammunition

  Complete the Texas DPS Online Application and Affidavits

Go to the Texas DPS website and register online.

Texas DPS Cost: You can register with Texas DPS BEFORE you take our class or up to two years AFTER you take our class for a New License.

  • $140 - Standard State License Fee (5 year license)
  • $70 - Reduced State License Fee For those 60 years or older (5 year license)
  • $25 - Reduced State License Fee For Former Military (5 year license)
  • Free - Reduced State License Fee For Active Military (5 year license)

Other reduced fees may exist for eligible licensees. Refer to the state website for all available discounts.

  Get Your Electronic Fingerprints

MorphoTrust USA has multiple locations around the Metroplex. Go online, book an appointment and they'll have you out of there in 10 minutes with a 98% acceptance rate.

  • $9.95 - Electronic Fingerprints

  Upload Your Class Completion Certificate from the DPS website.

At the end of the class, we will present you with the following items:

  • CHL-100 Certificate of Proficiency (printed copy for your records and a PDF to upload to the state).

Once you've completed your online application and electronic fingerprints, simply upload the CHL-100 form to TX DPS through their website "Contact Us" page. Your license will arrive in the mail within a few weeks.

Please continue on and read our "What is Class Like?" section.

In-Depth Class Information

Want the full class notes AND the Texas Gun Laws in one handy guide? Get it now from Amazon, or you can purchase the guide in the class - Only $10.00 including tax.

Below you will find info about the class, the written test and the shooting test exercise. This is stuff you will want to know!

The class schedule has to be somewhat flexible to allow for a couple of things. One is questions. We want to make sure everyone's questions are answered properly. The other is range time. The time we spend at the range is affected by the number of students, experience level of the shooters and firearm malfunctions. Ideally the day's schedule typically runs like this:

  • 9:00 - 10:15 - Classroom - Qualification, Gun Safety, Gun Handling, Range Briefing
  • 10:30 - 12:00 - Shooting Proficiency at The Shooting Gallery in Fort Worth
  • 12:00 - 12:30 - Lunch (you may wind up bringing something back to the classroom)
  • 12:30 - 3:30 - Classroom - Use of Force, Firearms Laws, Non-Violent Dispute Resolution, Gun Storage
  • 3:30 - 4:00 - Classroom - Written Test, Wrap-up

This information will be presented using colorful onscreen presentations interspersed with video and real life examples and practical tips.

The written exam consists of 25 questions, some Multiple Choice, some True/False. The passing grade is 70%. By the time you take the exam, the answers will be very familiar to you because of the way the class is taught. You will have no problem passing the written exam and you will learn a lot in the process.

Please bring your Texas Driver's License or Texas ID Card to complete class documents. If you do not have a Texas issued photo ID, please let us know while you are in class so we may properly inform you of what needs to be done in order for you to get photos to the state for your new License To Carry permit.

At the Range (Shooting Test Must Knows)

Please DO NOT bring your firearm to the classroom unless it is unloaded and in a case. You will not need your firearm until we go to the range, so ideally, you can leave it in your car.

You will need the following during the range portion of the class:

  • Firearm - Minimum .32 Caliber (must be in good operating condition and from a reputable manufacturer - No Jiminez, Jennings, High Point, etc.)
  • Please make sure your firearm has been cleaned and works. It's not fair to other class participants to hold up the shooting test because of a firearm that doesn't work properly
  • If you have not yet decided on a firearm or don't have one, we will loan you one of our 9mm semi-automatics
  • 50 rounds of ammunition - new and from a major manufacturer (no reloads)
  • Ear and Eye Protection (we will provide this for you at no charge)

The following clothing is recommended to protect you from hot brass expended during firing:

  • Baseball cap
  • No open-toed shoes
  • No shorts
  • No low-cut shirts or blouses

The Shooting Proficiency test is fired using a B27 target and consists of:

  • 20 rounds fired from 3 yards (9 ft.)
    • 5-round, one-shot exercise - 2 seconds per shot
    • 10-round, two-shot exercise - 3 seconds per shot
    • 5 rounds in 10 seconds
  • 20 rounds fired from 7 yards (21 ft.)
    • 5 shots in 10 seconds
    • 5 shots - 2 in 4 seconds, pause, 3 in 6 seconds
    • 5 shots - 3 seconds each
    • 5 shots in 15 seconds
  • 10 rounds fired from 15 yards (45 ft.)
    • 5 shots - 2 in 6 seconds, pause, 3 in 9 seconds
    • 5 rounds in 15 seconds

Scoring: 8, 9 & 10 rings count 5 points, 7 ring counts 4 points, outside the rings but on target is 3 points. Maximum Score is 250; minimum passing score is 175 (70%).


You will have time to eat lunch. Depending on how the shooting portion of the test goes you may have a lot of time or you may find that you need to pick up some food through a drive thru and then bring it back to class to eat while we continue teaching. Lunch times vary and it also depends on which shooting group you get assigned too if we have a large class.

Please continue on and read our "Our Expectations" section.

Our Expectations From You!

If you plan on attending our License To Carry class we are going to ask that you know a few things in order for it to be the best experience it can be for you.

We'll try to keep this pretty simple but it is very important stuff:

  1. We'd like for you to read thoroughly the information we have presented on the website to answer most of your questions. Read through our "Steps To Get a Texas License To Carry", "What is Class Like?", "Our Expectations", and our "Must Know FAQS" pages.
  2. We'd like for you to know this is more than just a class. It is a life-style change. Carrying or having a gun is a big responsibility and it is important to take being around one as serious business. Get as much education you can on the subject. Take additional classes if you are not familiar or comfortable around a firearm. Gun safety starts with you! Our Handgun 101 or Basic Pistol Class is a perfect place to start.
  3. Since we are on the subject of gun safety. We will be going to the range on class day to complete a shooting test. You will need to know how to operate and shoot a gun. Operating one consists of loading the magazine or cylinder with ammunition without assistance and to perform the necessary actions to make the gun ready to shoot without assistance. You will not need to be an expert sharpshooter to pass the shooting accuracy requirements, but you will be expected to have enough accuracy that you can hit the paper target and maintain a safe grip of the gun while you shoot.
  4. Throughout the day and especially at the range we will give you instructions to do things. Please follow them. We offer them to keep everything flowing and as safe as possible. If you don't understand something don't be shy, please ask us for clarification.
  5. THE MOST IMPORTANT. While at the range, we expect you to keep the barrel of the pistol you use pointed "Down Range" at your paper target at all times. At no point in one's life should a person ever have a gun pointed at them and we like to keep it that way!

Really the class is a pretty easy day. However, while we are at the range is when a careless moment can turn into a bad scenario. It is important to always follow the basic gun safety rules.

  • RULE 1: Always point the gun in a safe direction; never point a firearm at anyone or anything you don't want to shoot.
  • RULE 2: Keep your finger off the trigger and outside the trigger guard until you are ready to shoot.
  • RULE 3: Treat every firearm as if it were loaded.

Please continue on and read our "Must Know FAQs" section.

License To Carry (formally called Concealed Handgun License) Class FAQs

How do I sign up for a License To Carry (formally called Concealed Handgun License) Class?

We have our class schedule listed on our website. Select the date you would like to attend from our class list, then click the "Register" button. Complete the registration steps and you will be enrolled in that class.

What are the steps to getting a License To Carry (LTC) formally called Concealed Handgun License (CHL)?

Step 1: Attend one of our License To Carry Classes
Step 2: Pass the required Shooting proficiency test
Step 3: Complete the Texas DPS Online Application at the Texas DPS website.
Step 4: Have Your Electronic Fingerprints taken with MorphoTrust USA.
Step 5: Upload Your CHL-100 and any supporting documentation to Texas DPS from the Contact Us Page at the Website.

What does LTC stand for?

License To Carry or (LTC). As of January 1, 2016 people who obtain a license from the state will be allowed to openly carry a firearm if desired on their waist or shoulder in a holster. The State no longer will refer to your carry license as a Concealed Handgun License (CHL) because the requirement for concealment of the firearm at all times has been removed after 1/1/2016.

What kind of ammunition can I use for the Shooting proficiency test.

You can use any type of factory ammunition - Full Metal Jacket, Jacketed Hollow Point, round nose, frangible, etc. You CANNOT use reloaded ammunition or ammunition that has a steel core bullet (potential fire hazard). Steel core ammo is pretty rare, but if you're wondering, put a magnet to it the projectile. If it's magnetic, you can't use it.

Will we have a break for lunch or should I pack a lunch? (Seriously, this is one of our most asked questions.)

As our schedule indicates, we work a lunch break in around the travel to and from the range. On some occasions, we may suggest the last group of shooters bring something back to the class to eat, as we usually do, so we can get on with the class and not run way past the time most people expect to finish.

What all is included in your class fee?

Our class fee covers the instruction and testing necessary to provide you with a CHL-100 Form, The Certificate of Proficiency, required by the Texas Department of Safety to issue your license.

What is not included is:
1) the range fee - which occurs on class day (typically less than $20)
2) the cost of your ammo - 1 box of 50 rounds of ammo is needed on class day to the take shooting exam
3) electronic fingerprints (approximately $10 - Paid to MorphoTrust USA)
4) the DPS License Fee (Paid to the State of Texas)

Do you have separate classes for CHL renewals?

A class is no longer required for renewal. Anyone who is up for renewal is welcome to attend one of our classes for refresher training, but no certificate of training is required for renewals. Renewals are all done on line at the Texas DPS website.

What are the age requirements on your License To Carry (formally called Concealed Handgun License) classes?

To get a license to carry you have to be 21. However, the class paperwork does not expire until 2 years from your course date. This means that a 19 or 20 year old can take the License To Carry course but they will not be able to file for their license until they are 21. We recommend 20 years or older to come to the class.

I have a groupon for a CHL class and it is expired. Can I use it?

As far as we are concerned Groupon vouchers do not expire and you can take a class before or after the expiration date on the Groupon voucher.

I need to reschedule my class date. What do I do?

Please contact us via email when you need to reschedule or cancel a class. The best way to contact us is to respond from the email we sent to you confirming your original class registration. This emails the appropriate staff member so we may take you out of the class you cannot attend. If you know what class date you want to move into, please let us know the date and we will move you into that class in our system. If you do not know that is fine... we will put you in our pending list and you can pick a date in the future when you know your schedule better.

I have had my fingerprints taken. Do I have to have my fingerprints taken again?

The state requires "ALL" CHL licensees to have their fingerprints taken electronically through MorphoTrust USA. Even if one has previously had their fingerprints taken for another purpose they will need to have them taken again. No one is exempt from this requirement. Cost for electronic fingerprints is $9.95.

I thought the License To Carry class (formally called CHL class) was now only 4 hours, so why are your classes from 9am to 4:30pm?

The revised law (Sept. 2013) doesn't say 4 hours. What it says is: "The classroom instruction part of the course must include not less than four hours and not more than six hours of instruction." This does not include the Shooting Proficiency Test or the written test or any breaks. In our 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. day, you get your classroom instruction in, your shooting proficiency and your written test in plus we actually give you a little time to eat lunch and stretch your legs.

I have a CHL. Do I need to get a different license to open carry?

No. As of January 1, 2016 your CHL license allows you to open carry a firearm in either a shoulder holster or a holster attached to your belt.

Can I use a revolver for my CHL proficiency test?

Yes. The State has removed the restriction on the type of handgun you can carry versus the one with which you qualify. You can qualify with either and carry either.

Do I have to have a license to open carry a firearm?

Yes. You must complete the required License To Carry class, complete the state required application and pass the required background check and then receive a License To Carry that is provided to you by the state. You cannot carry a firearm openly or concealed without the completion of these licensing steps.

Do you have a firing range at your facility in North Richland Hills?

No, we do not. We do our classroom work at the Texas Gun Pros Training Center and our shooting just down the road at The Shooting Gallery, which is located at 6054 East Lancaster in Fort Worth. That's at the intersection of Loop 820 and Lancaster Blvd. (Exit 30B). Your range fees (typically less than $20) will be in addition to our class fee for CHL and NRA classes.

I don't have a handgun yet. Do you have a loaner?

There are two options available for the CHL class if you don't have a firearm: 1) We'll loan you one of ours. 2) You can rent one from the range for around $10. The only reason to rent one would be if you're considering a particular handgun and want to try before you buy, the range will probably have one of what you're considering.

Others advertise "One Stop Shopping - Everything Supplied" or something to that effect. What's the deal?

Those are old ads left over from the days when everything was done with paper - paper applications, three different affidavits that had to be notarized, messy fingerprints, etc. Now, DPS lets you do your application online with no requirement for a notary. Also, they only accept online fingerprints, so no CHL instructors are doing fingerprints in their classes anymore. We do provide your passport photos and everything you need to send to DPS for your license with the acception of the online application and online fingerprints.

How can I best prepare for the Shooting Proficiency Test?

First, it's not a hard test but you will need to know how to operate your gun and shoot it safely. If you're bringing a gun to use, make sure it is a gun that you know works, just like you would want a gun to work if you were depending on it to save your life. Here are a few tips: Number one is clean your gun. Even if it's a brand new gun, cleaning it will help prevent malfunctions on the range. Number two, familiarize yourself with your gun. If it's new to you, at least do some dry-firing and practice loading and unloading at home before you come to the range. And finally, please bring a reliable gun. If you don't have one, or are not sure, let us know and we'll loan you one. If you try to qualify with a gun that is unsafe or that malfunctions every round or two, we'll stop you and get you to use another gun. If you do not know how to operate a gun you won't be able to complete the shooting proficiency test.

About Texas Gun Pros

Texas Gun Pros educates and trains to promote firearm safety and proficiency in the DFW Metroplex. You can take any one of our classes at any level of gun knowledge. We welcome anyone who has never held or shot a gun. We also welcome anyone who is looking for a refresher on shooting.

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