Whether you’re new to owning a firearm or have had a gun for home defense for years, getting a concealed carry license may seem daunting. It doesn’t have to be. There are many reasons and ways to carry a concealed weapon, but the first step is knowing the laws. Applying for a CCW varies by state. Read about the process for getting a Georgia Weapons Carry License (WCL) below.
Similar to license requirements, states vary greatly in their processes for how an applicant obtains a concealed carry license, what their permits/licenses are called, whether licenses include photographs, whether fingerprinting is required, license duration, license costs and turnaround times. Some states allow an applicant to complete an application online, while others require an in-person visit to the office of the respective issuing authority. There are even states that require the applicant to provide a list of non-related character references.
Concealed Carry License Basics
Georgia is a shall-issue state with concealed weapons licenses issued at the county level and filed with the probate court in the county of residence. Shall-issue means the licensing authorities in Georgia are compelled to issue a license as long as an applicant meets the basic requirements set out by state law. There is no license, background check or firearms registration required when buying a handgun from a private individual.
Both open carry and concealed carry are legal in Georgia with a Georgia Weapons Carry License (WCL) or a concealed carry permit from a state Georgia honors. There is no firearms training required to obtain a Georgia WCL. You must be at least 21 years old (18 for members of the military) to get a concealed carry license in Georgia. No license is needed to carry a handgun in a person’s home, vehicle, place of business, while fishing or hunting, or unloaded in a case. In terms of reciprocity, Georgia reciprocates in recognizing firearms licenses with states that recognize Georgia licenses. A WCL is valid for five years.
Federally Prohibited Persons
The Federal Gun Control Act of 1968 and the Federal Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997 make it illegal for a person who fits into any of the prohibited categories to ship, transport, receive or possess firearms or ammunition. These laws prevent a state from issuing a concealed carry license/license as it would be illegal for people who fit in these categories, by federal law, to own or possess a gun.
What Are the License Requirements in Georgia?
An applicant must:
- Be at least 21 years of age or, if in the military be 18, have completed basic training and can provide proof of being on active duty or having been honorably discharged
- Be a Georgia resident
- Be a U.S. citizen or legal resident
- Have no felony convictions or pending criminal proceedings
- Have no drug convictions (Examples: using or possessing drugs, making drugs, distributing a controlled substance)*
- Have no other disqualifying convictions (Examples: carrying a concealed weapon without a license, domestic violence)*
- Have not been in a mental hospital or drug or alcohol treatment center within the last five years*
- Have not been committed to a mental hospital against your will
- Meet federal law requirements
*In some situations, you can ask for approval from the county probate judge. Consult with an attorney if you have any questions about your eligibility. If you don’t have an attorney, you can find one by contacting the State Bar of Georgia.
Do I Need Firearms Training in Georgia?
No firearms training is required in Georgia. However, the USCCA recommends that anyone who makes the choice to carry a concealed firearm obtain as much training as possible in order to be a responsibly armed American.
How Do I Get a Concealed Carry License in Georgia?
Step 1: Complete the application online or, if your county isn’t listed online, make an appointment with the probate court in your county.
Step 2: You will need the following documents in order to submit your application:
- Completed application form
- Proof of Georgia residency for residents
- Copy of birth certificate or U.S. passport
- Driver’s license or state ID card
Provide your fingerprints. (Depending on the probate court’s process, it will either take your fingerprints there or give you a Law Enforcement Affidavit to have your fingerprints taken at a Police Department. You will need to do this within five days of submitting your application).
Pay the fee.
Step 3: You will be notified if your application has been approved.
For more information, visit the USCCA Georgia gun laws page now…
The information contained on this website is provided as a service to USCCA, Inc. members and the concealed carry community, and does not constitute legal advice. Although we attempt to address all areas of concealed carry laws in all states, we make no claims, representations, warranties, promises or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information disclosed. Legal advice must always be tailored to the individual facts and circumstances of each individual case. Laws are constantly changing, and as such, nothing contained on this website should be used as a substitute for the advice of a lawyer.