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Georgia Gun Control Laws

States govern how their residents may purchase, own, and use firearms, including which types of guns and weapons are prohibited. Georgia gun control laws are relatively mild, with no waiting period to buy guns (but a 60-day waiting period for a license to carry a handgun). As in most other states, Georgia law prohibits convicted felons and mentally ill individuals from owning firearms.

Georgia Gun Laws at a Glance

Learn more about Georgia gun control laws in the following summary table. See Details on State Gun Control Laws for more general information.

Relevant Statutes (Laws)

Illegal Arms

It's illegal to possess the following arms in Georgia:

  • Sawed-off shotgun or rifle
  • Machine gun
  • Dangerous weapon ("rocket launcher," "bazooka" or "recoilless rifle," "mortar," "hand grenade") or silencer

Waiting Period

None, but you have to wait 60 days to get a license to carry.

Who May Not Own

  • People with a felony conviction
  • People convicted of an offense arising out of possession, manufacture, or use of a controlled substance
  • A fugitive from justice
  • Persons with pending proceedings for a felony, forcible misdemeanor, or for carrying a deadly weapon within a school safety zone or at a public gathering
  • Anyone under 18 years old
  • Anyone hospitalized as an inpatient at any mental hospital or drug or alcohol treatment center within 5 years of applying for a gun license

License Required?

A license is not required to possess a firearm in Georgia.

Concealed Carry License Required?

  • Residents can carry with a WCL
  • Non-residents need a license issued by a state that Georgia honors

Open Carried Allowed?

  • Open carry is allowed if you have a Georgia Weapons Carry License (WCL) or a concealed carry permit from a state Georgia accepts.
  • Open carry is not allowed in certain premises like schools and courthouses.

Eligibility for a Concealed Carry License

  • You must be 21 years old.
  • You must be a citizen or a permanent resident of the United States.
  • You can't have any felony convictions.
  • You can't have a criminal record involving the use or manufacture of any controlled substance.
  • You can't be a subject of a restraining order due to:
    • Possessing a firearm without a permit
    • Possessing a firearm in an off-limit area
    • A misdemeanor for the use of drugs five years before the permit application
  • You must be mentally fit.
  • You must not be a fugitive or have an arrest warrant.
  • You must not have your firearm permit revoked within three years before filing your application.
  • You must meet other federal law requirements needed for a CCW permit.

Machine Gun Laws

You can possess a machine gun if it is registered as required by federal law.

Penalties for Illegal Firearm Possession

  • People with a felony conviction can face from 1 to 5 years in prison for possession of a firearm.
  • People who possess weapons that are unlawful can be sentenced to up to 5 years in prison.
  • If you carry a firearm without a license you could face:
    • A misdemeanor and up to $1,000 in fines and one year in prison if it's your first offense.
    • Second or subsequent offenses are charged as felonies and you could face a sentence of 1 to 5 years in prison.

Penalties for Illegal Possession on or Near School Grounds

 16-11-127.1: Illegal possession on or near school grounds is a felony.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Learn More About Georgia Gun Control Laws From an Attorney

Even with Georgia's fairly mild gun laws, there are always issues that arise from this area of law. If you have concerns about whether you can carry a gun in Georgia, or if you're dealing with charges for a gun permit violation, then you should talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney near you today.

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