Georgia Gun Laws
State laws governing firearms detail when you need a license to carry a weapon, where you can carry your firearms and what the penalties are for breaking the laws.
While you may legally store your firearm in your home, motor vehicle or place of business without having a license, you must apply for a license with your county probate court if you intend to carry it outside of your own property. If you carry your gun for hunting or sporting, your current hunting license allows you to carry your firearm outside of your own property.
If you own your car and you hold a current weapons carry license, your employer cannot search the vehicle without reason. If your car belongs to your employer's fleet, however, you do not have full control over searches and must speak directly with your employer.
You may be guilty of a misdemeanor if you:
- Don't have a current firearms or hunting license when you carry a gun outside your own property.
- Intentionally and without legal justification point or aim a gun or pistol at another, regardless of whether the gun or pistol is loaded.
- Fire a gun or pistol within 50 yards of a public highway or street without legal justification for doing so.
- Discharge a firearm on private property without the approval of the property owner.
- Discharge a firearm while you are intoxicated.
When hunting, you may be guilty of a misdemeanor if you use a weapon in a way that disregards and endangers the safety of another person. While these charges are pending, you'll forfeit your current license, and so you must then apply for a temporary hunting license.
You may be guilty of a felony if you:
- Give a firearm to a minor for illegal purposes. This offense entails a fine of up to $5,000 or a three- to five-year prison sentence.
- Solicit or persuade a dealer to give a firearm to anyone other than the actual buyer.
- Deliberately alter or counterfeit a weapons carry license or carry an altered or counterfeit weapons carry license. This offense carries with it a one- to five-year prison sentence.
Minors may carry firearms when they are attending hunter education and firearms safety courses, practicing target shooting at a range, or participating in competitions or performances that use firearms. With the consent of their parents, minors may also apply for hunting licenses and may carry firearms while on their parents' property.
County probate courts issue firearms licenses to state residents 21 and older. To apply for a permit, you'll need an official form of identification, your payment, and a self-addressed, stamped envelope (if you would like them to mail your license to you). Submit your application at the court along with your fingerprints.
Within five days, a county probate judge will request a criminal history records check and a background check on you. About 30 days later, law enforcement will finish its background check and determine whether you can receive a license.
County probate judges may restrict state residents with criminal records from getting licenses. If you've been in a mental hospital or drug treatment center within the last five years, you must ask that your county probate court judge approve your license application. The judge will seek a recommendation from the superintendent of your hospital or treatment center, and then determine whether it's safe for you to carry a gun.
While $75 is an average fee for licensing and fingerprinting, costs vary by county. Contact your local probate court for details. Licenses are valid for five years. At least two months before your license expires, you should go to court to apply for renewal.
Your Georgia permit will also allow you to carry your concealed weapon in 32 other states with reciprocity agreements. This means anyone with a valid Georgia concealed-carry gun permit may travel to any other state on the reciprocity list with the permitted weapon and not worry about being arrested or fined for carrying that concealed weapon. In other words, each state must reciprocate the approval of a permit that any other state has issued. Reciprocity does not affect any specific state’s laws about carrying a concealed weapon. Some states have relatively restrictive permitting procedures.
Georgia shares fireamrs reciprocity with the following states:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
You should acquaint yourself with firearms restrictions in those states when possible.
Source: Official Code of Georgia. This information was prepared as a public service of the State of Georgia to provide general information, not to advise on any specific legal problem. It is not, and cannot be construed to be, legal advice.