What happens when you are denied a Texas License to Carry (“LTC”)? Although Texas is a “shall issue” state, many people are still denied their LTCs. How can this be? Well, there are many disqualifiers for a License to Carry. Here are a few reasons why you might be denied, and some guidance on what to do next.

Actually Disqualified

In Texas, the most common reason a person is denied their LTC is that they are actually disqualified. The Texas Government Code lists the many requirements for a person to be eligible for an LTC under Texas law.

Among other things, you must typically be 21 years of age and a legal resident of Texas, eligible to possess firearms and ammunition under federal law, and can’t have ever been convicted of a felony, or within five years convicted of a misdemeanor.

Failure to Disclose

Another common reason for delaying your application is failing to disclose criminal history. In the LTC application, the Department of Public Safety asks for the disclosure of all arrests; not just those that resulted in conviction. Something as simple as a public intoxication arrest or a misdemeanor deferred adjudication from 15 years ago, although not disqualifying, would still need to be disclosed. That’s right, even if you were not convicted, you still must disclose. Otherwise, the DPS will delay your application. If you do not disclose your entire criminal history, the Department will delay you and may even deny you, even if you would otherwise be qualified to receive an LTC. That is because they consider failure to disclose a “material misrepresentation.”

It is important to note that if you have records that have been expunged or pardoned, there may be judicial instructions on whether you are required to disclose these records. If this applies to you, you should contact an attorney to discuss whether you must disclose the arrest in your application.

Even if you have properly disclosed everything and you are fully qualified, the process of getting your LTC can still be frustrating. The Department often asks for more information after you have submitted your application.

If you are unable to provide that information, the Department may deny you for an incomplete application after some time. The most common request for additional information relates to criminal history. We recommend getting certified copies of the disposition of any criminal charges you may have faced before attempting to apply for your LTC. With those documents in hand, your responses to the Department will be easier and quicker.

Appealing a Denial

Finally, if you are wrongfully denied your LTC, then you should promptly appeal that denial. The Department will send you a letter indicating your denial and giving instructions on how to appeal. If you do not appeal the denial within the given 30-day deadline, you will have to reapply for your LTC, thus having to start the process all over again.

If you have any questions about obtaining or your eligibility for a License to Carry a Handgun in Texas, call Texas LawShield and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney.

The preceding should not be construed as legal advice nor the creation of an attorney-client relationship. This is not an endorsement or solicitation for any service. Your situation may be different, so please contact your attorney regarding your specific circumstances. Because the laws, judges, juries, and prosecutors vary from location to location, similar or even identical facts and circumstances to those described in this presentation may result in significantly different legal outcomes. This presentation is by no means a guarantee or promise of any particular legal outcome, positive, negative, or otherwise.