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SIG SAUER Texas commemorative 1911 (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

“Texas has quietly reached a milestone,” proclaims. “More than a million residents now have handgun licenses, one of the biggest citizenries in the country authorized to carry concealed and unconcealed firearms . . . These license holders, just 3.7 percent of the state’s 27 million residents, are a symbol of the nation’s culture wars and a subject of scrutiny, state pride, controversy and curiosity.” New York Times writer Manny Fernandez puts the stat into numerical perspective . . .

As of April 30, there were 1,017,618 active handgun license holders in Texas, according to the state agency that oversees the process, the Department of Public Safety. That means there are more people in Texas with permission to carry a gun than there are residents of the city of Fort Worth. Texas’ numbers far exceed those in several other states.

Oklahoma has more than 251,000. South Carolina has 276,084. Washington State, 534,978. Tennessee, 555,865. But at least one state has more license holders: Florida, with 1,743,954.

SIG SAUER Texas commemorative 1911 (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

However, Texas, with 5,672 permits issued per 100,000 adults 21 and over, is not the state with the most gun permits per capita. Florida (11,965 permits per 100,000 adults), Tennessee (11,851 per 100,000 adults) and Washington State (10,635 per 100,000 adults) are some of the leaders by that measure.

The article on the tally was no doubt inspired by Texas’ new (January 2016) Open Carry law, which allows (don’t get me started) any resident with a LTC to openly carry their firearms.

In January, a law took effect giving those with concealed-weapon permits the option of openly carrying their firearm in a shoulder or hip holster. But in the months since, few have embraced so-called open carry. “That’s showing off,” Mr. White, the former governor, said. “I just think that’s unbecoming.”

Strangely, that’s the only gun rights diss Mr. Fernandez allows himself — or was forced to include. Anyway, here’s an important data point: just under a third of the one million Lone Star State LTC holders are women.

The one million are made up of 268,200 women and 749,418 men, according to the Department of Public Safety. Most of those men and women — 873,166 — are white, but the agency’s data is limited: It includes race but not ethnicity, such as Hispanic. Of the rest, 67,952 are black, 22,115 are Asian or Pacific Islander, and 4,126 are American Indian or Alaskan Native. An additional 12,936 identify as multiracial, and 37,323 are listed as other or unknown.

You want a real surprise? Check out how the article ends:

“I’d say those who predicted shootouts at four-way stops need to apologize to the rest of us,” said Jerry Patterson, the former state senator and Marine fighter-jet pilot who wrote the 1995 law.

Don’t hold your breath Mr. Patterson. Meanwhile, winning.

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    • Good for Texas! One million is a milestone.

      On. the other hand, I am totally unimpressed. The Bernie Sanders loving, extremely blue leaning, left coast state of Washington (with it’s latte sipping hipsters) has a per capital rate TWICE as high as Texas.

      Here on the Eastern side of Washinton, our rate of concealed carriers is probably double the state average. Nearly everyone is a gun owner around here, and you have NEVER needed a permit to practice open carry (unlike the delicate state of Texas).

      • How about we ship all of our Hispanic illegal immigrants to your state, you know the ones from corrupt 3rd world countries with no tradition of civilian firearms freedom and ownership, the ones whose age distribution skews young, the ones who swell our population and dilute the carry license statistics? Conduct a serious full factorial analysis and you’ll likely find our actual concealed carry rate is ahead of your state. Otherwise, you’re not comparing manzanas to manzanas.

        • If you knew anything about Eastern Washington, you would know that we have more than our fair share of Mexican immigrants here. My town is over 50% Hispanic, and a good share of those are illegal immigrants. The town I grew up in is 80-90% Hispanic.

          Many of these folks are great hardworking, family oriented folks. On the other hand, some of them are among the reasons why we all carry firearms.

        • Heck, we’ve probably got a higher per capita rate of taco trucks and taquerias around here than Texas does.

          I love a good taqueria. It’s lunch time, and some adobada/carnitas/lingua/asada/camarones sound wonderful!

        • In the last census, Texas’ population was 37% Hispanic, while Washington’s was 11%. Unless your Latinos are restaurateurs at a rate four times what ours are, I think you’d lose that bet, Art. 😉

          Damn, I’m hungry for tacos now, too…

        • @Stinkeye,

          He did say *eastern* Washington state, not Washington state as a whole (where Seattle will overwhelm the rest of the state statistically).

      • Art….Many are waiting for the Constitutional Carry law to pass. I do not feel that the state or govt. has the right to license my second amendment rights. We are still having to deal with this 1870 carpetbagger law which should have been repealed long ago.

  1. My mother in law and father in law are moving to Texas to be closer to the grandkids, so add 2 more before the end of 2016.

    They are Yankees, sure, but they are the housebroken ones.

    • they’ll be welcome here I’m sure . I wasn’t born in Texas ,but I got here as fast as I could and was welcomed with open arms

    • Come on down. For generations, Texas has welcomed people committed to making the next stage in their life the best stage ever. Consider that few of the biggest names in the pantheon of Texas history greats were actually from here. Not Stephen F. Austin, not Sam Houston, not Davy Crockett. Just please be sure to bring self-reliance and constitutional values with you.

    • This Texan feels sorry for your lawless Tucson committing your tax money to defy state law and defend against NRA lawsuits in pursuit of denying your firearms rights.

      • Which is why there has been several bills that were passed into law this session that gives the state full authority to go after towns, cities, and other entities that abridge or usurp state pro- firearm laws.

        It’s not like Texas doesn’t have a problem with left-wing cities that defy state and national laws.

  2. Arizona, Vermont, and others have 100,000 per 100,000 with permits. And FL had an 8-year head start on shall-issue over TX.

    What the dickens is the finish on that slide?

  3. This doesn’t take into account all of us with out of state chl because we don’t want to cough up 250 bucks for a texas chloride… so I am willing to bet the number is much much higher. I got the non resident Arizona for 70 dollars. All the people I know that carry 1 I repeat 1 person I know has a Texas Chl everyone else either has Florida or Arizona chls

    • Is it really $250 for a Texas permit? Wow! That is one more thing about Texas that fails to impress. My Washinton permit was $60 (and I don’t need one to OC either).

      • $250 is rounded up. $140 for the initial application, $70 for renewals. I think that number comes when you add in the $10-20 for background checkplus/finger prints plus the CHL/LTC class – $50-80 depending on the area.

        It is still a financial roadblock for a lot of low income folks that don’t qualify for the senior or poverty line discounts (50%) but there’s always the argument that defending yourself in and out court isn’t cheap.

        • Correct. What doesn’t normally receive much mention, though I’m glad it has in here today, is that there is the option to carry in Texas, even as a resident, with an out-of-state permit. Several states offer those online, since they don’t also have a qualifying shoot element. The problem with that, though, is that you don’t receive instruction in Texas firearms laws and customs. You’re on your own to know what the signs mean and what the legal standards are. It’s not insurmountable to read up on your own, but it’s something to consider when you’re trying to save a few bucks on fees.

        • Oh, now I know why Illinois charges $150. The original bill was for 50-80, but someone saw what Texas charges

        • The $250 is with class, ammo, passport photos, finger prints, and background check paperwork, not including the time for the class (which until recently was 8 hours) of 4 hours. And that is why I took it upon myself to know the law fairly well before I even sent off the packet to get my CHL. Just because you sat thru a class doesn’t mean you learned the law.

  4. Not very impressive. Florida had that many massa may I? hall passes years ago. Most states the entire population can open carry without a license.

  5. In hoplophobic MA, there are 250,000 license holders in a state of less than seven million where some of the chief LEOs dispense permits like they were Papal indulgences.

    With a million licensed carriers, Texas is slowly living up to its reputation. Slowly.

    • Meh. It takes awhile to overcome the collective ignorance-driven fantasies of people who’ve never even been to Texas, but consider themselves experts on the state based on countless hours of watching T.V. westerns from the 1950s and 1960s. I consider them among Hollywood’s innumerable brainwashed victims.

  6. Ummm, a million + servants on bended knee, begging permission of their masters to practice a privilege.

    I thought the second amendment was a right?

    A good first step, yeah, but nothing to be all proud about. Any truly free citizen should be infuriated at such a violation and abomination of such a basic civil right.

  7. Seriously what with all the dam snobbery coming from people from other states? “Well TX ain’t so great because (insert state) has had blah, blah for so and so long.”

    Makes you sound like a bunch carry Fudds, ffs grow up before you revert to “well my dad can beat up your dad.”.

    • Seriously what with all the dam snobbery coming from people from other states?

      It’s a *response* to all the bullshit we hear about how firearms-friendly Texas and Texas culture is.

      People from out of state hear that, look into it and find out (in many cases) that Texas is much less firearms friendly than their own state…and just figure it’s the usual Texan braggadocio and hot air about how awesome Texas is.

      There are a hell of a lot of Texas plates here in the summer…not so many Colorado plates in Texas. Sorta says something.

      • From my experience, it isn’t Texans that boast about how firearms friendly we are. Rather it is people from other states that do the boasting for us based on what they “know” from popular culture and the media.

        Regarding the plates you see, I think it says that Colorado is a lot cooler in the summer than Texas is.

  8. Snobbery? No, I call it slavery. But being free has always been more frightening than being a slave.

    Which is why true freedom has always been a rare condition in history.

  9. Not good to mutch money and big taxing for gouvermant 🙁
    Ask for permission is not a right and then texas still have felonys for licensend holders in a lot of places.

  10. Congratulations Texas! Welcome to the Million Plus Club.

    While we all agree the Second Amendment is supposed to be the only permit we need, the fact that Texas now has a million licensee’s it makes it even easier to point to the distinct lack of blood in the streets to show up the failure that are the anti-gunners.

  11. Hmmm, something isn’t quite correct. I took my CHL class last August, before “Open Carry” went into effect in January. The instructor stated at the time, there were only 4% of CCL in the state of Texas.

    Perhaps there isn’t any current data on licensing in Texas.

  12. Ugh, more about Texas. Wonder if the 5% of the people on this site NOT from Texas are getting burnt out on hearing about it. Vermont for example, has no state firearms laws at all yet we never hear anything about it. Texas with it’s licensing and taxes doesn’t seem to me like the gun-haven everyone thinks it is.

  13. When they lower the CHL fees the rate of licensees will skyrocket. 200ish or so after you pay for the class, prints and license fees. Too high for poor working class folks who live and work in dangerous areas out of necessity.


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