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Georgia Gun Laws

Georgia Gun Laws



Over the past ten years, Georgia’s gun laws have experienced significant changes, reflecting the state’s commitment to maintaining Second Amendment rights while addressing public safety concerns. From concealed carry to background checks, these developments have aimed to strike a balance between responsible firearm ownership and community well-being. This article provides a comprehensive overview of the key advancements in Georgia’s gun laws and regulations from 2013 to 2023, presented in bullet points:

2013 – Expansion of Concealed Carry Laws:

   – Georgia enacts legislation allowing concealed carry permit holders to bring firearms into previously restricted areas, such as bars, schools, and churches, sparking debates on public safety.

2014 – “Guns Everywhere” Law:

   – Georgia’s “Safe Carry Protection Act” expands areas where concealed carry is allowed, while also permitting firearms in certain government buildings.

2015 – Firearm Purchase Waiting Period Debate:

   – Georgia considers implementing a mandatory waiting period for firearm purchases, igniting discussions about its potential impact on gun sales.

2016 – Campus Carry Law:

   – Legislation is passed to allow concealed carry permit holders to bring firearms onto public college campuses, leading to debates on safety and the educational environment.

2017 – Firearms for Foster Parents:

   – Georgia introduces laws permitting foster parents to possess firearms, subject to certain requirements and background checks.

2018 – Enhanced Reporting of Mental Health Records:

   – The state enhances the reporting of mental health records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to prevent firearm access by individuals deemed ineligible.

2019 – “Red Flag” Law Debate:

   – Georgia considers adopting “red flag” laws, allowing law enforcement and family members to request temporary firearm removal for individuals deemed dangerous.

2020 – Citizen’s Arrest Law Revisions:

   – After the Ahmaud Arbery case, Georgia revises its citizen’s arrest law, addressing concerns about potential misuse of firearms in vigilante actions.

2021 – Stand Your Ground Law:

   – Georgia revisits its “Stand Your Ground” law, clarifying self-defense rights and immunity from prosecution when using deadly force in certain situations.

2022 – Background Checks for Private Sales:

    – Proposed legislation aims to require background checks for all private firearm sales, leading to discussions about balancing privacy and public safety.

2022 – Enhanced Background Checks for Concealed Carry:

    – Georgia tightens the background check process for concealed carry permits, focusing on mental health history and criminal records.

2023 – Firearm Storage Requirements:

    – The state introduces regulations mandating safe firearm storage to prevent unauthorized access, particularly in homes with minors.

2023 – Assault Weapon and High-Capacity Magazine Ban Proposals:

    – Georgia debates the potential implementation of bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, sparking conversations about community safety.

2023 – “Stand Your Ground” Law Consideration:

    – The state explores potential revisions to its “Stand Your Ground” law, sparking discussions on self-defense rights and public safety.

Georgia’s gun laws have experienced significant shifts over the past decade, reflecting the state’s continuous efforts to navigate the complexities of responsible firearm ownership and public safety. From expanded concealed carry laws to debates on “red flag” legislation and assault weapon bans, these changes underscore Georgia’s proactive approach to firearm regulation. As the state continues to shape its laws, it remains vital for stakeholders, policymakers, and citizens to engage in informed discussions that balance individual rights with community well-being.

Georgia gun law does not require a permit to purchase, registration of firearms, or the licensing of owners. A permit to carry is only instituted to firearms that can be legally categorized as handguns.
Under Georgia gun law, it is deemed as unlawful for a person of under the age of 18 to possess a handgun. Consequently, it is illegal for any person to give, sell, or transfer a handgun to anyone under the age of 18. However, there are exceptions in which a minor may possess a handgun. A minor may be in possession of a handgun with the permission of a parent, legal guardian, or under the supervision of a qualified or certified instructor, or professional.
Based upon the contingency of permission by an adult, a minor may possess a handgun if he/she is attending a firearm education or safety course. This also includes if the minor is engaged in activities such as hunting, lawful sporting events, shooting competitions, or fishing.
While traveling to and from such events, locations, or activities, a minor may posses a handgun in a private vehicle as long as the weapon is not loaded. In situations such as hunting, trapping, or fishing, the handgun must be in plain sight and fully exposed if it is loaded. Possession is also allowed to minors if he/she is on property under the supervision of a parent or guardian, and he/she has full permission to possess the handgun.
Minors that have been convicted of violence-related crimes are entirely barred from being able to bear a handgun or other firearms. Georgia gun law states that any individual having been convicted of a felony crime is prohibited to possess or transport any shotgun, rifle, or handgun.
In order to carry a handgun or another type of concealable firearm, Georgia gun law requires an individual to obtain a license or permit to carry. The license allows a person to carry a handgun openly, either in a holster or similar device, which can then be concealed by clothing, a purse, suitcase, or other type of container. This also includes concealment in a motor vehicle. Those wishing to obtain a license to carry a handgun must be over the age of 21, and not meet the following criteria:
     Convicted of a felony that has not been officially pardoned by the necessary agencies or officials.
     Convicted of a misdemeanor crime of a violent nature in the prior five years.
     Convicted of unlawful weapons carrying charge in the past three years.
     Convicted of charges relating to drug or substance abuse.
     Been institutionalized in a facility for mental instability or drug and/or alcohol abuse.
The application must be submitted to the proper law enforcement agency, which will then conduct a federal and state criminal background check. If there are no negative statements or history on an applicants record, a judge issues the license to carry within 60 days of receipt of application.
A judge also has the discretion to grant a license to carry to those who have been committed to a mental hospital or have a history of drug and alcohol abuse. The judge will seek the recommendations of the officials or personnel of such institutions, and then may decide to grant or deny the application to carry concealed weapons.
The license remains valid for a period of five years, and is taken under oath to a judge. It is not necessary to obtain the carry license if the possession of a firearm is within the limits of a person’s home or place of business. This also extends to the transportation of a firearm, as long it is in plain view or stored in a glove compartment; if unloaded, the firearm must be separate from any ammunition and secured in a case.