FIND GUN LAWS BY STATE

Table of Contents

About the author
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Bryan L. Ciyou is a trial and appellate attorney at the Indianapolis law firm of Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. He earned his BA with distinction and graduated through the honors program, along with his JD,... Read More

Georgia Gun Laws

Share this state
Table of Contents

Introduction

Georgia is in the southeastern part of the United States, with a state population of about 10,000,000 people. It shares borders to the north with Tennessee and North Carolina. To the east, Georgia is bounded by South Carolina and the Atlantic Ocean.  The southern border is shared with Florida, with Alabama framing Georgia’s western border. Open Carry is legal in Georgia with a valid license to carry.

Share
Ask a question about this

A. State Constitution

Regarding the right to bear arms, the Georgia Constitution states:

“The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, but the General Assembly shall have power to prescribe the manner in which arms may be borne.”

[http://gunla.ws/ga1]

Share
Ask a question about this

B. Scope of Preemption

The controlling language of the Georgia preemption statute is set forth as follows:

“…no county or municipal corporation, by zoning or by ordinance, or resolution, nor any agency, board, department, commission, or authority of this state, other than the General Assembly, by rule or regulation shall regulate in any manner: (A) gun shows; (B) the possession, ownership, transport, carrying, transfer, sale, purchase, licensing, or registration of firearms or other weapons or components of firearms or other weapons; (C) firearms dealers; or (D) dealers in components of firearms or other weapons.” [http://gunla.ws/ga2]

Share
Ask a question about this

C. Reciprocal Carry

By statute, Georgia will recognize another state’s license to carry if that state recognizes Georgia’s license:

“Any person licensed to carry a handgun or weapon in any other state whose laws recognize and give effect to a license issued pursuant to this part shall be authorized to carry a weapon in this state, but only while the licensee is not a resident of this state; provided, however, that such licensee shall carry the weapon in compliance with the laws of this state.”

Anyone contemplating reciprocal carry should check with the official list maintained by the Georgia Department of Public Safety. [http://gunla.ws/ga3]

Share
Ask a question about this

D. NFA Items

Georgia permits ownership of all NFA items, provided they are legally obtained pursuant to federal law. Hunting with suppressors is legal.

Share
Ask a question about this

E. Carrying Firearms in Vehicles

Georgia allows anyone who is legally allowed to possess firearms to carry them in their vehicles, without a permit. In the case of long guns, the firearm must either be unloaded or plainly visible from outside the vehicle if loaded. In the case of handguns, they must be unloaded and enclosed in a case. If You do not have a permit/license honored in Georgia, You can only carry a firearm in Your own vehicle. If You are riding in a vehicle that is not Yours, You must have permission of the person who has legal control of the vehicle. [http://gunla.ws/ga4]

Share
Ask a question about this

G. Self-defense Laws

Georgia has both Castle Doctrine and SYG laws. There is no duty to retreat when attacked in any place You have a legal right to be, and You may use deadly force in self-defense if You reasonably believe it is imminently necessary to prevent death or SBI, the commission of a forcible felony, or to stop the unlawful & forcible entry into Your dwelling, residence, or occupied motor vehicle. [http://gunla.ws/pfnu]

Share
Ask a question about this

H. Criminal Provisions

Under Georgia law, a license to carry a handgun does not permit carry in any of the following places or circumstances, no matter if it is issued by Georgia, or carry is pursuant to a reciprocity agreement between his/her state of license and Georgia:

  • Any place prohibited by federal law
  • A government building that has a metal detector at each public entrance, or security guards screening visitors
  • A courthouse
  • A jail/prison
  • A place of worship, unless the leader of the congregation permits the carrying of weapons by license holders
  • A bar, unless the owner of the establishment permits the carrying of weapons by license holders
  • Within a private or public school safety zone, school building, school function, school property, school bus, or other transportation furnished by a school, unless authorized to by the school board, or while picking up or dropping off their child.
    • Teachers or other school personnel who are authorized to possess or carry weapons on the premises may do so provided the weapon is in a locked compartment of an automobile or in a locked firearms container.
    • Concealed carry of a handgun is permitted on Georgia’s public college campuses if You have a CCP
  • On the premises of a nuclear facility
  • Discharge a firearm while under the influence of alcohol or drugs

For a list of places where carrying firearms is prohibited, see:

[http://gunla.ws/ga6]

Share
Ask a question about this

I. Do “No Gun Signs” Have the Force of Law?

No. “No Firearm” signs in Georgia do not have the force of law unless they are posted on property that is specifically mentioned in state law as being off limits to those with a permit/license to carry. However, as a possessor with a real property interest, a retailer, has the right to limit, and qualify the right to enter the property, subject to not carrying a handgun. It would be improper to enter, and the licensee would be subject to ejection for possession of a handgun thereat. Failure to leave once requested would subject the licensee to arrest for criminal trespass.

Share
Ask a question about this

J. Carry in Restaurants That Serve Alcohol

Yes. There is no law stating it is illegal. You can carry in a restaurant that serves alcohol. Places like Fridays or Chili’s unless they have a “No Gun Sign,” then it is suggested that you not carry into the establishment. This does not include a bar or the bar area of a restaurant. You can carry Your firearm into a restaurant that serves alcohol, but you are prohibited from consuming alcohol while carrying a firearm. [http://gunla.ws/yu2d]

Share
Ask a question about this

K. Open Carry

Open carry is legal in Georgia but you must have a valid CCP to open carry. Places listed in the “Criminal Provisions” above apply to those who open carry. In Georgia it is not against the law for You to possess a firearm without a valid weapon carry license inside Your home, motor vehicle or place of business. [http://gunla.ws/3nu2]

Note: A comprehensive gun law was passed in 2014 that, among other things, prohibits the police and National Guard from disarming citizens during a State of Emergency, prohibits public housing from banning guns on their premises, allows the use of suppressors while hunting, allows felons to use deadly force in self-defense, and allows license holders to carry firearms in unsecured areas of airports, but not to take them through security.

Share
Ask a question about this


FIND GUN LAWS BY STATE

Table of Contents

About the author
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Bryan L. Ciyou is a trial and appellate attorney at the Indianapolis law firm of Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. He earned his BA with distinction and graduated through the honors program, along with his JD,... Read More