Carrying a Weapon Without a License

Have You Been Charged with Carrying a Weapon Without a License in Georgia?

Georgia has a myriad of laws relating to the possession or sale of handguns, long guns, or other weapons. The penalties range from misdemeanor charges to felony charges with lengthy prison terms and extensive fines. It is critical to understand Georgia's weapon laws and where to turn if you find yourself arrested.

In 2022, Georgia passed legislation known as "permitless carry," eliminating longstanding regulations that previously mandated individuals to obtain a license (referred to as a "weapons carry license") through a fingerprint background check to carry concealed loaded firearms in public spaces.

As of April 12, 2022, Georgia generally allows any "lawful weapons carrier" to openly or carry handguns in most public spaces without the need for a background check or permit. Furthermore, Georgia law defines a "lawful weapons carrier" as someone who:

  1. Would be eligible for a weapons carry license under Georgia law (whether or not they have a license), and is not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing a handgun or longun;
  2. Is a resident of any other state who would be eligible to obtain a weapons carry license under Georgia law, but not for the residency requirement; or
  3. Is licensed to carry a weapon in any other state. 

How to Apply for a Weapons Carry License in Georgia

The weapons carry license issuance is generally overseen by a probate court judge, who must grant a license to applicants meeting minimum qualifications, with some discretionary authority to deny based on the applicant's moral character. Eligibility criteria include, but are not limited to:

  • At least 21 years old
  • Has not been convicted of a felony or have a pending court case for a felony 
  • Is not a fugitive 
  • Is not prohibited from posessing a firearm under federal law
  • Has not had his or her weapons carry license revoked within 3 years of the date of application
  • Has not been hospitalized as an inpatient in a mental health or drug treatment center within the 5 years preceding the application
  • Has not been convicted of an offense related to the unlawful manufacture or distribution of a controlled substance or other dangerous drug 

The application process involves a criminal history records check, and the judge must issue a license within a specified timeframe unless eligibility issues are identified.

Georgia allows individuals previously barred from obtaining weapons licenses due to mental health reasons to petition for relief. A court hearing considers various factors, and if relief is granted, the decision is reported to the Georgia Crime Information Center.

Notably, Georgia does not mandate firearm safety training for license applicants.

Weapons carry licenses in Georgia are valid for five years, and renewals follow the same requirements as original licenses, excluding fingerprinting. The disclosure or use of information related to weapons carry licenses is subject to specific rules, and reciprocity under the permitless carry law extends to residents of other states meeting certain criteria.

It's important to note that these details are subject to change, and individuals should verify the current laws and regulations.

Contact Us Today

If you have been charged with violating Georgia's gun laws, call our experienced weapons lawyers in Georgia today. We promise to defend your legal rights and vigorously advocate for your rights! We will work to get the charges against you reduced, or your case dismissed. We have been representing clients for over 25 years in Georgia. Call now for a free no-obligation case evaluation.

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