"We have over 25 million people who live in Texas and less than 2 percent of them have" concealed handgun licenses.

Jeff Wentworth on Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011 in a TV interview

Jeff Wentworth says few Texans are licensed for concealed handguns

Defending his legislation to allow concealed handguns on college campuses, state Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, said not many Texans have the state license that’s required to even carry a concealed gun.

"We have over 25 million people who live in Texas and less than 2 percent of them have these licenses," he said on CNN on Feb. 22. 

According to the 2010 census, about 25.1 million people live in Texas.

Next, we turned to the Texas Department of Public Safety. Spokesman Tom Vinger told us that "a little over 460,000" people in Texas have concealed handgun licenses. A 1995 Texas law allows adults 21 and older who meet certain requirements, including passing a background check, to get such licenses.

Vinger pointed us to the department’s annual reports on active concealed handgun license and instructor counts. As of Dec. 31, Texas has 461,724 active license holders, according to the department’s most recent report, posted online Feb. 14.

We also wondered whether other states had a similarly low percentage of concealed handgun-license holders. According to a fact-sheet posted on the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action’s website in April, 40 states have laws allowing individuals to carry handguns, with Florida issuing more carry permits than any other state — 1.7 million. That’s about 9 percent of Florida’s 18.5 million-large population, according to a 2009 estimate by the Census Bureau.

So, 1.8 percent of the Texas population is licensed to carry a concealed handgun.

We rate Wentworth’s statement as True.