all i wanted to do was to pay $200 so i could carry my gun to the gym

no, the gold’s i hit isn’t in THAT rough a neighborhood…

…but it was my reason for wanting a chl (concealed handgun license).

see, in texas we’re pro-gun. WAY pro-gun. scary-ass pro-gun. you can legally, without a permit, carry a loaded gun in your car. you can keep it in your home. you can carry it from your home to your car and back, even if your “home” is one of those mega-fuck-all-huge apartment complexes, so when you walk four blocks of parking lots to and from your vehicle it’s totally legal to be strapped doing so…

…then there’s work.

if you work someplace where the business owner allows you to carry (mine doesn’t “allow”, he encourages it) then you’re legal on site, but also to and from your vehicle regardless if i park two feet or two blocks from the door of the shop. all without a permit.

but then there’s fridays.

that’s the one day i’m almost guaranteed to go to the gym on my way. in the gym? to and from the car to the gym? TOTALLY not legal. it’s the only time in any given week i would break the law having my h&k in my bag…otherwise i’m totally legal all the time.

so, for that, i decided to get a chl…which was MUCH more of a process, through a comedy of errors, then it should have been.

part i – the class

i’ll touch on this even though i know i did a bit about this a while back. but this is step one of the process, costs about fifty bucks, takes six hours of your time, but you get to shoot things and hang with some people that misread the second amendment at a religious level so there’s that. mine drew out over six months, follow the link above if you wanna know the history so i don’t have to re-hash, as i know i’m prone to do.

part ii – the state app

this i did last sunday in a panic because i mis-read a site about texas chl’s. i had always been told you had TWO FULL YEARS from when you took the class to when you did the state application and paid them the “non-refundable so you better not have fucked anything up” fee of $145.00. but then i saw a site that said you only had a year…and embarassingly my year hit this past wednesday, so i thought i had to have it all done by then. but it turns out you have TWO years from when you take the course to when you pay your big money, then another YEAR after you pay to get your shit together and uploaded and filed and such…so it can be THREE years from when you’re at the range qualifying to when you get your permit. i emphasize this because some of the people i took the class with had never actually fired a gun before. ever. and barely passed the range test which is pretty fucking simple (in target-swaying winds i still scored 238 out of 250). that three year break should scare at least a few of you…i’m just saying.

part iii – the fingerprints

before texas will let you strap up proper you have to prove you’re not a criminal or something, which they do via a federal fingerprint run-through, which is contracted to third party folk to the tune of $10.50. when you do your online app there’s a link that it advises you to click, saying if you don’t to it RIGHT THEN you have to wait a day or two for the databases to “chat” with one another…so i clicked it. went through the whole process…but then on the last screen there’s two buttons – one to print the form you gotta take, and one to pay. figuring you couldn’t get the form before you paid (you can) i clicked the pay button only to be whisked off to another site…which panicked me so i tried to click back to print the form, but then you’re stuck. and when it re-loaded it had none of my info, and when i put it in manually it reminded me of the one to two day wait. i had tried to set my appointment for tuesday as it said they were closed sunday-monday, but now i had to wait for monday to set anything.


so i went back in monday, and now they were supposedly closed monday-tuesday so it made me set it up wednesday…but when i went to pay (AFTER i had saved the form – i learned) it times out and said it didn’t work, then locked up again. exasperated i just left the shop, but later got confirmation emails and it showed on my card, so i figured all had worked even though it said it hadn’t. turns out it did, surprisingly. but then i followed the google maps link on a hectic wednesday morning and it took me to the other side of san marcos…and to somebody’s fucking HOUSE! i didn’t even knock on the door (i later heard SEVERAL had, though…i feel for those people) and it turns out i passed the place on my way to the residence. we laughed. i doubled back, got all done, and made it to my buddy chuck’s place for an early lunch…and figured we were all done.

not so much…which is why you didn’t get to read this bit thursday.

no, i went to upload my forms to the state site last night and realized that while i had dated my fingerprint form correctly, their guy who took my prints had dated it 2014 – which i’m glad i caught because the state is really fussy about little shit on their paperwork for guns (for example my birthplace has to be written out “austin, texas” instead of “austin, tx”) and they’re pretty specific about how you pay your $140 and if anything is fucked up they still keep your money and DON’T give you the permit, so that wasn’t happening. i had to roll BACK to san marcos (about forty miles round trip) in thirty-three degree rain to get the form RE-filled out but had all uploaded and DONE before high noon friday…

…so now i guess the wait is on. finally.

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