In Texas, the right to carry a handgun is governed by a set of clear and comprehensive eligibility requirements. For Texans considering applying for a License to Carry (LTC), understanding these criteria is the first step toward responsible handgun ownership. Below is an overview of the key requirements applicants must meet, as outlined by the Central Texas Gun Works, reflecting the latest legal standings, including the important age requirement adjustment following a 2022 court ruling.

Understanding LTC Eligibility in Texas

  1. Residency: You must have been a legal resident of Texas for the six months preceding your application or meet specific conditions outlined in Section 411.173(a) related to new residents.

  2. Age Requirement: Applicants must be at least 18 years old, acknowledging the recent legal adjustments that permit younger Texans the right to apply.

  3. Criminal History: A clean criminal record is essential, as applicants with felony convictions are ineligible.

  4. Current Charges: You cannot be currently charged with a Class A or B misdemeanor, or any equivalent offense, including felonies.

  5. Fugitive Status: Eligibility excludes anyone who is a fugitive from justice for a felony or Class A or B misdemeanor.

  6. Chemical Dependency: Applicants must not be deemed chemically dependent.

  7. Sound Judgment: Demonstrating the ability to exercise sound judgment regarding the use and storage of a handgun is required.

  8. Recent Convictions: No convictions of a Class A or B misdemeanor, or equivalent offenses, within the past five years.

  9. Legal Qualification: Applicants must be fully qualified under both federal and state law to purchase a handgun.

  10. Child Support: Being current on child support payments administered or collected by the attorney general is necessary.

  11. Taxes and State Fees: Applicants must not be delinquent in paying taxes or other money collected by state agencies.

  12. Protective Orders: You cannot be under a court protective order or a restraining order affecting the spousal relationship, except those solely affecting property interests.

  13. Juvenile Records: No adjudication for engaging in delinquent conduct involving a felony within the last ten years.

  14. Application Integrity: The application process requires honesty; no material misrepresentations or failure to disclose any material fact is allowed.

Special Eligibility Considerations

  • Mental Health and Substance Abuse: Certain conditions may disqualify an applicant, but exceptions exist, including remission status or if the applicant is a veteran or active military member meeting other requirements.

Navigating Recent Legal Changes

Age restrictions to eligibility changed with the 2022 ruling by U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman, which allows individuals 18 years and older to apply for an LTC under certain conditions, is a significant development. This adjustment highlights the evolving landscape of gun ownership rights in Texas and underscores the importance of staying informed about current laws and eligibility criteria.


For Texans considering applying for a License to Carry, meeting these criteria is just the first step in the journey toward securing the right to carry a handgun. With the laws and regulations constantly evolving, prospective applicants are encouraged to seek the most up-to-date information and consult legal or professional guidance when necessary.

For further details, visit the website or consult with a legal expert to ensure compliance and understanding of all requirements.

When you're ready to begin the process, a good place to start is our License to Carry - Step-by-Step guide.

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