How are you handling the Coronavirus outbreak?
All LTC classes are taught online. Register for a class (at "Class Schedules"), and you will be shown a link to do the classroom portion from home, with a discount. Then you will come to class for an hour to shoot, in small groups, spaced 7 feet apart. This eliminates the need to sit in a classroom for 4 hours with 16 other people.
The Texas Legislature passed "permitless carry". What does that mean?
That means that the License to Carry (LTC) is no longer required to carry a gun in public, either concealed or openly. Some locations are still off-limits by State law, and some are off-limits per property owner option. It is still your responsibility to know what those are, and since there is no longer any training requirement, you are on your own. If you make a mistake, you can be arrested. There are 37 states that honor the Texas LTC, but if you don't have one, you can only carry in Texas. Police tend to give a lot of respect and trust to license holders, and often give us warnings instead of tickets. LTC holders stand out in interactions with law enforcement. Without that, you're just another unknown factor carrying a gun.
A recent court ruling extended the right to carry without a license to people aged 18-20 who are otherwise allowed to possess a handgun. You are still expected to undertake proper training, or you could face legal liability, or even prison time, for an accidental shooting.
Download this guide to Constitutional Carry.
Open Carry passed the Legislature. Is it now legal to carry a pistol in plain sight?
Yes, but only if you are over 17 and legally allowed to possess a handgun. Open carry is not legal on any college campus.
What is the difference between CHL and LTC?
There is actually no difference at all. For 21 years, the handgun license was called the Concealed Handgun License (CHL). In 2015, the Legislature passed Open Carry, so the word Concealed was no longer valid. The license name was changed to License To Carry (LTC). It is largely a cosmetic change, and most people who do not have the license still refer to it as a CHL. In all cases, the license allows both concealed and open carry.
Where are you located?
McKinney Firearms Training is a registered business entity in Collin County, but there is no place in McKinney that we can take a group of 10-15 people to shoot a qualification course of fire. We operate a private range a few miles E of Plano, near Lake Lavon. Sorry, drop-ins are not allowed. The address is provided on request.
Is your range indoor or outdoor?
Outdoor, on 55 acres. We do have to deal with weather sometimes, but outdoor training (especially for beginners) is far superior to those indoor "echo chambers". It is not as noisy, and less intimidating (except for the cows watching you). Some people actually find the cows relaxing.
What is the minimum age for training?
For public classes, 14, accompanied by an adult. For students younger than that, I find that works better in a private family class, and I do a lot of those. In that setting, I can start younger ones on a .22 rifle, before going to a .22 handgun, and maybe to a small center-fire pistol. In any case, I'm not sure they benefit any if they are under 10.
Are the classes handicap-accessible?
Yes, subject to the weather. You can drive onto the range, if it has not rained recently.
I have a carry license from another state. Is it valid in Texas?
Sometimes, but not always. Texas has a Reciprocal Agreement with 37 states. If your former state is one of those, AND they will allow you to change your address to a Texas address AND they will now consider that license to be a NON-RESIDENT license, then you are good to carry in Texas on that license. If you don't pass all three of those requirements, then you may be arrested. Some states consider your license invalid if you move out of state (Texas is not one of those). Do not contact DPS about this; contact the State Police in your former state.
For a License to Carry Class, do I have to shoot the same gun I plan to carry?
No, there is no such requirement. In fact, it's probably not a good idea to qualify on a carry gun. Self-defense incidents seldom happen at distances greater than 3-5 yards. The Proficiency test includes distances of 7-15 yards. Smaller guns are at a slight disadvantage in the Proficiency test, and relatively few people use those for this class. In all cases, make sure you can hit a paper plate at 3 yards, and you should be fine.
Can you administer LEO qualifications?
Yes, the LEOSA Retired or Out-of-State Federal Officer Firearms Certificate (HR 218). Contact me to schedule that.
Can you administer armed Security Guard (L3) qualifications?
No, but I can train you to pass them. Contact me to schedule that.
I made a mistake, and now need a Handgun Safety Class, and a Certificate.
We have online training that will satisfy that. Watch the video, take a short online test, pay a $50.00 fee, then download your Certificate.
Do you offer veteran discounts?
Sorry, no. Besides the complications of registering for classes, merchants usually use those to encourage repeat business, and we typically only see people once.
If I am planning to take the Texas LTC class, what gun should I buy?
That is a difficult question. The size gun you can conceal depends a lot on your work situation (work from home, work from a truck, work in a large office, etc.), and whatever dress code you may need to conform to (jeans and shirt--tails out, business casual, suit), and even the shape of your body. There are many variables, but a general answer is that a gun small enough for most people to conceal is difficult for most people of lesser experience to shoot accurately. A longer (and preferably heavier) gun has a shorter learning curve, but may not be optimal for concealed carry. Does that mean you need two guns? That depends on your budget, but there are estimates that relatively few people own just one gun, anyway. It would not be uncommon for someone to own both a carry gun and a bedroom gun. The bedroom gun should then be larger and heavier. If you would prefer to not do that at this time, then plan on spending more time learning to shoot the carry gun well. That means shooting 3-shot or 5-shot groups at a small target at close range, and concentrating on the fundamentals, especially working the trigger, until the groups are small. Then move the target and repeat.
The most common carry guns are a small 9mm, a .380, or a .38 Special revolver, in that order. Attention should be paid to the size of the grip relative to your hand, and your ability to rack the slide. I don't recommend you use a revolver, unless you are fairly experienced with it. They typically have a longer learning curve than a semi-automatic.
Can I use a .22 pistol?
Yes. I recommend a longer model, like the Ruger Target, Colt Woodsman, Glock 44, or S&W Victory. The Colt 1911 (.22)(made under license by Walther) and Browning .22 are also excellent choices. For this purpose, I DO NOT recommend a .22 revolver, and will not let you take the Proficiency on a single-action revolver. It is too dangerous in this context. If that is all you have, I will let you shoot one of my semis, no charge.
What is a single-action revolver, and why can't I use it?
A revolver that can only be fired if cocked. They are distinguished by having a loading gate on the right side, instead of a cylinder that swings out for loading. Loading is tricky and dangerous, and people who bring a .22 for this test are usually not experienced enough to do that and meet my safety standard. A single-action .38 or above is acceptable, if you know how to safely load it.
What if I fail the LTC class?
You should not be concerned about that. While the written material is detailed, no one who pays attention to the presentations should have a problem. The online test is quite easy. The shooting qualification is designed for someone who has shot a pistol a few times, and attempted to learn the basic fundamentals. We will work with you on that if necessary, but if you are worried about it, consider getting some private instruction first (we also offer that).
Do I need a license to transport a handgun to a range or to a class?
No. Carry it in a car, but out of sight. If it is visible, you can be arrested.
I would like to do this, but I have never shot a gun.
First take our Learn to Shoot class. That will give you the start you need to be able to practice on your own once or twice.
How long does it take to get the license?
While the DPS has 180 days to make a determination, the average wait time is currently about 2-3 weeks.
How long is the license valid?
The license expires on your first birthday after the fourth anniversary of issuance, so depending on the date, it would be at least 4 years, and as much as almost 5 years.
Is there a renewal required?
Yes, but you can do it online. Renewals are for 5 years.
If I am a legal resident alien, can I get a license?
If you legally reside in Texas and were not admitted to the U.S. under a non-immigrant visa, you may be eligible. You would have to supply one of these documents:
- Certificate of U.S. Citizenship
- Certificate of U.S. Naturalization
- U.S. Permanent Resident Alien Card
- U.S. Passport
- U.S. Visa, Arrival/Departure Record, and a hunting license
Can people find out if I am licensed to carry a concealed handgun?
That information is confidential, and can only be disclosed to law enforcement agencies.
Will traffic tickets disqualify me from getting a license?
Ordinary traffic offenses (not including DUI or hit-and-run) are Class C Misdemeanors. Only Class B and above, and felony convictions, will disqualify you. You do have to be legally qualified to own a handgun. See Eligibility Info for more details.
f my handgun is equipped with a laser sight or red-dot, am I permitted to use this for the class?
Red-dots ARE permitted; lasers and scopes ARE NOT. Put a piece of tape over the laser lens.
Why do you need my driver's license number?
That is required for the paperwork we submit to DPS. We also have to verify it the day of class. Providing it beforehand simply speeds up the check-in process.
I don't have a driver's license. What else can I use?
While the State of Texas does take other forms of ID for other purposes, the Handgun License is different because you would be required to give both your primary ID and your handgun license to law enforcement on request. Therefore, if you don't have a driver's license from any state, you would have to get a Texas state ID. You can get that from the driver's license office (DMV).
I'm not ready for (or not interested in) a License to Carry, but I am interested in learning to shoot. What are my options?
While you can try to figure it out yourself, you will spend more on wasted ammo than it costs for competent training. Some of the techniques are not intuitive. Take a class.
If you don't have a gun, take an introductory course where you can rent a gun, so you can get a sense of what type of gun better suits your purposes. That's why we have small classes.