Texas CHL Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When are your CHL courses?
A: Tom Schaefer teaches CHL new permit on the 1st Saturday of every month. At the start of each year, he sets class dates for the entire year. They are on our 'schedule' page.

Q: How much do the classes cost?
A: $120 for new permit, $60 for renewal. That fee includes classroom, range, notary, and lunch.

Q: Are your class dates 'real', or do you only hold class when you have enough for a session to 'make'?
A: CHL class dates are firm, whether we have one student or 20.

Q: What about classes on dates not scheduled?
A: We do not offer private CHL classes, classes during the week, classes split into multiple sessions at night, or anything other than Saturday, one day courses.

Q: Do you offer group rates or discounts for seniors? couples?
A: No.

Q: Do I have to qualify with the gun I plan to carry?
A: No. You have to qualify with a semi-auto if you plan to carry a semi-auto.

Q: Does DPS keep records about the gun I qualify with? (serial number, make/model, etc.)
A: No. The individual, not the firearm, is licensed. There is no such thing as 'gun registration' in Texas.

Q: I haven't shot a pistol in years. Will I be able to pass the shooting test?
A: The course of fire for the shooting test is here. More than 90% of our students pass on the first try. You get three tries, but only one try during the regular course. Our Basic Pistol 2 course is a 4 hour class on essential skills for defensive pistol. It teaches the skills necessary to pass the CHL shooting test, including 50 rounds of drills practicting the hardest parts of the CHL shooting test, using the same time limits

Q: I only have to get 70% on the shooting test to pass, correct?
A: Yes. 70% is a passing score, but our position is that anyone shooting less than 90% on the qualification course seriously consider additional training. The minimum standards required by the state of Texas to get a carry permit are considerably lower than those in the NRA's Personal Protection Outside the Home or NRA Defensive Pistol course.

You should consider the CHL course as a starting point in your defensive firearms training, not the end point and certainly not the only course required.

The permit allows you to carry, but it is your skill with your handgun that may someday save your life. The time limits and target size used in the CHL test are 'generous' so that most recreational-level shooters can pass. The better your skill, the better your odds of using your handgun effectively. Our advanced courses cover material not included in the Texas CHL course but important for 'real world' defensive use: techniques from drawing from concealment, shooting in low light, use of cover, clearing malfunctions quickly, shooting while moving, and more.

Q: Where is the range?
A: Approximately 30 miles SE of the Austin Bergstrom Airport. Here is the map with driving directions.

Q: Gee, that's a long way from town. Why don't you find a closer location?
A: Shooting ranges make a lot of noise and require lots of safe downrange area. Shooting ranges are typically driven out of business and shut down as urban growth puts subdivisions near range property. Shooting is an inherently 'rural' activity. Our site selections were a balance between finding remote, affordable property and proxmity to Austin and surrounding smaller cities.

Q: Why don't you teach at the indoor ranges in Austin?
A: They have their own staff instructors, and do not allow 'outside' instructors to teach CHL courses at their facilities. We have offered non-CHL courses at those ranges in the past and may do so in the future.

Q: Why don't you use one of the commercial ranges closer to Austin?
A: Years of experience teaching have taught us that running a class on a portion of a commercial range can be difficult. Students have to listen to gunfire all day long during the classroom portions of class, and coordinating with other range users during the qualification test can be complex and delay the course. There is also the additional problem of range users not enrolled in the course interrupting or interfering with the course, or attempting to 'listen in' to get free instruction. On our private ranges we have privacy and control of the range, which makes the training experience safer, more enjoyable, and simpler to conduct.

Q: Why do you charge $120? I found another course for less money.
A: Cost should not be the only factor in choosing a CHL course. Carrying a gun, and using it to defend yourself, is serious business. If you are involved in a deadly force incident, your CHL instructor will be contacted and will likely be called to testify in court regarding what you were trained. In that situation, a CHL instructor that also has law enforcement experience, and experience testifying in court can be a significant advantage over a CHL instructor whose background is limited to passing a 3-day class at DPS and possibly a few additional days of NRA certification learning to teach beginning shooters. Additionally, a CHL instructor that has enforced the law and is familiar with police procedure can better explain how interactions between armed citizens and law enforcement are likely to play out. Mistakes involving display and use of firearms can result in criminal charges and jail time. The small difference in class cost between our course and a Brand X CHL course from an inexperienced instructor will seem like nothing compared to the cost of one hour of a good lawyer's time, should you end up making a costly error due to confusing or inaccurate information learned in the low-budget CHL course.