Every Texan and His Mother Applied for a License to Carry a Gun in the Past Two Months

DPS has more LTC applications than it can handle at the moment.
DPS has more LTC applications than it can handle at the moment.
Photo by Marco Torres

In the months immediately preceding and following the January 1, 2016, start date for Texas's new open-carry law, a pretty astounding number of Texans applied for a license to carry a gun.

According to a Texas Department of Public Safety press release, "during the three-month period from December 2015 through February 2016, DPS has received approximately 136,000 LTC application submissions compared to approximately 57,000 over the same time period the year prior – representing a 139 percent increase [italics from original version, but we probably would've added it anyway]." 

It is unclear what, exactly, caused the mad dash to be lawfully strapped, but there are a number of possible explanations, including the state's new open-carry law, the terrorist attacks in Paris and the ISIS-affiliated shooting in San Bernardino, California, and President Barack Obama's executive action in January aimed at curbing gun violence. No matter what caused the uptick, DPS has more applicants than it can handle. 

The jump in applications has apparently sent DPS scrambling to meet the state's 60-day deadline to issue a license from whenever the application was submitted. According to the press release, DPS has "increased staffing strength (hiring additional personnel and initiating an overtime project involving multiple shifts, seven days a week) and resources" to deal with the surge, and the agency is desperately urging applicants to make sure they "closely follow LTC application guidelines and to ensure they submit a fully-completed application."

In early January, we took (and passed) the LTC shooting test after applying for a license. It has been more than 60 days, and we have still not received a license.  

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