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Gun Laws in Georgia

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I own and carry a gun, particularly when I am going out of town on long trips.

Let's review Georgia's gun laws.

Let's review Georgia's gun laws.

Gun Laws

A firearm can be a very dangerous tool in the hands of the wrong person. Every state has its own gun laws and regulations. For the state of Georgia, the laws are pretty straightforward 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.

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 and possess a firearm unless you meet one of the following criteria 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 group 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 the permission of the landowner, 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 property 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 carrying a gun or concealable firearm without a license include:

  • 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 landowner 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 airlines, 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.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


danny on December 28, 2015:

Have a friend on dui probation can he purchase a gun

kasey on November 10, 2014:

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

Williams k. on March 07, 2013:

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

budone1967 on December 10, 2012:

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

Bob on August 28, 2012:

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

reviewthelaw from Newport Beach , California , 92660 United States on May 25, 2012:

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!

Brian on April 16, 2012:

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.

melissa on September 10, 2011:

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

Jonathan on June 25, 2011:

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.

Walter on June 02, 2011:

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.

Jimmy Hammond on March 11, 2011:

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?

Maddi on January 25, 2011:

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

Twitchit on January 24, 2011:

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.

bluefletch on November 01, 2010:

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!

Pepper on October 30, 2010:

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.

John on September 26, 2010:

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

Can I buy a gun with this charge?

Nick on September 16, 2010:

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

Ashley on August 11, 2010:

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?

bob b. on July 29, 2010:

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.


Rick S on July 27, 2010:

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?

tiffany on July 21, 2010:

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.

wink on July 02, 2010:

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

Rev on February 11, 2010:

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

sean on February 10, 2010:

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

Holy Hunter from Alberta, Canada on February 04, 2010:

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

America seems to have a better time with theirs.

mlowell (author) from Georgia on February 03, 2010:

As long as you can pass the requirements, yes

Brimstone on January 26, 2010:

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?

gil on December 01, 2009:

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

mlowell (author) from Georgia on September 24, 2009:

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.

brent on September 23, 2009:

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

mlowell (author) from Georgia on August 24, 2009:


ObtainingAnFFL on August 22, 2009:

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

Tattoo Kenny on August 18, 2009:

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!

Lynn on April 25, 2009:

What if you ever pleaded nolo?

issues veritas on March 09, 2009:

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.

Ken on March 06, 2009:

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.

steeda4486 on February 13, 2009:

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.

Michael on July 02, 2008:

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.