Texans still getting permits despite constitutional carry

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

When Texas passed constitutional carry, a lot of people were concerned. As it stood, Texans has to go through a training class to get a permit, so folks were worried that without the mandated class, there would be problems.


So far, there’s no sign of issues, which isn’t surprising. There wasn’t anywhere else that passed constitutional carry, either.

Further, despite not needing the permit anymore, a lot of Texans are still applying for them.

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.

Central Texas Gun Works owner Michael Cargill instructs a student about their posture and technique at the Lone Star Gun Range in Lockhart on Aug. 5, 2023.

According to Texas instructors like 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.

Phil Ryan, who teaches license-to-carry courses at Texas Concealed Carry Institute in McKinney, said the No. 1 reason people attend his classes is to learn the laws, adding that it’s “because they know in one second, they could become a criminal.”

The truth of the matter is that people want to be trained. They want to understand the laws so they can comply with those laws.

Absolutely no one wants to suddenly become a criminal because of their own ignorance.

The issue has never been about permitting or training, but mandating them in order to exercise a constitutionally protected right.


With Texans no longer having to undergo state-mandated training, they’re free to get the training however they want. That includes simply reading websites about what they can and can’t do and discussing tactical options with other people.

Is that ideal? Probably not, but not everyone can afford a class.

And that’s where constitutional carry is a benefit. It allows people to carry without as much of an outlay of money–the Second Amendment isn’t just for the wealthy, after all.

Yet many people are still going to get the permits. They want that training and they have the means to get that training, so of course they’re going to want it. Plus, as noted above, there’s reciprocity, which you don’t get if you don’t have a permit.

So there are still advantages and I wholeheartedly believe everyone should get and maintain a permit if they do any kind of traveling.

Plus, in many states, a permit allows you to bypass the NICS check because it’s proof you’re not prohibited, so that alone is a benefit, especially since we can never know when the system will crash or be overloaded.

Texans are taking advantage of this fact and I suspect a lot of people elsewhere are doing so as well simply because it makes sense.

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