Georgia’s Firearms Laws
There are no registration laws in Georgia. If you have recently purchased a firearm, or moved to Georgia, there is no need to register it.
Purchasing A Firearm
All that is needed to purchase a firearm in Georgia is a valid Georgia state ID. You will also need to pass a background check unless you have a valid Georgia Weapons License (or a weapons license from a state with which Georgia has reciprocity). If you purchase or sell a firearm through a private sale, instead of a licensed dealer, no background check is necessary. There is no waiting period to purchase a firearm in Georgia.
Carrying In Public
If you have a Georgia Weapons License you can carry openly or conceal your firearm in public freely with the following restrictions:
- You cannot carry in church unless your church specifically allows it.
- You can carry in restaurants, bars or other businesses but the business has the right to ask you to leave. If a business asks you not to carry in their establishment or has posted a sign stating “no firearms” or something to that affect, you must obey their policies.
- You cannot carry at state parks, or historic areas of wildlife management that are controlled by the Army Corps of Engineers.
- You cannot carry in government buildings that are restricted or screened by security personnel.
- You cannot carry in secured areas of airports. However, you can carry in nonsecured areas.
- You have the right to use deadly force if you feel your life or safety is in danger.
- You may not carry in schools. However, you can carry a gun while picking up or dropping off a student, and leave a firearm in your car while parked on the school’s campus.
Police may NOT detain you for the sole purpose of determining whether you possess a Georgia Weapons License.
Public housing facilities may NOT prohibit you from possessing a lawful firearm.
Carrying Without A Georgia Weapons License
You do not need a Georgia Weapons License to own, possess or carry a firearm. If you do not have a GWL, you can carry in the following places:
- Your home
- Your business
- Any private vehicle (as long as you are eligible for a permit)
If you have a valid fishing or hunting license, or are engaged in legal hunting on private property, you may carry a firearm.
Criminal Convictions And Firearm Possession
Felony convictions: If you have been convicted of a felony in any state or in federal court – or have felony charges pending against you – it is illegal to possess a gun in Georgia unless you have been pardoned and your pardon expressly allowed firearm possession.
Restraining orders: Georgia law does not expressly prohibit domestic violence abusers from purchasing or possessing a gun. However, federal law does prohibit the possession of firearms by domestic violence abusers in certain circumstances.
Drug crimes: If you were convicted of manufacturing or distributing drugs, it is illegal to possess or buy a gun. If you were convicted of misdemeanor drug possession and have been convicted of a second drug crime, a weapons charge or have been under supervision in the past five years, you cannot possess or buy a gun.
Illegal gun possession: If you were convicted of illegally carrying without a license and were under supervision for the crime in the past five years, you cannot possess or buy a gun.
Mental health issues: If you have been found mentally incompetent to stand trial by a judge, or were deemed not guilty by reason of insanity, you cannot possess or purchase a gun.