Even if you’re a seasoned gun owner in Texas, certain terms can still be confusing—or, at the very least, leave you wondering if there’s something you may not be fully aware of. This is often the case with a CHL, or concealed handgun license, and an LTC, or license to carry. The firearms education pros from LTC Austin, a premier provider of CHL online classes, offer a closer look at the difference between CHL and LTC in the Lone Star State.
Concealed Handgun License (CHL)
Until 2017, the official term in Texas for the license needed to carry a handgun was “concealed handgun license,” or CHL. Some other states use the term “concealed firearm license” to mean the same thing. A CHL means the license holder is permitted to legally carry a handgun as long as it’s not in plain view or clearly displayed.
License to Carry (LTC)
In 2017, Texas officially changed the term “concealed handgun license” to “license to carry” (LTC) a handgun. This decision was made because open carry became legal in Texas in 2016. Since this license now applies to both concealed and open carry, it makes sense to simply refer to it as a license to carry. Therefore, the answer to what’s the difference between CHL and LTC is that there is no difference. These are terms that refer to the same exact thing in Texas.
A Mix of Old & New
The confusion about CHL and LTC stems from the fact that some gun owners in Texas still use “CHL” even though the official term has been “LTC” since 2017. Also, if you hear someone referring to a concealed handgun “permit” or some other variation that uses the word “permit” instead of “license,” they’re still referring to a license to carry.
CHL/LTC License Requirements
Regardless of whether you prefer the term “CHL” or “LTC,” the requirements for obtaining a license to carry that also includes open carry are the same. There are three basic CHL/LTC requirements in Texas:
• Traditional in-person classes
• Online classes
• A proficiency demonstration—regardless of how you take the required classes
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), you’ll need 4 to 6 hours of classroom instruction of one form or another to obtain a license to carry. Some gun owners prefer the in-person option, since it’s possible to get it all over with in a single day. However, if you have time constraints, you may prefer online instruction. If you go with this option, you won’t need to complete the required hours all at once. The instructional videos can be divided up into smaller 15–20 minute sessions.
There’s also a written examination that’s part of the license requirement that comes after the instruction. And regardless of whether you prefer online or in-person instruction, you’ll need to go to a range in person to complete the proficiency requirements to receive a CHL or LTC in Texas. The shooting requirements are fairly basic. In fact, many gun owners are able to easily perform the required tasks.
When you’re ready to get your Texas LTC, make sure you choose a premier training provider. License to Carry Austin is committed to offering the best firearms training possible. When they need information on firearms safety or they want to take an Austin online CHL class, gun owners trust the expertise of the pros from LTC Austin. If you have questions about any aspect of gun ownership in Texas, give us a call today at 512-766-3039.