An Overview of Firearm Laws in Georgia

Georgia has generally relaxed firearm restrictions and protects citizens’ right to bear arms. However, it’s vital to understand the firearm laws in Georgia if you intend to carry a weapon that’s either open-carried or concealed. Gun owners should educate themselves thoroughly about proper firearm use, maintenance, care, storage, and best practices. Even an honest mistake can lead to entanglements with law enforcement, fines, or even jail time. Not knowing the law is not an excuse if you break it, so we’ve outlined the firearm laws in Georgia for your review.


Most individuals over the age of 21 may carry a weapon with a Georgia weapons carry permit. Military personnel over the age of 18 who have completed basic training may also carry a weapon. In order to obtain a weapons carry license in Georgia, you will need a valid, state-issued photo ID and pass a background check. Unlike other states, there is no waiting period if you wish to purchase a firearm as long as you pass your background check and are not otherwise prohibited from possessing a weapons carry license.

Some individuals are not permitted to have a weapons carry license, and are thereby prohibited from carrying firearms. Such ineligible individuals include:

  • Any individual who is not permitted to own a firearm under federal laws.
  • Anyone facing felony charges.
  • Anyone who has been previously convicted of a felony.
  • Fugitives from the law.
  • Any individual convicted of any controlled substance crimes.
  • Any individual who resided in a mental hospital within five years.
  • Any person who has been adjudicated incompetent or insane in a trial in the last five years.
  • Anyone who has a previous weapons-related felony charge.
  • Any person who has had a weapons carry license revoked. If your license is revoked for any reason, you do not get another chance to own a firearm.

Individuals who meet any of these criteria are legally prohibited from obtaining a weapons carry permit. If you are found in possession of a firearm without a valid weapons carry license, you may potentially face heavy fines, up to five years in prison for felony weapons charges, or both.


There are some establishments and areas in Georgia where firearms are strictly prohibited, even for weapons carry license holders. In April 2014, Georgia House Bill 60 removed several areas from this list, such as places of worship, bars, state schools, and some non-secured zones in airports. As long as the property owner does not explicitly ban weapons on his or her premises, licensed weapons owners may carry weapons on the grounds. The areas where firearms are totally prohibited include:

  • Polling places, or within 150 feet of any polling place.
  • Nuclear power plants.
  • Any government building that requires visitor screenings, such as courthouses.
  • Prisons and jails.
  • Mental health facilities and grounds.

Georgia follows the “ Stand Your Ground ” law, meaning that you have the right to use deadly force in self-defense if you reasonably believe your life is in danger. You also are permitted to use deadly force to defend the lives of others from aggressive acts of violence. Additionally, law enforcement officers must have a reasonable suspicion in order to detain a citizen and check his or her weapons carry license status.


Gun carry violations in Georgia are serious and the penalties are steep. If you’re facing any weapons charges , legal representation is vital. Without competent and experienced legal counsel, you might face hefty fines, a prison sentence of up to five years, or both. At Jarrett Maillet J.D., P.C., we know criminal defense. Our defense attorneys are former prosecutors, so we know exactly what type of defense you’ll need to ensure your freedom and rights are protected. Reach out to us if you have any questions about Georgia firearm laws or wish to discuss a case.