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Gun Laws in Georgia

Updated on August 28, 2012

Gun Laws

Firearms can be a very dangerous tool in the hands of the wrong person. Every state has their own gun laws and regulations. For the state of Georgia, the laws are pretty straight forward and easy to abide by. Before you get charged for unlawful gun possession, you want to make sure that you are aware of and understand the laws of your state.

By RKirkcaldy
By RKirkcaldy

Purchasing and Possessing Firearms

When purchasing firearms in Georgia, you do not need a permit.

You must be at least 18 years old to purchase an possess a firearm, unless you meet one of the following criterion and a parent or legal guardian furnishes the firearm:

  • You are attending a hunter's education or firearm safety course.
  • You are engaging in practice or target shooting at an established shooting range.
  • You are engaging in organized competition or practicing for performance by a groups organized under 26 U.S.C. 501.
  • You are hunting or fishing with a valid license and you are engaging in legal hunting or fishing and have permission of the land owner, at which time you can carry a loaded pistol or revolver, open and exposed.
  • When you are traveling from any of the above activities, but the gun must be unloaded.
  • If you are on the properly under the control of a parent or legal guardian with the permission of the parent or guardian to possess the gun.
  • The above exceptions do not apply to any minor who has been convicted of a forcible crime.

You cannot purchase, possess, carry, transfer, or receive a firearm if you:

  • Have been convicted of a felony.
  • Have been convicted of any crime against or involving another person
  • Have been convicted of theft from a building or a vehicle.
  • Have been convicted of any crime involving possession, manufacture, delivery, distribution, dispensing, administering, selling, or possession with the intent to distribute any controlled substance.
  • Have been convicted of any crime involving the trafficking of cocaine, marijuana, or illegal drugs.

Carrying Firearms

You cannot carry any firearm, whether openly or concealed, without a license to carry a firearm. With any rule or law, there are exceptions, as stated below.

The exceptions to carry a gun or concealable firearm without a license includes:

  • Carrying a firearm, openly or concealed, in your own home or place of business.
  • Transporting a firearm that is unloaded and in an enclosed case, separated from ammunition as long as you are allowed to legally obtain a firearm.
  • Transporting a loaded firearm in a private vehicle as long as it is carried openly and fully exposed or is in the glove compartment console or a similar compartment.
  • Carrying a firearm while hunting, fishing, or sport shooting, as long as you have written permission from the land owner and as long as the handgun is carried in a fully exposed manner.

For more information about applying for a firearm license in the state of Georgia and who qualifies for a firearm license, you will want to check out Applying for a Gun License in Georgia.


Places You Cannot Carry a Firearm

Public Gatherings. It is a misdemeanor offense to carry a licensed, or unlicensed, firearm at public events, including: sporting events, church functions, political functions, publicly owned and operated buildings (Federal, state, or local government buildings), or any event where alcohol is sold.

You can carry licensed firearms at malls, stores, financial institutions, and other places open to the public.

School Property and Functions. It is a felony offense to carry a licensed, or unlicensed, firearm on to or within 1,000 feet of any property owned or leased by any public or private elementary school, secondary school, or school board that is used for elementary or secondary education. It is also unlawful to carry firearms on to or within 1,000 feet of the campus of any public or private technical school, vocational school, college, university, or institution of post secondary education.

Nuclear Power Facility. It is a misdemeanor offense to carry, possess, or have a firearm whether licensed or not under your control while on premises of a nuclear power plant. Exceptions include firearms in use for official duties or training.

Public Transportation. It is a felony offense to carry or attempt to carry a firearm on any form of public transportation, whether a commercial airline, rail vehicle, or bus. It is considered hijacking in the state of Georgia to do so, and it does not matter if you have a license or not. This does not apply to privately owned airline, rail vehicles, or buses.

*It is now legal to carry firearms with the appropriate concealed weapons permit on public transportation.

State parks, historic sites, and recreational areas. This applies to any park, historic site, and recreational area that is operated by, for, or under the control of the Department of Natural Resources. You cannot carry a loaded firearm on the premises. You can, however, carry an unloaded firearm that is not easily accessible, meaning it must be stored, as long as you have the permission of the commissioner of natural resources or his authorized representative. If you are caught with a loaded firearm or an unloaded firearm without permission, you will be asked to leave and charged and arrested for criminal trespass.

*It is now legal to carry firearms with the appropriate concealed weapons permit in public parks.

Guns in Restaurants in Georgia

In the most current bill that has passed, the legislature allows you to carry firearms into restaurants that serve alcohol or carry on to public transportation, as long as you have a concealed weapons permit.

Although Governor Perdue was urged to veto the bill in the state of Georgia, he signed the bill to allow firearms in restaurants, as long as the weapon is visible and the restaurant allows it. The bill also says that you can carry a concealed weapon on public transportation and in public parks.

Many people are against the bill; their position is that carrying guns into places that sell alcohol, on to any public transportation, and in state parks increases the risk of deadly situations. You don't need official training to obtain a firearm permit, there is no guarantee that the person with the gun knows how to properly use the firearm.


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    • profile image

      danny 21 months ago

      Have a friend on dui probation can he purchase a gun

    • profile image

      kasey 2 years ago

      Can I buy a revolver in georgia if im 18 years old

    • profile image

      Williams k. 4 years ago

      When will people start understanding that private firearms has nothing to do with individual rights. It's a matter of public safety. Reducing the amount of firearms on the streets will save lives

    • profile image

      budone1967 4 years ago

      You need to go back and recheck the Georgia gun laws. Most of what is here is not accurate as of June 2010.

    • profile image

      Bob 5 years ago

      Just a friendly critic. Please check your spelling on your website to make it look more professional.

    • reviewthelaw profile image

      reviewthelaw 5 years ago from Newport Beach , California , 92660 United States

      Organized hub. I learned from this. :)

      As a writer, I wan to read about Law. This hub gave me an idea how to organize my hub better. Gun is not just a toy, handle it with care. Just like this law, if this will be effective. You have a safe society! Great!

    • profile image

      Brian 5 years ago

      I got into a fight in highschool when I was 15 30 ears ago and was denied my permit, they called it a "domestic violence" crime !!!!

      They can and will deny or approve anyone they choose and there's NOTHING you can do about it.

    • profile image

      melissa 6 years ago

      if i marry a person that's a felon can i still buy a guy?

    • profile image

      Jonathan 6 years ago

      Georgia law states that any person who has been convicted of any misdemeanor involving the use or possession of a controlled substance and has not been free of all restraint and/or supervision for at least five years immediately preceding the date of the application can't obtain a permit. Does not mean you can't purchase and/or have one. There should be no problems with a NICS check at the dealer.

    • profile image

      Walter 6 years ago

      I had a misdimeanor charge in the state of North Carolina and received a two year unsupervised probation period.

      I have been denied my firearms permit.

      Never any felonies or any prison time.

      Olny time ever had any trouble.

      Can anyone tell me what is going on. I live in Georgia.

    • profile image

      Jimmy Hammond 6 years ago

      In 1998 I was charged with a felony, but the court's reduced it to a misdermeanor, can I purchase a handgun/riffle for my home protection?

    • profile image

      Maddi 6 years ago

      So if I got caught with some pot when I was a kid I can't buy a gun?

    • profile image

      Twitchit 6 years ago

      Wink, You can purchase a firearm if you are under first time offenders and have completed probation. Go to the courthouse where the crime was committed and retrieve your form that re-instates your rights. On the nics form when it ask Have you been convicted of a felony, in the long instructions to this question it flat out tells you answer no if you have had your rights re-instated.

    • profile image

      bluefletch 6 years ago

      I agree Pepper! If more people are are trained on the proper use and handleing of all guns, not just hand guns, the world would be a safer place! The younger we start teaching our kids the better the future for gun rights will be!

    • profile image

      Pepper 6 years ago

      I agree with being able to carry a gun anywhere. I think that if you get a permit to carry, you should have to be formally trained on how to use it. I own several guns, I've been shooting all my adult life. Whether for hunting or target practice. I'm just saying, if you own a gun, learn how to use it and when you should use it.

    • profile image

      John 6 years ago

      I did finish probation last month I got charge with felony but they droped to misdemeanor

      Can I buy a gun with this charge?

    • profile image

      Nick 7 years ago

      If I'm on probation for a DUI and have no prior convictions can I purchase a pistol while on misdemeanor probation?

    • profile image

      Ashley 7 years ago

      I'm 18 years old and am about to purchase my first rifle. Do I need to bring any documentation in order to purchase this weapon?

    • profile image

      bob b. 7 years ago

      I live in GA and want to purchsae my sons hand gun(licesed)who lives in SC.What permits or requirements are needed to purchase it and drive back to ga.


    • profile image

      Rick S 7 years ago

      took first offender probation and completed it with no problems. was to be on it for 5 years and Georgia terminated the probation in 3. I really went a year longer than i had to before i could request termination of the probation. I ran a background check and it doesn't even show i have a record. will i be able to firearm hunt again?

    • profile image

      tiffany 7 years ago

      to "wink": when you complete the probation period you get your rights back if it's a felony, so you would be able to get a license to carry. with misdemeanor, that right is never taken away.

    • profile image

      wink 7 years ago

      can i obtain a firearms licnens after completing first offenders act in the state of ga no drug charges or violent crimes

    • profile image

      Rev 7 years ago

      Is it only in G.A, I can carry my license firearm.

    • profile image

      sean 7 years ago

      i am a canadian citizen but i live in cumming georgia i would like to purchase a firearm to carry for self defense i currently havetbn1 work visa

    • profile image

      Holy Hunter 7 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      wow, us canadians get really screwed on our gun laws......

      America seems to have a better time with theirs.

    • mlowell profile image

      mlowell 7 years ago from Georgia

      As long as you can pass the requirements, yes

    • profile image

      Brimstone 7 years ago

      I am 19yrsld. I would like to get a shotgun and a handgun for my apartment.i go to college in a bad area with a history of break-ins and robbery @ gunpoint. will i be able to obtain any firearm?

    • profile image

      gil 7 years ago

      wat about selling a gun. can u sell to some random person if u like the price?

    • mlowell profile image

      mlowell 8 years ago from Georgia

      I believe this depends on your employer. As far as I know only Arizona, Utah, and Idaho have laws that permit you to carry your firearm in your vehicle while at work.

    • profile image

      brent 8 years ago

      can your employer keep you from having a gun in your car while parked on company property

    • mlowell profile image

      mlowell 8 years ago from Georgia


    • profile image

      ObtainingAnFFL 8 years ago

      Great comments. Was searching on firearms and saw your page. Maybe they should list where we can carry. would be a short list.

    • profile image

      Tattoo Kenny 8 years ago

      If you have a case pending you can not purchase a firearm. This is a question that is asked on the ATF paperwork that you fill out when buying a firearm. You should not buy one right now. Until your record is cleared you would have that gun unlawfully!

    • profile image

      Lynn 8 years ago

      What if you ever pleaded nolo?

    • profile image

      issues veritas 8 years ago

      laws are not recognized by criminals.

      That leaves only the law abiding people, unarmed and at the mercy of the criminals. Breaking the law is what criminals do, and obeying the law is what the rest of the people do. Thou shalt not kill is one of the oldest and most broken laws in the world. Drugs are illegal but so what, it just means criminals ignore that law.

    • profile image

      Ken 8 years ago

      I believe the law applies to owning a firearm as well as purchasing. So if you have a pistol and are accused of a felony it is illegal for you to own it. Might want to wait till the trial is over.

    • profile image

      steeda4486 8 years ago

      What if you have a felony case pending but you haven't been indicted for it yet can you still purchase a gun?? And I also talked to my attorney and he said it is going to be a pre-trial deversion since I've never been in trouble in my life. So it the felony gets dropped. But I'm going to buy a pistol next week and I need to know if I can get one, considering that case pending.

    • profile image

      Michael 9 years ago

      Why not allow people to carry everywhere? The law abiding citizens are the only ones that don't carry in the restricted places now. The criminals don't care where the law says they can or cannot carry.