CHL Requirements

A Texas Concealed Handgun License may be issued to any person who:

  • Has established residency in Texas (by getting a drivers license or Texas state ID card). Residency is not required for a non-resident permit, but the required 10-hour CHL course must be taken in the state of Texas.
  • Is at least 21 years of age. (The course certificate is good for 6 months, so you can complete the course up to 6 months prior to your 21st birthday.) Exception: Active duty or honorably discharged US Armed forces veterans may apply at age 18. However, the military ‘underage’ CHL is not recognized by some of the reciprocal states, and does not override federal laws regarding purchase of handguns and handgun ammunition.
  • Has not been convicted of a felony, including a deferred adjudication. If you were convicted of a felony, and the offense is no longer considered a felony in that jurisdiction, you may qualify for a CHL — Unless the legislature changes its mind again. Unfortunately, if you have a class A misdemeanor that is now a felony, that disqualifies you now. Deferred adjudication for a non-violent felony may only disqualify for 10 years.
  • Is not currently charged with a class A or B misdemeanor or an offense of Disorderly Conduct, or under information or indictment for a felony.
  • Is not a fugitive from justice for a class A or B misdemeanor or felony.
  • Is not chemically-dependent. (Note: 3 DWI convictions in any 10 year period is considered prima facie evidence of chemical dependence. 2 may get your application “extra scrutinty”.)
  • Is a person of sound mind. (Rephrased from the double-negative in the Texas Penal Code.)
  • Has not, in the 5 years preceding the date of application been convicted of a class A or B misdemeanor or violation of any provision of 42.01 (Disorderly conduct).
  • Is fully-qualified under applicable federal and state law to purchase a handgun. (Brady Law)
  • Has not been finally determined to be delinquent in making a child support payment administered or collected by the attorney general.
  • Has not been finally determined to be delinquent in the payment of a tax or other money collected by the comptroller, the tax collector of a political subdivision of the state, or any agency or subdivision of the state. (Under a really strict interpretation of this part, it would include unpaid library fines! However, this only applies if it has come to the attention of a court.)
  • Is not currently restricted under a court protective order or subject to a restraining order affecting the spousal relationship, other than a restraining order solely affecting property interests.
  • Has not, in the 10 years preceding the date of application, been adjudicated as having engaged in delinquent (as a juvenile) conduct violating a penal law of the grade of felony. However, a sealed juvenile conviction is no longer considered a conviction as of September 2009. The law on this point is currently inconsistent. I hope it will be resolved in the next session of the legislature.
  • Has not made any material misrepresentation, or failed to disclose any material fact, in application or request for an application.
  • Has not been convicted of two drug or alcohol class A or B misdemeanors in the 10 years preceding the date of application.