GunsTexas License to Carry Applications Down From Pandemic Highs, on Par for Preceding Years

Carry permit applications are down from the record highs in the pandemic, but remain about as high as in 2018 and 2019.
May 3, 2022
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Firearm background check statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) indicate that License to Carry (LTC) applications for the month of April in Texas were significantly below the amounts for the month in 2020 and 2021, but almost the same amount seen in 2019.

Amid the turbulence of statewide and local government lockdown measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, background checks for permits in Texas increased from 28,600 in April 2019 to 38,800 and 51,400 for the month in the following two years, respectively.

After legislation went into effect allowing most lawful handgun owners in Texas to carry without an LTC last year, the number of background checks for permits began to taper off.

The most recent statistics from the FBI show the total for April 2022 back down to 28,700.

Likewise, background checks conducted for the purchase of firearms — both handguns and long guns — were lower than in the past two years, but above the year before that.

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Checks for handguns in April 2019 amounted to 39,000, while there were 94,000 in 2020 and 79,800 in 2021. This year, there were 64,600 handgun checks in Texas for the month of April.

For long guns, there were 24,000 checks in 2019, 40,900 in 2020, 39,300 in 2021, and 28,500 this year.

On the national level, statistics for firearm background checks have seen a similar trend — rocketing throughout the pandemic before settling down to a normal amount notably higher than the previous years. But for permit checks, the trend at the national level has been different.

Permit checks jumped nationally a few months after the government lockdowns began in 2020 amid the protesting and riots of that summer, and have since continued to increase on average.

Though the total for April 2021 declined by 18 percent from the previous month, it was about 8 percent higher than the previous year.

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Daniel Friend

Daniel Friend is a reporter for The Texan. He participated in a Great Books program at Azusa Pacific University and graduated in 2019 with a degree in Political Science. He has studied C.S. Lewis’s science fiction trilogy and in his spare time you might find him writing his own novel partly inspired by the series.

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