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What are the Gun Laws in Georgia?

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Guns, pistols, rifle, revolvers, and ammunition Mark Lewis/Photodisc/Getty Images
Caution: This summary is meant for general purposes only. Firearm laws frequently change and the following answers may not reflect changes in the laws.

Child Access Prevention Law? No
Juvenile Possession Law? Yes.
Juvenile Sale/Transfer Law? Yes

State Requirements

Rifles and Shotguns
  • Permit to purchase rifles and shotguns? No
  • Registration of rifles and shotguns? No
  • Licensing of owners of rifles and shotguns? No
  • Permit to carry rifles and shotguns? No
Handguns
  • Permit to purchase handgun? No
  • Registration of handguns? No
  • Licensing of owners of handguns? No
  • Permit to carry handguns? Yes.

Purchase And Possession:

No state permit is required for the purchase or possession of a shotgun, rifle, or handgun.

It is unlawful to furnish a handgun to a person under 18 and it is unlawful for a person under 18 to possess a handgun. Under the following circumstances, a parent or legal guardian may furnish, and a minor may possess, a handgun:

  • Attending a hunter education or firearms safety course.

  • Engaging in practice or target shooting at an established shooting range authorized by the jurisdiction where it is located.

  • Engaging in organized competition or practicing for a performance by a group organized under 26 U.S.C. 501 (c)(3).
  • Lawful hunting or fishing with the permission of the land owner if, whenever the handgun is loaded, it is carried only in a fully exposed manner.

  • Traveling to and from the above activities if the handgun is not loaded

  • On property under the control of the minor's parent, legal guardian or grandparent with the permission of the minor's parent or legal guardian to possess the handgun.

  • The above exceptions do not apply to a minor who has been convicted of a forcible crime.

It is unlawful for any person convicted of a felony to possess, receive, or transport any firearm.

Carry:

It is unlawful to carry a handgun or concealable firearm, openly or concealed, on or about one's person without a license to carry.

Exceptions: No license is required:

    1. To carry a firearm, openly or concealed, in one's home or place of business.

    2. To transport a firearm, unloaded, enclosed in a case and separated from ammunition, provided the possessor is not ineligible to obtain a license to carry.

    3. To transport a loaded firearm in a private motor vehicle, provided it is carried in an open manner fully exposed to view, or is in the vehicle's glove compartment, console, or similar compartment.

    4. To carry a firearm while hunting or fishing or sport shooting, provided the person so carrying has any necessary hunting or fishing license, and has written permission from the owner of the land on which the activity is being conducted, and provided any handgun is carried in an open and fully exposed manner.

A license to carry authorizes a person to carry a handgun on or about his person, openly or in a holster, hipgrip or similar device, in which event the weapon may be concealed by the person's clothing, or a handbag, purse, attache case, briefcase, other closed container, or in any location in a motor vehicle.

The license to carry, valid for five years, is obtained by application under oath to the judge of the probate court of the county of domicile of the applicant. Georgia law specifically provides that the application form "shall not require non-pertinent nor irrelevant data" from the applicant.

No license will be issued to:

    1. Anyone under 21 years of age.

    2. Any person who is a fugitive from justice or who has felony charges, forcible misdemeanor or weapons violations charges pending against him.

    3. Any person convicted of a felony who has not been pardoned by the President, the States Board of Pardons and Paroles, or any person or agency empowered to grant pardons.

    4. Any person convicted of forcible misdemeanor who has not been free of supervision for at least five years.

    5. Any person convicted of a weapons carrying violation, who has not been free of supervision for at least three years.

    6. Any person who has been hospitalized for in patient treatment in any mental hospital or alcohol or drug treatment center within five years of the date of application.

    7. Any person who has been convicted of a controlled substance or other dangerous drug offense.

After the judge has received the application the applicant must go to a designated local law enforcement agency for fingerprinting. The law enforcement agency may charge a $5.00 fingerprinting fee. First time applicants shall submit an additional fee not to exceed $30.00 for the criminal records search.

The law enforcement agency must investigate the applicant (including a federal and state criminal record check) and must report any negative findings back to the judge within 50 days. A report is not required if no derogatory information bearing on the applicant's eligibility is discovered. The judge shall issue the license within 60 days after the date of the application if no facts establishing ineligibility are found and if the judge determines the applicant has met all qualifications and is of "good moral character."

If the applicant has been hospitalized at a mental hospital or alcohol or drug treatment center within five years of his application for a license to carry, the judge has discretion, after considering the recommendation of the Superintendent of the hospital or treatment center, to issue or deny the license.

Miscellaneous Provisions

It is unlawful to:
  • Point a firearm at another person

  • Discharge a firearm within 50 yards of a public highway or street

  • Discharge a firearm on the property of another person without the property owner's permission

  • Possess a firearm during the commission of most crimes

  • While hunting, use a firearm in a manner that endangers another person

  • Discharge a firearm while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

  • Firearms may not be carried to any "public gathering," even by an individual licensed to carry a firearm.

  • Public gatherings include, but are not limited to, athletic events, church functions, political rallies, all publicly owned or operated buildings and all places where alcoholic beverages are sold for consumption on the premises.

  • It is unlawful to carry or possess any firearm within 1000 feet of any school property, on a school bus or other transportation furnished by the school, or at a school function without written authorization from a school official.

This prohibition shall not apply to: organized sport shooting events, firearms training courses, persons licensed to carry when such person carries or picks up a student, any weapon legally kept in a vehicle in transit through a school zone by any person other than a student, or a firearm in a locked compartment of a motor vehicle or in a locked container or locked firearms rack in a motor vehicle being used by a person over 21 to bring or pick up a student.

The 1000 foot zone which extends beyond the actual school property does not apply to persons who reside within the zone, are visiting someone who resides in the zone, or are conducting lawful business within the zone.

See Also: National Rifle Association of America, Institute for Legislative Action

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