Texas is coming up on two years since permitless carry passed in the Texas Legislature, which has allowed Texans to carry handguns without a license since September 2021. Although they don’t need a permit to carry a handgun, over 200,000 people in Texas still obtained licenses in 2022.
According to Texas instructors like [Michael] Cargill who teach license-to-carry classes, the reasons for their students’ presence is clear. There are still benefits to taking the class and receiving a permit: knowledge about the law, ability to carry a gun across state lines and peace of mind. …
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, there was a huge spike in licenses issued during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Licenses issued increased nearly 56% from 2019 to 2020. That number dipped a bit in 2021 and dropped even further in 2022, the first full calendar year after permitless carry went into effect.
It’s unclear whether these numbers could include renewals of licenses. Texas DPS did not respond to requests asking for more specifics on these statistics.
The demographics of those receiving licenses have remained relatively the same, except for Black Texans. The number of Black Texans issued gun licenses rose steeply throughout the last seven years, going from 24,758 in 2016 to 28,359 in 2018 and then surging to 58,858 in 2020. The number dipped slightly in 2021 and is around the same as it was six years ago.