Almost half of Georgia homes have a gun in them. But if you want to take that weapon with you when you leave home, you need to be aware of and follow Georgia concealed carry laws.
In Georgia, getting a carry license is quick and easy as long as you can pass a criminal background check. But even with a license, you need to know where and how you can carry to ensure you are following the laws.
Let’s take a look at the current rules about concealed carry in Georgia and how to ensure you are properly licensed there.
How to Get a License
Georgia is what is called a “shall issue” state, meaning the state has to give you a Georgia concealed carry permit if you meet the qualifications. The state has the obligation to show you shouldn’t have the license rather than you proving you should.
Weapons Carry Licenses are issued at the county level rather than the state level and filed with the probate court where you live. A concealed carry license is valid for five years, as are renewals.
The application process is fairly simple in Georgia. Once you have submitted your application, the probate court judge has five business days to request a criminal background check on you. The report must come back to the judge within 30 days to say whether or not there is anything that would keep you from being eligible for a license.
Within 10 days after receiving the report, the judge issues the license to carry any weapon unless there are other facts that have come to light that establish ineligibility.
Who Can Get a License
In 2010, the legislature loosened Georgia concealed carry laws a bit as to who is eligible for a license. The main requirement is that you must be 21 years old.
There is no requirement for firearms training or to demonstrate competence.
You can be denied a license for the following reasons, among others:
- Having a felony conviction
- Having pending proceedings for a felony
- Are prohibited from owning a firearm under federal laws
- Had your carry license revoked in the past three years
- Were admitted to a mental hospital or addiction treatment center in the past five years.
What and Where to Carry
The Georgia gun laws require that you have a valid carry license in your possession at all times when carrying a handgun. Georgia does not allow constitutional carry, which means you must have a license to carry a weapon.
Georgia allows both open and concealed carry with a WCL. Without the permit, you can only carry a weapon unloaded and enclosed in a case. Knives are also covered by a WCL.
You are not allowed to carry at schools or into courthouses. Churches, sporting events, political rallies, and polling places are also on the list of locations where concealed weapons are prohibited. You should always check the list to ensure you know where carry is currently allowed.
Concealed weapons are allowed at state parks, bars, and restaurants that serve alcohol. Businesses can post “no weapons allowed” signs, but they are not enforced as part of the laws.
Georgia shares reciprocal agreements with many other states, but the specific rules about where you can carry might be different in another state. You can always check for reciprocity here before you travel.
Understand Georgia Concealed Carry Law
If you want to carry a concealed handgun in Georgia, it’s important to understand the licensing laws and how to get one so you can do so legally. Georgia concealed carry is one of the more flexible sets of gun laws in the country, making it easy to get a license and having limited restrictions on where you can carry.
If you found this article helpful, check out others on our site related to legal issues and your rights.