Frequently Asked Questions
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 McKinney, with an air-conditioned classroom. Drop-ins
are discouraged, so the address is sent to you after registration. Feel free to write for
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the word Concealed was no longer valid.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.
Are the classes wheelchair-accessible?
Partly. Please contact us
for special arrangements.
I have a carry license from another state. Is it valid in Texas?
Sometimes, but not always. Texas has a Reciprocal Agreement with 34 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.
Is the Virginia Concealed Handgun Permit valid in Texas?
Yes, 100%. If you are not a resident of VA, then that license is a non-resident license,
and is completely valid in Texas and 28 other states. It is sometimes easier to get than the Texas license,
and has no range requirement.
For a Concealed 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.
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. However, there is a discount
on the LTC class for students who have already taken another class here.
If I am planning to take the Texas CHL/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, until the groups are small. Then move the target and repeat.
The most common carry guns are a .380, a small 9mm, or a .38 Special revolver. Attention should be paid to the size of the grip relative to your hand, and your ability to rack the slide.
Can I use a .22 pistol?
Yes, as of Sep 1, 2017. I recommend a longer model, like the Ruger Target, Colt Woodsman, 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. 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 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 passing rate is above 98%. If circumstances should lead you to
have some problem, we will work with you after class to help you get there. 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 as well, but if you are worried about it, consider getting some private
instruction first (we also offer that).
Open Carry passed the Legislature. Is it now legal to carry a pistol in plain sight?
Yes, but only if you have a License to Carry (LTC) (formerly CHL),
and only in a belt- or shoulder-holster. It is not legal on a college campus, and may be restricted in other locations.
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 2-5 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 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.
If my handgun is equipped with a laser sight or red-dot, am I permitted to use this for the class?
No, per DPS policy. If you don't want to remove the laser, just put duct tape over the 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
Can I sign up the day of the class?
No. That would complicate our preparation for the class. In most cases you would be able to sign
up the night before, if the class is not filled. Class sizes are limited by facilities.
I'm not ready for (or not interested in) a Handgun License,
but I am interested in learning to shoot. What are my options?
If you have a gun, you could just go to a range and shoot. Unfortunately, many people do just that.
Unfortunately, because those people often do not properly learn the safety rules, and are a danger
to themselves and others. They also don't learn the techniques that would
enable them to shoot well. Some of those techniques are not intuitive, and you will waste a lot of
money on ammo trying to figure it out for yourself. 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.