“I figured it would be really easy to get a concealed permit in Texas,” RF said. “I thought Texas was the wild west.” As a northeastern city boy, Farago probably assumed I could walk into an office, shake someone’s hand, look them dead in the eye, and receive my CHL permit. In fact, when I told him I wanted to do this series, I think he was skeptical that it would create more than two articles. But here we sit with a project that started at the very end of December, now reaching its final hurdle at the beginning of March . . .

Friday was my birthday. Normally, I buy myself something nice to celebrate. This year, the only thing I wanted was to get my CHL paperwork dropped off in person at the DPS office in Austin. I completed my state mandated class the prior weekend, and secured my passport-sized photos Wednesday night.

Luckily, I live in Austin; dropping the paperwork off was convenient and gave me peace of that my documents survived the trip. As I applied online, the document load is actually quite a bit lighter than the full application: my receipt for the online application and electronic fingerprinting, passport photos, photo ID information card, and a receipt from the state-mandated training class.

Click here for the full list for fees and all the rest of the bits you’ll need if you don’t apply online.

So now the great wait starts. Various sources say 30 to 60 days. I’m hoping that the Texas DPS hasn’t started taking cues from the ATF. In the interim, I’ll be checking the application status page every day for changes. Expect a final recap on this project when my new State ID card comes in the mail.

50 Responses to First Time CHL: The Waiting Game Begins

    • 15 days is amazing. I bought my SR9C on Monday…still waiting for it to be shipped. I go for the class next week and hopefully will be submitting the paperwork the following week. I spoke to someone the other day and he said that his wife received hers in 3 weeks, which is pretty good too. Here in Florida, you can either mail all your paperwork in, or you can go to a regional office and submit everything electronically, and they will do your photo and fingerprints there. However, it is currently a 2 month wait just to get the appointment.

      • Great choice on the SR9c! I love mine, have over 250 rounds through it so far with only one jam, and that was on a bent casing I hadn’t noticed. Still waiting on my permit (Utah takes about as close to the 60 days as possible).

      • I had all my paperwork turned in on 10 nov, 2016, then it is 8 dec, and they still have not virified the finger prints, so I hope I will get it before the new year.

        • It’s been 3 weeks since my paperwork was turned in. Still on the fingerprints: under review, background check: under review, and awaiting printing once everything is done.

  1. That story really makes me appreciate living in Pennsylvania. I walked into the county sheriff’s office, gave them $20 and walked out with my License to Carry Firearms twenty minutes later. Not all counties in PA operate as smoothly or quickly as mine when it comes to issuing the license. Regarding carrying a handgun for self defense I’m just glad I don’t live in the state next door, the People’s Republic of New Jersey

    • Butler county?

      I live in PA, and my understanding is that the counties in the Southwestern area of the Commonwealth tend to do the “issue on the spot” thing, whereas the counties in the Southeastern area of the Commonwealth tend to take most of the 45 days allowed by law, with some even pull nonsense like taking 45 “business days.”

      All I can say for certain is that I applied for my LTCF at the end of June (a Tuesday) 2010, and the card arrived in the mail just over three weeks later (a Thursday). This seems to be par for the course with Chester county.

  2. When I got my VA permit in 2005 it was simple. I filled out the application, showed proof of training (military training counts), electronic finger prints at a police station and turned it all in to the City Clerk. 8 days later the clerk called and said it was ready for pick up. Renewal last year took a little over a month due to the number of new applicants.

  3. Texas has a quite undeserved reputation for being very free regarding firearms. We don’t have open carry and concealed carry is easy enough but costs more than it should, requires silly training and tests, and takes too long.

    • I agree Skyler. Still, there are a lot of places that are much worse. 2A issues seem to be making progress, though. I’d like to see campus carry and open carry tackled soon. The required “training” for CHL isn’t a altogether bad thing. There are a lot of laws to go over and it’s helpful to have someone guiding you through them. The proficiency test is a joke…I had two holes in my target (in the white) that belonged to the person next to me on the line and she still passed somehow.

    • That’s too bad guys. Across the Red River we’ll (hopefully) have OC this summer and the SDA permit took three weeks. I took my class on Saturday, turned in the paperwork to the County Courthouse on Monday and twenty-three days later I picked up my permit. All told I spent $150 on mine.

  4. Geez, I never knew WA was so easy. No mandated training (though I did get it) went to the city police, gave them my money and my prints, and my license showed up 3 weeks later. That’s pretty par for the course up here.

    • That’s how mine went too, many years ago. Clark County is much busier now, and a CCSO officer told me it might take them a whole month these days. Boo hoo.

    • Yeah, Washington is pretty sweet. And if you’re comfortable with open carry, you don’t even have to worry about permits at all. Of course, you can’t carry a loaded pistol in a vehicle without a CPL, so it makes sense to get one, but it’s so easy it’s no big deal.

  5. Take heart, Tyler. Once I submitted everything, I got mine in a few weeks. And that’s mailed to Austin, which I suppose adds a few days.

  6. I got my first speeding ticket while carrying in texas today. I gave him my chl, and my gun was in the glovebox so the cop just told me to keep my hands away from it. Still got a ticket but no hassle. Wonder what would’ve happened if it would’ve been inside the waistband…

      • Kind of. See the state page to see them put it on the local peace officers.

        http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/administration/crime_records/chl/stop.htm

        The only legal requirement I can find is this

        GC §411.205. REQUIREMENT TO DISPLAY LICENSE. (a) If a license holder is carrying a handgun on or about the license holder’s person when a magistrate or a peace officer demands that the license holder display identification, the license holder shall display both the license holder’s driver’s license or identification certificate issued by the department and the license holder’s handgun license.

        As I read that, if you are carrying, you need to show your CHL ID Card along with your driver’s license. At that point, it is up to the officer on whether or not they want to disarm you. I’ve heard some stories where the officer just asked if they were carrying, others where they asked the CHL holder to disarm and place the gun in plain view, yet others where they’ve asked them to exit the vehicle and the officer has disarmed the CHL holder. Either way, my status as a CHL holder shows up when they run my plates during a traffic stop.

        • Kind of.

          No kind of about it Tyler. The Texas law is pretty clear. What isn’t clear in the penalty for not doing so.

          From the Texas DPS CHL FAQs at http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/administration/crime_records/chl/chlfaqs.htm

          Pursuant to GC 411.205(a), you must still display your concealed handgun license if you are carrying a concealed handgun when asked for identification by a peace officer or magistrate. However, as of September 1, 2009 there is no longer a ninety (90) day suspension for failure to display your license.

          But, the law isn’t the only thing which matters here of course. The LEO who pulls me over is, or should be, in a heightened sense of alertness. I do not wish to cause anything to alert him that I’m a possible threat.

          A good view: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8x7Ro-8hNIU

        • For what it’s worth, I’ve heard on several occasions from several different LEOs with whom I’m acquainted that the “stick both hands out the window” routine is a sign that “they’ve been through this before, and not just for a simple speeding ticket,” and tends to make them more wary, rather than less. Kind of the equivalent of placing both hands on the wall and spreading your legs just from a cop saying, “Hi.”

        • My “kind of” was more along the lines of just telling an officer straight away vs. handing over your CHL when asked for ID. Both are duty to inform, but the latter is a bit more civilized. I think our friends in Ohio probably have something to say about the former.

  7. Getting my FL resident permit was beyond easy. It’s better to deal with one of the remote offices as opposed to Tallahassee, as they process things faster. I did it by mail, and got my permit in less than 30 days after submitting my application, fees, photos, proof of training, and fingerprint card.

    Now I have to get one in Colorado, since I’ve moved. Here, the sheriffs control things. It’s a shall-issue state, but the sheriffs each have their own rules. In the county I’m going to, not only do you have to make an appointment to appear, get fingerprinted, and turn in your paperwork, you also have to have two checks-one for the county, and one for the state background check which must be certified funds. Once you’re approved, you have to make an appointment to go pick up the permit. Both of these appointment windows are very limited in terms of days and hours.

    The sheriff has 90 days by statute to issue or deny. This gives them time to “complete the background checks” which as we all know don’t take 90 days. Many of them routinely take 90 days or longer, as there is no penalty for them if they fail to meet the deadline.

    Oh, and by the way,most of the sheriffs generally enter your name as a CHL holder on the Colorado criminal database system. The Rocky Mountain Gun Owners and some friendly legislators have been trying to fix this for some time, but given the current make up of the Colorado Senate (majority Democrat, and gun friendly bills tend to die in committee) it probably won’t happen anytime soon. And in case you think the sheriffs are your friends, remember that a) they are political animals who run for election, and b) the majority of them opposed concealed carry.

    • My wife is an RN (46yrs) and her prints were returned/unacceptable after about 120 days. The local sheriff’s office retook the prints and forwarded them with a note “subject is an RN; this is as good as it’s gonna get”. She got her CHL after another 90 days.

  8. I took my CHL class in Austin last Thursday and the instructor said they deliver the applications by hand once or twice a week. My status page has yet to be updated. I guess I should call the instructor if it still isn’t updated by tomorrow. Ugh. Waiting is the hardest part.

  9. When I applied, it took 4 months – now the online system at the Sheriff has this posting –

    “Unfortunately at this time our calendar for “New Concealed Weapons Permit Applications” is booked through the end of 2012. We are not yet accepting applications for 2013. Please continue to check the website for cancelled appointments.”

    It may suck to be you, but it REALLY sucks to be here. Enjoy your enhanced liberty in Texas.

    • Jeeze, not taking appointments for 2013? I once watched a guy in a four wheel drive Jeep pull a cop out of a drift during a snow storm here in VA (suburban Fairfax County), the cop then gave him a ticket because one of his tail lights was out. Keep making it tougher on us, yeah, just go ahead. I believe in Karma.

  10. My wife, her dad and I did our TX CHL course course in mid-February and then they mailed off the needed items soon afterward. Mine has just made it to the background check, took over 3 weeks for acknowledgment of receipt of the stuff. My wife’s ID is being made right now.

    LESSON LEARNED: Do not get a DL renewal before or while in this process. Not thinking, I got my license renewed just before the course. I had a 3 week delay until I could do the online application. You have to have info off your current DL in order to perform the application. Info that’s not on the temp paper DL.

  11. In most states, the run-up to issuance is costly and time-consuming. We can deal with it only because we have things to do that we can control, like taking the class, passing the shooting practical and getting all the prerequisites lined up. Then we submit our paperwork and lose control of the process, which gets our liver in a quiver.

    Just keep calm and carry on. The CHL is practically in your hands.

  12. Gun-friendly state my….
    Cross Texas off the states I would live in.

    No open carry? What happens if your shirt gets caught and exposes your firearm to the world?

    GA:
    – Open or concealed carry.
    – Submit application, payment at probate court.
    – License will arive, generally, within 1-2 weeks. I got mine in 5 business days.

    • Yes Texas is concealed carry only. But to answer you question What happens if your shirt gets caught and exposes your firearm to the world?

      http://law.onecle.com/texas/penal/46.035.00.html
      § 46.035. UNLAWFUL CARRYING OF HANDGUN BY LICENSE
      HOLDER. (a) A license holder commits an offense if the license
      holder carries a handgun on or about the license holder’s person
      under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code,
      and intentionally fails to conceal the handgun.

    • Not only can you get in trouble for it showing, you can get in trouble for “printing” ie the outline of the gun showing against your clothing.

      • I’d heard about getting in trouble for “printing” in TX.

        Seriously, if I had to deal with that garbage I wouldn’t even bother getting a CCW license.

        • On the one hand, I understand the frustration (being a Texan and what-not). On the other hand, that’s exactly the attitude the antis want to be the norm. If it happens, we lose.

          I just roll with it. Consequently, I started dressing a lot nicer, too (button-down shirts are WONDERFUL for taking care of printing).

  13. In Clark County (where Las Vegas is located) in Nevada, I applied for the CCW and received it in about 6 weeks. I also applied for the Utah and Florida CCW permits at the same time and got the UT permit 6 weeks later. The FL turnaround time was quickest (3 weeks).

  14. Tyler: assuming that screenshot is for your application, you don’t have much longer to wait. It took almost 3 weeks for mine to get to that point. Once it did though, I had plastic in hand six days later. In theory, you don’t have much longer.

    Farago: the longer I live here and the more I visit New Mexico, the more I realize exactly how uncool our gun laws are. About the only perk is how favorably DGUs are viewed down here, and for all I know *that* could be a lie too.

    • I should probably point out that the application was online (which is fantastic because it helped me figure out how stringently the work and residency history questions have to be answered) and that I had to mail everything else in from Abilene. Hence the 3 week delay before all those green bars.

      Once they turned green though, the background check took all of two days (if that).

      • I hope you are right. I applied march 11, today may 1 is the day my application had green bars ,before today it just said waiting on materials

  15. Pennsylvania made me do a background check, pay 20 dollars, and let them take my picture. In and out in 20 minutes. That is how it should be.

  16. vermonter here, permits? we don’t need no steenkin permits. y’all have my deepest sympathy. now all we need to do is fire the clown posse that’s misrepresenting us in congress.

  17. Pack mailed sept 10
    Fingerprints sept 14
    confirmed online sept 24
    BC and fingerprints under review until nov 7th
    awaiting manufacture nov 8
    manufacture nov 9
    mailed nov 10

  18. I sent my CHL package to Austin in February and it was delivered on Feb 28. Today is March 31 and my status shows:

    Application processed online. Concealed Handgun Licensing is waiting on the receipt of required materials. Once the application and materials have been received by Concealed Handgun Licensing and processing has begun, a more detailed status will appear on this page.

    I know I sent all the required paperwork. Is there anyone to contact if I’m still waiting in another month ?

    • My post is one or two above yours. Took almost 60 days for my status to change then the turn around was less than a week. You can call the tx dps and it’ll direct you to a hotline for CHL but until the status changes they can only tell you what you can already see online. Good luck and be patient. Ave is somewhere north of 60 days since the last school shooting.

  19. I uploaded my required documentation on 10/7/15 and am still waiting after 113 days. When I go to the TX DPS site referenced in this article, I do not get any status indicators like the one shown above. Any suggestions on what to do next?

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