Thursday, March 30, 2023

Punishment for Carrying a Weapon in Georgia Without a License

Bipper Media

The state of Georgia does not require citizens to obtain a license in order to carry firearms. That means you won’t be charged for carrying a weapon without a license. However, it doesn’t mean there aren’t rules you must follow regarding carrying a firearm.

Do You Have to Have a License to Carry a Weapon in Georgia?

As of April 12, 2022, Georgia enacted the Constitutional Carry Act, permit-less carry legislation that allows anyone legally eligible to own a firearm to carry that firearm on their person wherever such weapons are not prohibited. 

Basically, this means that if you are able to purchase a gun in Georgia, you can carry that gun with you wherever you go, with some exceptions. Hospitals, schools, government buildings, public parks, etc., may have individual or state-backed restrictions making it illegal to bring a firearm on those properties. 

What Is a Weapons Carry License? 

The freedom to possess and carry a firearm without a license does not necessarily extend to other states. If you wish to travel outside Georgia with your weapon, you can obtain a Weapons Carry License (WCL), also called a firearms license. This permit allows you to carry a concealed firearm in other states, so long as those states practice firearm permit reciprocity with Georgia.

Such states include: Alabama, Alaska*, Arkansas, Arizona*, Colorado*, Florida*, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana*, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia*, West Virginia, Wisconsin*, and Wyoming. 

*Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Virginia, and Wisconsin only recognize WCLs issued to individuals at least 21 years of age. 

It’s important to note, however, that while these states may honor your legal right to concealed carry, their laws regarding firearms, their use, and the role they play in violent altercations may differ from Georgia. 

What Are the Rules for Carrying a Weapon in Georgia?

While Georgians may not be required to obtain a license allowing them to carry a gun in public, there are still some laws regarding firearms. 

For example, you must be 18 years of age or older in order to possess a firearm. Shotguns and rifles are the exceptions to this rule, as there is no minimum age for legal possession of either of these weapons. 

There are also requirements and limitations for purchasing a firearm in Georgia. 

You Must: 

  • Be 21 years or older
  • Military members, whether active duty or honorably discharged, must be 18 years or older
  • Be a United States citizen or have proof of legal residency
  • Have no disqualifying convictions (felonies, drug convictions, etc.) or pending criminal proceedings
  • Have never been forcibly (against your will) committed to a mental facility
  • Have not been in a mental hospital (willingly) or drug/alcohol treatment center in the last 5 years

There are certain firearms, however, that are illegal for anyone to purchase, possess, or carry in the state of Georgia. Bazookas, machine guns, sawed-off shotguns, sawed-off rifles, and rocket launchers are all prohibited by law. 

Are There Any Restrictions to Gun Carry?

With no laws requiring any kind of permit or licensure in order to carry a firearm, the burden of determining whether or not someone should be allowed to carry a weapon lies with the seller of that weapon. 

Anyone seeking to purchase a firearm from a licensed seller, such as a gun shop, department store, etc., must undergo a background check. There is no mandatory waiting period, but background checks are not instantaneous. You may be able to walk home with your new gun same-day, or you may have to wait a few days, depending on where you purchase from. 

Private sales, however, are exempt from the background-check requirement. Private sales, including person-to-person sales, gun shows, etc., are not regulated in the state of Georgia. 

Experienced Gun Crime Attorneys in Georgia

While you may be safe from permitless carry charges in Georgia, that doesn’t mean you can’t get charged with another gun-related crime. If that happens, you need a seasoned defense lawyer in your corner. At Jarrett Maillet J.D., P.C., we have over ten years of experience on both sides of the courtroom that we’ll leverage to help you build the best possible case. Contact us today to schedule a consultation. 

Jarrett Maillet J.D., P.C.
210 E 31st St
Savannah, GA 31401




Attorney Jarrett Maillet
Attorney Jarrett Maillethttps://www.mailletcriminallaw.com/
At Jarrett Maillet J.D., P.C. we bring over 10 years of experience in the field of criminal law.

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