GunsTexas License to Carry Applications Reach 7-Year Low, Handgun Purchases Remain High

Background check data shows that the number of License to Carry applications in Texas has reached a new 7-year low.
December 6, 2021
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When governments locked down the world in March 2020, handgun sales shot through the roof with background checks in Texas more than doubling the month before.

Likewise, background checks conducted for long gun purchases and License to Carry (LTC) applications in the Lone Star State and across the country continued to soar throughout the chaotic year.

Though not surpassing the initial peaks, those statistics have remained consistently higher at the national and state levels with one glaring exception in Texas.

New National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) data shows that the number of LTC applications continued to decline last month to 18,500, marking the least amount in a given month since February 2015 when it was at a low of 17,000.

The decline of checks on LTC applications began earlier this year when a “constitutional carry” bill — that is, removing the license requirement to carry a handgun in public — started making its way through the state legislature.

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In September, that legislation went into effect.

An LTC is still needed in some particular circumstances, such as carrying in the state Capitol. Obtaining a license can also help expedite the process of future firearm purchases and can be used in other states that still require a permit to carry but have a reciprocity agreement with Texas.

NICS checks on handgun purchases in Texas last month sat at 70,400, up from the 57,300 checks in November 2019 but down from the 78,800 in November 2020.

Checks on long gun purchases in the state have seen less fluctuation. Last month, the total reached 44,900, which was up slightly from the 41,900 two years ago but down from the 56,300 last year.

Data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

At the national level, a similar trend was seen in that for the month of November, background checks for handguns and long guns increased from 2019 but decreased from 2020.

But background checks for permit applications have increased year over year, albeit with a decline from some highs this summer.

Data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Though handgun sales continue to remain high, the supply of ammunition appears to be catching up with the demand.

For example, the price of one round of 9mm is currently around $0.30 according to Ammo Prices Now, down from a high this year of about $0.70 in January.

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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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