Georgia Gun Laws
Georgia has specific gun laws that every resident and visitor should be aware of. Whether you are a gun owner or someone interested in carrying concealed weapons in the state, understanding these laws is crucial. Here’s an overview of Georgia’s concealed carry reciprocity and its gun laws:
MINIMUM AGE TO CC
YEARS LICENSE VALID
STAND YOUR GROUND
Age Requirements and Applications
To legally carry a firearm in Georgia, you must be at least 21 years old, or 18 if you’re an active member of the military. Applications for concealed carry permits can be filed at residence county courts and are processed at the county level.
Where You Can Carry
In Georgia, you don’t need a license to carry a firearm in your own home, vehicle, place of business, while fishing or hunting, or when the firearm is unloaded and in a case.
Kennesaw City Ordinance
An interesting and unique ordinance exists in Kennesaw City, GA, which states that all homeowners must own a firearm. However, this ordinance is unlikely to be strictly enforced.
Georgia’s Reciprocity Law
On April 12, 2022, Governor Kemp approved HB 218, making concealed carry permits from other states valid in Georgia, thereby recognizing concealed carry reciprocity with other states.
As of April 12th, 2022, Georgia became a constitutional carry state. This means that individuals are allowed to carry firearms openly or concealed without a permit.
Open Carry Permitted
Georgia permits open carry for individuals with a Georgia Weapons Carry License (WCL) or a recognized permit from a reciprocal state. However, the bill SB 319, which turned Georgia into a Constitutional Carry state, does not specifically mention open carry.
Carry in Vehicle
Individuals in Georgia may openly or concealed carry a firearm in their vehicle without a permit, as long as they are legally allowed to possess a firearm.
Carry in State Parks
Concealed carry is allowed within various state and national parks, forests, and wildlife areas as long as the individual possesses the appropriate permits.
Carry in Restaurants
Georgia gun laws do not explicitly prohibit individuals from carrying firearms into restaurants or bars as long as they have a Georgia WCL or a permit from a reciprocal state.
No Weapon Sign Enforcement
Georgia gun laws do not mention the enforcement of “No Weapons” signage. However, individuals should exercise caution and respect such signs when encountered.
Duty to Inform Officers
Georgia does not have a duty to inform law within its code. However, if you are carrying concealed and approached by a law enforcement officer, you must provide appropriate permits and identification if asked.
Georgia CCW Reciprocity List
States Honoring Georgia CCW Permits
- New Hampshire
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
(* Restricted Reciprocity with Georgia)
States NOT Honoring Georgia CCW Permits
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- Rhode Island
- Washington D.C
How Reciprocity Works In Georgia
Reciprocity Agreements In Georgia allow CCW holders from certain states to carry concealed weapons legally in Georgia. It’s important to understand where you can and cannot carry your firearm in the state:
- State parks
- State and national forests
- Roadside rest areas
- All areas of the state not listed as Off-Limits
Places Not Allowed
- School bus
- School function
- School safety zone – building or property leased or owned by any public or private elementary, secondary, technical, or vocational school, college, university, or other institute of post-secondary education
- Secured area of an airport
- In a courthouse
- In a government building if restricted by security personnel
- In a church or place of worship
- In a jail or prison
- In a state mental health facility
- On the premises of a nuclear power facility
- Within 150 feet of any polling place when elections are being conducted
- Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by Federal Law.
Georgia: Conceal Carry Laws
Yes, open carry is legal in Georgia if you have a CCW license. The license allows you to carry in any way, open or concealed. If you do not have a CCW license then you are not permitted to openly carry in Georgia.
Carry In Vehicle
Yes, you can openly or conceal carry a firearm in your vehicle without a license. The law says you can only carry a firearm on your own property, this includes your vehicle, so when you leave the vehicle you will need a carry license. The law specifically states you need a carry license “outside your property” (The Law § 16.11.126).
Carry In State Parks
Yes, it is legal to carry in state parks, state/national forests, state game management units, and roadside rest areas (The Law § 16.11.127).
Carry In Restaurants
Yes, you can conceal carry your firearm in restaurants that serve alcohol. Some restaurants may be posted with “NO GUN” signs, but as long as you have a Georgia WCL or a permit issued from a reciprocal state, you are legally allowed to carry (The Law § 16.11.127).
Yes, Georgia is now a constitutional carry state. This means that individuals are allowed to carry firearms openly or concealed without a permit (The Law § 16.11.126).
No Weapon Signs Enforced
No, “No Weapons” signs are not mentioned in Georgia gun laws. There are no legal penalties for entering a private property or business that has posted these signs, unless they are posted in areas that are mentioned by the law as being off-limits.
Must Notify Officer
No, there is nothing in Georgia gun laws that state you must inform a law enforcement officer you have a firearm when approached on official business. The law does state that you must carry your permit at all times when in actual possession of a concealed handgun.
Knowing the ins and outs of Georgia’s concealed carry reciprocity and gun laws is crucial for anyone who wishes to carry firearms legally in the state. With Georgia becoming a constitutional carry state, it opens up new possibilities for responsible gun owners. However, it is essential to respect the laws and regulations in place to ensure the safety of oneself and others.
1. Can I carry a firearm without a permit in Georgia?
Yes, after Georgia became a constitutional carry state, individuals are allowed to carry firearms openly or concealed without a permit.
2. Are there any places where I cannot carry my firearm in Georgia?
Yes, certain places are off-limits for carrying firearms in Georgia, such as school buses, government buildings, and nuclear power facilities, among others.
3. Can I carry a firearm in state parks and forests in Georgia?
Yes, concealed carry is allowed within various state and national parks, forests, and wildlife areas in Georgia if you have the appropriate permits.
4. Are “No Weapons” signs enforced in Georgia?
No, “No Weapons” signs are not specifically mentioned in Georgia gun laws, and there are no legal penalties for entering places with such signs unless explicitly stated by the law.
5. Do I need to inform a law enforcement officer if I have a firearm in Georgia?
No, there is no duty to inform law enforcement officers about carrying a firearm in Georgia. However, you must carry your permit at all times when in possession of a concealed handgun.