License to Carry (LTC) applications in Texas are declining, according to a report by Daniel Friend of The Texan. Friend cited data demonstrating that the number of LTC applications continued to plummet in November down to 18,500.
This decline of background checks on LTC applications was the lowest monthly figure since February 2015, when it stood at 17,000 applications.
Friend argued that the decline of checks on LTC applications started earlier in 2021 when the state legislature passed a “Constitutional Carry” bill. Under Constitutional Carry, law-abiding citizens no longer need a license to carry a handgun in public. This law went into effect in September. However, an LTC is still needed in a handful of circumstances, like carrying in the state capitol.
Additionally, possessing a license can speed up the process of future firearms purchases. It can also be used in other states that still mandate permits to carry but have reciprocity agreements with Texas.
In November 2021, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NCIS) data showed handgun purchases were around 70,400, which is a marked increase from November 2019, when handgun purchase background checks numbered 57,300. However, 2021’s November numbers were lower than those at the same timeframe in 2020, which stood at 78,800.
The numbers on long gun sales have been less volatile. In November, long gun purchase background checks were at 44,900, higher than the 41,900 in 2019 but a significant fall from 2020’s figure of 56,300.
In light of these firearms acquisition trends, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke has expressed his dismay with Texas’ current regulatory environment regarding firearms ownership.
The Dallas Express previously covered O’Rourke’s comments towards constitutional carry. The former US Congressman believes that constitutional carry and other pro-gun policies will foster an environment of “irresponsible gun ownership” and make Texas less safe.