Georgia Constitutional Carry
Georgia has recently gained the status of a constitutional carry state, making a significant update to its gun laws as of April 12th, 2022. The passing of Senate Bill 319 (SB 319) immediately put the new legislation into effect. While this development marks a substantial change in the state’s firearms regulations, it is essential to understand the implications and requirements of this constitutional carry law.
The SB 319 Law
The SB 319 law in Georgia allows for constitutional carry, meaning individuals can carry firearms without the need for a specific permit. However, it is essential to clarify that this law doesn’t remove all permitting requirements for residents. Before carrying firearms within the state, individuals must possess a valid gun license.
Georgia’s Shall-Issue Policy
Georgia follows a shall-issue policy for gun license applications. As long as applicants meet all the state’s requirements, they will be issued a firearm license. The responsibility for issuing gun licenses in Georgia lies with the probate court of each county.
Purchasing Firearms in Georgia
Purchasing handguns from private dealers or gun shows in Georgia does not require a National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) background check or firearm registration. However, federally licensed firearm dealers must adhere to all protocols, including conducting a criminal background check and observing stipulated waiting periods for purchase processing.
Georgia Constitutional Carry Guide
As of 2022, Georgia allows permitless concealed carry for residents 21+ under the new Constitutional Carry Act. However, obtaining a GWL permit still has advantages like reciprocity. Requirements remain for those 18-20 years old.
Georgia Constitutional Carry Act of 2021
Georgia HB218 passed in 2021 enacted constitutional carry, allowing law-abiding Georgia residents 21+ to carry concealed handguns without a state-issued weapons license effective 2022. Restrictions still apply in some locations.
Possession of Firearms in Georgia
To open carry firearms in Georgia, individuals need a gun license, either the state’s own Georgia Weapons Carry License or one from a state with reciprocity with Georgia. It is important to note that open carry is restricted in certain locations and areas, even with a valid gun permit.
Concealed Carry in Georgia
Concealed carry is also permitted for residents who have a valid gun license. Non-residents can conceal carry if they possess a gun permit from any state listed on Georgia’s reciprocity list. Unlike many other states, Georgia does not require applicants to undergo firearm training before applying for a gun license. The minimum age requirement for residents is 21 years old, while members of the military must be at least 18 years old.
Firearm Possession and Restrictions
Georgia gun laws allow individuals with a pistol permit to possess firearms in restaurant and bar areas, except when prohibited by signage or under the influence of alcohol. Private establishments can also set their regulations regarding firearm possession on their premises. However, permit holders are permitted to have a firearm in their vehicles when in a parking lot, provided it is in a locked compartment, such as the trunk.
Exceptions to Firearm Possession
Certain locations in Georgia strictly prohibit the possession of firearms, and these restrictions apply to both residents and non-residents, even with a valid gun license. Some of these places include school buses, school premises, stadiums, courthouses, airports, government-owned buildings, mental institutions, and polling centers, where individuals must be at least 150 feet away from their firearms.
Application Process for a Gun Permit
To apply for a concealed weapon license in Georgia, individuals can complete the application online or visit their county’s probate court. The application requires documents such as a birth certificate or US passport card, Georgia’s driver’s license or identification card, and a completed application form. Once approved, the license is valid for five years, and the renewal process can begin 90 days before expiration.
Requirements for a Gun Permit
Before applying for a concealed weapon license in Georgia, applicants must meet specific requirements. These include being at least 21 years old for residents or 18 years old for members of the military, residing in the county where applying for the license, being a legal US citizen, having no criminal convictions related to drugs or felonies, not being mentally unfit, and meeting other federal law requirements.
Constitutional Carry in Georgia
Although Georgia has embraced constitutional carry, local governments are restricted from enacting laws or ordinances related to firearms and ammunition ownership, transfer, possession, sales, registration, and transportation. Despite the constitutional carry law, local authorities may still restrict firearm possession in certain areas for public safety reasons.
With the implementation of the constitutional carry law, Georgia has taken a significant step in updating its firearms regulations. Individuals must now be aware of the requirements for carrying firearms within the state, ensuring they possess a valid gun license.
Understanding the locations where firearms are restricted is equally crucial to staying compliant with the law. Overall, Georgia’s constitutional carry law represents a milestone in its approach to gun rights and responsibilities.
Q1: Does Georgia have a constitutional carry law?
Yes, Georgia has become a constitutional carry state as of April 12th, 2022, with the implementation of SB 319.
Q2: Do I need a gun license to carry firearms in Georgia?
Yes, individuals must possess a valid gun license before carrying firearms within the state.
Q3: Can I open carry firearms in Georgia?
Yes, individuals with a gun license can open carry, but some locations have restrictions on open carry.
Q4: What are the requirements to apply for a gun permit in Georgia?
Applicants must meet age, residency, citizenship, criminal record, and other federal law requirements.
Q5: What are the carry laws in Georgia 2023?
In 2023, residents 21+ can conceal or open carry without a permit, while those 18-20 still need a GWL license. Carry remains prohibited in places like government buildings, polling places, airports, and schools among other restrictions.
Q6: Who is prohibited from carrying a gun in Georgia?
Prohibited persons include convicted felons, those under 18 for handguns or 21 for constitutional carry, subjects of protective orders, convicted domestic abusers, and intoxicated individuals among other restrictions.
Q7: What is unlawful carry in Georgia?
Carrying a firearm without a GWL permit where required, violating location prohibitions, possession by a convicted felon, and carrying concealed with no permit before constitutional carry – these examples constitute unlawful carry in Georgia.
Q8: Where can’t I possess firearms in Georgia?
Firearms are restricted in certain locations, including school premises, courthouses, airports, and government-owned buildings.