July 22, 2024
New Gun Law Is In Effect WABE 90.1 FM

Understanding Georgia’s Gun Laws

1. The Right to Bear Arms

Georgia’s constitution guarantees its citizens the right to bear arms. This means that individuals have the right to own and possess firearms for self-defense, hunting, and other lawful purposes.

2. Permits and Licenses

While Georgia is known for its gun-friendly laws, it still requires certain permits and licenses to carry firearms in public. The most common permit is the Georgia Weapons Carry License (GWCL), which allows individuals to carry handguns openly or concealed.

3. Age Restrictions

In Georgia, you must be at least 18 years old to possess a firearm, and 21 years old to carry a handgun outside your property without a GWCL. Minors can still possess firearms under the supervision of a parent or guardian.

4. Background Checks

Before purchasing a firearm from a licensed dealer in Georgia, individuals are required to undergo a background check. This is to ensure that firearms do not fall into the wrong hands, such as convicted felons or individuals with a history of domestic violence.

Where You Can and Cannot Carry

1. Public Buildings

Georgia law prohibits carrying firearms in certain public buildings, such as schools, government buildings, and places of worship. However, there are exceptions for individuals with a GWCL, who may be allowed to carry in some of these locations.

2. Private Property

Private property owners have the right to prohibit firearms on their premises. If a property owner displays a sign indicating that firearms are not allowed, individuals must respect those wishes and leave their firearms behind.

3. Restaurants and Bars

Georgia law allows individuals with a GWCL to carry firearms into restaurants and bars, unless the establishment specifically prohibits it. However, it is illegal to carry a firearm while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Penalties for Violating Gun Laws

1. Carrying Without a Permit

Carrying a handgun in public without a GWCL is a misdemeanor in Georgia, punishable by a fine and possible imprisonment. Repeat offenses or carrying firearms in certain prohibited places may result in more severe penalties.

2. Possession by Prohibited Individuals

Individuals who are convicted felons, have been involuntarily committed to a mental institution, or have a restraining order against them are prohibited from possessing firearms in Georgia. Violating this law is a felony offense with serious consequences.

3. Firearm Trafficking

Engaging in the illegal sale or transfer of firearms, such as selling to individuals without conducting a background check, is considered firearm trafficking in Georgia. This is a felony offense with significant penalties.

Overall, it is important to familiarize yourself with Georgia’s gun laws to ensure that you are in compliance and can exercise your Second Amendment rights responsibly. Remember, laws can change, so it’s always a good idea to stay updated on any new legislation or regulations.