Frequently Asked Questions about CHL / LTC in Texas

Once I submit my application, when should I expect to receive my license?

The department will make every effort to issue your license within 60 days or inform you that you did not meet the eligibility criteria. Once your application is complete, processing may take up to 180 days if your background check reveals potentially disqualifying events or information.

How long is a license valid?

An initial CHL expires on the license holder's first birthday following the four-year anniversary of the issuance of the license. In other words, an intial license is valid for four (4) years, and in many cases, for some additional months. All renewed licenses are valid for five (5) years.

Can a license holder have a handgun in the license holder's vehicle in a school parking lot?

A license holder is not prohibited from having a handgun in his or her vehicle in a school parking lot. (School employees should know and comply with their employer's policy on this point.) However, it is a criminal offense for any person who is on school property to exhibit, use, or threaten to exhibit or use a firearm. See Texas Education Code 37.125(a).

If I drive to a shopping mall that does not permit handguns, will I be allowed to park in the parking lot and leave my gun in the car?

If the parking lot is not posted with the sign described above, handguns may be left in the cars. However, if the sign is posted in or at the entrance to the parking lot, you may not.

If I am a business owner or manager and do not want guns in my business, what type of sign should I post?

If you want to prohibit license holders from carrying concealed handguns on your property, state law requires you provide notice to potential trespassers, either orally or by posting a sign that says: "Pursuant to Section 30.06, Penal Code (trespass by holder of license to carry a concealed handgun), a person licensed under Subchapter H, Chapter 41 1, Government Code (concealed handgun law), may not enter this property with a concealed handgun."

The sign must be written in both English and Spanish in contrasting colors with block letters at least one inch in height, and must be displayed in a conspicuous manner clearly visible to the public. Visit the DPS website at www.txdps.state.tx.us for the specific language and specifications for the sign.

How can I find out if someone is a certified handgun instructor?

A list of certified handgun instructors can be found on the DPS website at www.txdps.state.tx.us You can also obtain the information by calling (512) 424-7293 or 424-7294 or 1-800-224-5744.

Can I take the handgun training class at the DPS Training Academy?

No. DPS only provides training for instructors.

What control does DPS have over handgun instructors?

DPS certifies and can review their records and monitor their classes to make sure they are following the required curriculum.

Will I need to own a handgun before I begin my training classes?

Not necessarily. You may legally demonstrate handgun proficiency with a borrowed or rented handgun.

Are police officers, retired police officers, judicial officers, ex-DPS or retired DPS officers required to take the handgun course for proficiency certification, or are they exempt?

Retired law enforcement officers are exempt from taking the handgun  proficiency course. However, they must demonstrate weapons proficiency annually through a law enforcement agency. Active, commissioned peace officers also are exempt from taking the proficiency course.

Judges and district and county prosecutors are not required to take the proficiency course, provided they submit a sworn statement from a TCLEOSE-certified handgun instructor certifying that they have demonstrated handgun proficiency to the instructor within the previous twelve months.

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