“A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. The individual right to keep and bear arms shall not be denied or infringed by the state or political subdivision of the State.”
AT A GLANCE
Georgia is a shall-issue state with concealed weapons permits issued at the county level. There is no permit, background check or firearms registration required when buying a handgun from a private individual. Open carry is legal in Georgia only with a Georgia Weapons Carry License (WCL) or a concealed carry permit from a state Georgia honors. Concealed carry is legal for residents with a WCL and non-residents with a license/permit issued by a state that Georgia honors. You must be at least 21 years old (18 for members of the military) to get a concealed carry permit in Georgia. Georgia is a Castle Doctrine state and has a “stand your ground” statute. There is no duty to retreat.
By statute, Georgia will recognize another state’s license to carry if that state recognizes Georgia’s license:
“Any person licensed to carry a handgun or weapon in any other state whose laws recognize and give effect to a license issued pursuant to this part shall be authorized to carry a weapon in this state, but only while the licensee is not a resident of this state; provided, however, that such licensee shall carry the weapon in compliance with the laws of this state.”
Duty To Notify Police Officer
Georgia does not require individuals to inform a LEO of a permit or license to carry immediately on contact, but if an Officer asks about a weapon, by law, an answer must be supplied. You must carry your license, together with valid identification, at all times in which You are in actual possession of a firearm and must display both the license and proper identification upon demand by a LEO.
Carrying Firearms In Vehicles
Georgia allows anyone who is legally allowed to possess firearms to carry them in their vehicles, without a permit. In the case of long guns, the firearm must either be unloaded or plainly visible from outside the vehicle if loaded. In the case of handguns, they must be unloaded and enclosed in a case. If You do not have a permit/license honored in Georgia, You can only carry a firearm in Your own vehicle. If You are riding in a vehicle that is not Yours, You must have permission of the person who has legal control of the vehicle.
Georgia permits ownership of all NFA items, provided they are legally obtained pursuant to federal law. Hunting with suppressors is legal.
Georgia has both Castle Doctrine and SYG laws. There is no duty to retreat when attacked in any place You have a legal right to be, and You may use deadly force in self-defense if You reasonably believe it is imminently necessary to prevent death or SBI, the commission of a forcible felony, or to stop the unlawful & forcible entry into Your dwelling, residence, or occupied motor vehicle.
Carry In Restaurants That Serve Alcohol
There is no law stating it is illegal. You can carry in a restaurant that serves alcohol. Places like Fridays or Chili’s unless they have a “No Gun Sign,” then it is suggested that you not carry into the establishment. This does not include a bar or the bar area of a restaurant. You can carry Your firearm into a restaurant that serves alcohol, but you are prohibited from consuming alcohol while carrying a firearm.
Do “No Gun Signs” Have The Force Of Law?
“No Firearm” signs in Georgia do not have the force of law unless they are posted on property that is specifically mentioned in state law as being off limits to those with a permit/license to carry. However, as a possessor with a real property interest, a retailer, has the right to limit, and qualify the right to enter the property, subject to not carrying a handgun. It would be improper to enter, and the licensee would be subject to ejection for possession of a handgun thereat. Failure to leave once requested would subject the licensee to arrest for criminal trespass.
Open carry is legal in Georgia but you must have a valid CCP to open carry. In Georgia it is not against the law for You to possess a firearm without a valid weapon carry license inside Your home, motor vehicle or place of business.
Note: A comprehensive gun law was passed in 2014 that, among other things, prohibits the police and National Guard from disarming citizens during a State of Emergency, prohibits public housing from banning guns on their premises, allows the use of suppressors while hunting, allows felons to use deadly force in self-defense, and allows license holders to carry firearms in unsecured areas of airports, but not to take them through security.
DISCLAIMER: The Gun Laws by State Guide (GLBSG) was created to provide its readers with a general educational resource tool to explore the pertinent gun laws in Your jurisdiction.
However, the GLBSG was not researched and/or written by attorneys as a specific legal guide to rely upon. Instead, it is a starting point for your own research. In addition, all laws are always subject to reasonable, but different, legal interpretation as to meaning and application.
As such, the GLBSG is not intended to supplant, nor limit, Your need for independent verification of any and all material contained herein and consultation with competent counsel of choice regarding any specific issues.
This type of specific legal analysis is necessarily beyond the general educational objective of the GLBSG and for which a bar-admitted attorney in the particular state(s) is needed and required. The content of this GLBSG is a general restatement of the law.
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