Georgia is a shall-issue state with concealed weapons permits issued at the county level and filed with the probate court in the county of residence.
There is no permit, background check or firearms registration required when buying a handgun from a private individual.
Open carry is legal in Georgia only with a Georgia Weapons Carry License (WCL) or a concealed carry permit from a state Georgia honors. Some areas are off-limits, including schools and courthouses.
Concealed carry is legal for residents of Georgia with a WCL and non-residents with a license/permit issued by a state that 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 permit 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. The city of Kennesaw has a law enacted in 1982 requiring every head of household within city limits to maintain a firearm. In terms of reciprocity, Georgia reciprocates in recognizing firearms licenses with states that recognize Georgia permits. Typically a permit holder is allowed a 90-day window just before expiration or a 30-day period immediately following expiration to renew without penalty. But all such time limits are now frozen by virtue of a statewide emergency order that went into effect amid the current COVID-19 pandemic. Holders of licenses that expire during the state of emergency period must apply for a renewal license within 120 days of the expiration date on the face of the license.
Defense of Habitation A person is justified in threatening or using force when and to the extent that he or she reasonably believes that such threat or force is necessary to prevent or terminate such other’s unlawful entry into or attack upon a habitation; however, such person is justified in the use of deadly force only if:
The entry is made or attempted in a violent and tumultuous manner for the purpose of assaulting or offering personal violence to any person in the dwelling;
That force is used against another person who is not a member of the family or household and who unlawfully and forcibly enters or has entered the residence; or
The person using such force reasonably believes that the entry is made or attempted for the purpose of committing a felony.
Defense of Property Other Than Habitation A person is justified in threatening or using force when and to the extent that he reasonably believes that such threat or force is necessary to prevent or terminate trespass on or other tortious or criminal interference with real property other than a habitation or personal property:
Lawfully in his possession or in the possession of a member of his immediate family
Belonging to a person whose property he has a legal duty to protect
The use of deadly force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to prevent trespass on or other tortious or criminal interference with real property other than a habitation or personal property is only justified if it is necessary to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.
“Habitation” means any dwelling, motor vehicle or place of business.
“Personal property” means personal property other than a motor vehicle.
Is it legal to own a taser or stun gun in Georgia?
Yes. Stun guns and Tasers are legal to purchase and possess without a permit. However, it is illegal to carry any stun gun or Taser within 1,000 feet of any real property owned by or leased to any public or private K-12 school.
Can you carry a concealed handgun in a vehicle in Georgia?
Yes, any person not prohibited by law from possessing a handgun may carry a weapon openly or concealed without a permit in his or her own vehicle (owned or rented). In a vehicle you do not own, you must have the permission of the person who has legal control of the vehicle.
Can you carry a concealed firearm in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol in Georgia?
Yes. There is no statute making it illegal to concealed carry with a Georgia Weapons Carry License or a license/permit issued by a state that Georgia honors, unless posted.
Carry/Possess at a hotel?
Can you carry or possess a firearm on hotel property in Georgia?
Georgia statutes don't specifically address firearms at hotels. Please note that each hotel develops their own policies and the individual hotel should be contacted to inquire about it's concealed carry policy. See the Handguns at Hotels page for additional information.
Store in a Vehicle in an Employee Parking Lot?
Does Georgia have laws relating to storing firearms in private vehicles in an employee parking lot?
No private or public employer, including the state and its political subdivisions, shall condition employment upon any agreement by a prospective employee that prohibits an employee from entering the parking lot and access thereto when the employee's privately owned motor vehicle contains a firearm or ammunition, or both, that is locked out of sight within the trunk, glove box or other enclosed compartment or area within such privately owned motor vehicle, provided that any applicable employees possess a Georgia weapons carry license. This provision does not apply to an employer providing a secure parking area not accessible to the general public or to an area used for parking on a temporary basis, among other exceptions. In addition, this provision does not restrict the rights of private property owners or persons in legal control of property, and when a private property owner or person in legal control of property is also an employer, his or her rights as a private property owner or person in legal control of property govern.
State law allows a license holder to possess a firearm in a motor vehicle parked in a parking facility of a government entity, courthouse, jail, prison, place of worship, bar or school safety zone, so long as the firearm is in the locked compartment of the vehicle, or in a locked container in or a locked firearms rack on the vehicle.
No definition of brandishing was found in Georgia law. However, a person commits the offense of disorderly conduct when such person acts in a violent or tumultuous manner toward another person whereby such person is placed in reasonable fear of the safety of such person's life, limb or health or acts in a violent or tumultuous manner toward another person whereby the property of such person is placed in danger of being damaged or destroyed.
Does Georgia have laws regarding carrying a concealed firearm while using alcohol or drugs?
Not while under the influence of alcohol (BAC of 0.08 or greater) or any drug or any combination of alcohol and any drug to the extent that it is unsafe for the person to discharge such firearm except in the defense of life, health, and property. In addition, any amount of marijuana or a controlled substance, as defined in GA Code § 16-13-21, present in the person's blood or urine, or both, including the metabolites and derivatives of each or both without regard to whether or not any alcohol is present in the person's breath or blood, is illegal.
As a responsibly armed American, regardless of the laws in your state, it is unwise to carry while under the influence of any substance that could impair your judgement, slow your reaction times or impact your decision-making abilities. Any decision you make while carrying a firearm could have life-altering consequences.
Does Georgia issue concealed carry permits to non-residents?
Yes, but only to members of the military permanently stationed in Georgia.
PUBLIC ACCESS TO CONCEALED CARRY REGISTRY?
Does Georgia allow the public to access concealed carry registry information through public records law?
No. However, the information is available for law enforcement.
Is a permit required to purchase a handgun in Georgia?
No. A permit is not required to purchase a handgun in Georgia.
Background Checks for Private Gun Sales?
Are background checks required for private gun sales in Georgia?
No. Private firearms transfers are not subject to a background check requirement, although federal and state purchaser prohibitions, including age restrictions, still apply. It is recommended that you retain any sales receipts to prove ownership of the gun.
Georgia Permit Exempts from Background Check?
Does my current Georgia concealed carry permit exempt me from needing a background check when I purchase a firearm?
Is there a waiting period after purchasing a handgun in Georgia?
No. There is no waiting period after purchasing a handgun in Georgia.
Do handguns need to be registered in Georgia?
No. Handguns do not need to be registered in Georgia.
Minimum Age to Possess and Transport?
What is the minimum age to possess and transport a handgun in Georgia?
18 years old. A person must be at least 18 years of age to possess and transport a handgun in Georgia.
Note: Firearms must be carried in accordance with the laws of the state you are visiting. Be sure to check the laws of the other state before traveling there with your firearms.
States That Have Restricted Reciprocity with Georgia
Georgia offers resident and non-resident (members of the military permanently stationed in Georgia) permits. If indicated with “Resident only” below, that state only honors Georgia resident permits (and not those issued to non-residents).
Anyone who can legally possess a firearm may carry it concealed in permitless carry states without a permit/license. The minimum age* for permitless carry is shown. Check each state’s page for more information and any restrictions that may apply.
*PC-18 = permitless carry if at least 18 years old
*PC-21 = permitless carry if at least 21 years old
Be at least 21 years of age or 18 if in the military;
Be a resident of the county in which he or she files the application;
Be a U.S. citizen or lawful alien;
Not have been convicted of an offense arising out of the unlawful manufacture or distribution of a controlled substance or other dangerous drug;
Not have been convicted of a felony which has not been pardoned, or against whom felony proceedings are pending;
Not have been under restraint or supervision resulting from a conviction for carrying a weapon without a weapons carry license, carrying a weapon or long gun in an unauthorized location, or a misdemeanor involving the use or possession of a controlled substance during the 5 years immediately preceding the application;
Not have been hospitalized as an inpatient in a mental hospital or alcohol or drug treatment center within the 5 years preceding the application, although the judge retains discretion to issue a license to the individual in some circumstances;
Not be a fugitive from justice;
Not have had a weapons license revoked in the last 3 years; and
Yes, but only to members of the military permanently stationed in Georgia. The process is the same as for residents.
If you would like an updated permit with an address change, and the new address on the updated license is in another county in Georgia, you must attach the following:
A. Affidavit for Name Change or Address Change to Another County B. Supporting Documents
1. For Address Change
A Copy of your Georgia driver's license listing new county of residence; or
2 documents linking your name to the new physical address. One must be directly associated with residence (i.e., a copy of lease, utility bill, etc.)
2. For Name Change
A Copy of your Georgia driver's license noting new name; or
A court order or marriage licenses showing new name.
C. Fees — The fee for an updated permit with address change and/or name change is $6.00. (Payable by check with check number 500+ made payable to Henry County Probate Court or money order.) D. Current Henry County Weapons Carry Permit.
Report it to the judge of the probate court of the county in which it was issued within 48 hours of the time the loss or damage becomes known. The judge of the probate court will issue a cancellation order and provide a replacement license. A replacement fee will be charged.
Moving to Georgia and interested in applying for a resident license? How soon can you apply? Georgia issues licenses to residents and members of the military only. You can apply for your license to the sheriff of your county once you have established your residence in that county. If you have a valid concealed carry license in any other state that recognizes a Georgia weapons carry license, you may carry a weapon in Georgia for 90 days after you become a Georgia state resident provided, however, you carry the weapon in compliance with Georgia laws and you submit a weapons carry license application as soon as practicable, and that you remain licensed in the other state until you obtain your Georgia weapons carry license.
Moving from Georgia and have a Georgia resident license? Does that license transfer to your new state? Is there a grace period during which your Georgia license remains valid? If a person with a Georgia weapons carry license establishes residency in another state, the license expires upon the establishment of residence in the other state.
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.
You can apply to have a license renewed 90 days prior to the expiration date or within 30 days after the license has expired. It is recommended that you go to court to apply for renewal at least 2 months before your license expires. A new application will need to be made if the license is more than 30 days past the expiration date.
Any service member whose weapons carry license or renewal license expired while serving on active duty outside of Georgia shall be authorized to carry any weapon in accordance with such expired license for a period of 6 months from the date of his or her discharge from active duty or reassignment to a location within Georgia.
Law enforcement officers (LEOs) and Retired LEOs (RLEOs) may choose to carry under the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA), often referred to as HR 218. Under 18 U.S. Code §§ 926B & 926C, qualified LEOs and qualified retired LEOs, or those separated from service in good standing, can carry a concealed firearm in any jurisdiction in the United States, regardless of state or local laws, with some exceptions. For details check out our Federal Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) page.
Ga. Code Ann. § 16-11-130exempts LEOs and RLEOs from Georgia’s concealed carry law. The Georgia Peace Officer Standards & Training (POST) Council is responsible for training standards and according to Ch. 464-4-.03.1, a minimum of 3 hours of annual firearms training by a POST-certified instructor are required in addition to annual firearm qualification.
Carry in bars/restaurants that serve alcohol? Yes.
Carry in my vehicle without a permit/license? Yes, in your own vehicle only.
Carry in roadside rest areas? Yes.
Carry on public transportation? Yes.
Carry on a college campus? Yes, inside any building or on real property, owned by or leased to, any public technical school, vocational school, college, university or other public institution of post-secondary education. Guns are still prohibited in the areas of campuses noted below.
Carry in state/national parks, state/national forests and WMAs? Yes.
Where Can't I Carry a Concealed Firearm in Georgia?
Places off-limits even with a permit/license
School safety zones – building or property leased or owned by any public or private elementary, secondary, technical or vocational school, college, university or other institute of post-secondary education (except firearms under the control of a weapons carry license holder in a locked compartment, container or firearms rack in or on a motor vehicle being used by a non-student adult over 21, are allowed);
Specific areas of campuses of higher education, including:
Buildings or property used for athletic sporting events or student housing, including but not limited to, fraternity and sorority houses;
Preschools or child care spaces located on campus;
Rooms or spaces being used for classes related to a college and career academy or other specialized schools,
Rooms or spaces being used for classes in which high school students are enrolled through a dual enrollment program, and
Faculty, staff or administrative offices or rooms where disciplinary proceedings are conducted;
I can legally carry a concealed firearm in Georgia, but can I wear a COVID 19 protective mask while carrying concealed?
Although GCA § 16-11-38 makes it illegal to wear a mask, to conceal the identity of the wearer, on April 13, 2020, the Governor issued Executive Order No. 04.13.20.02 related to the COVID-19 emergency, ordering that the law shall not apply to any person wearing “a mask for the purpose of complying with the guidance of any healthcare agency or to prevent the spread of COVID-19."
CARRY WHILE GUN HUNTING?
Can you concealed carry while shotgun/rifle hunting in Georgia?
Yes. It is unlawful for any person to interfere with the lawful taking of wildlife by another person by intentionally preventing or attempting to prevent such person from such lawful taking of wildlife.
Here at the USCCA, it is our mission to provide responsible gun owners with the tools they need to be educated and trained. Our team is constantly working to provide you with the most up-to-date and comprehensive list of self-defense laws available for every state.
If you have any questions that you don’t see answered here — let us know! Just email [email protected] and we will be sure to get your question resolved. Your feedback matters to us, and we appreciate you helping to make this page the best possible resource for responsible gun owners!
Permit numbers were obtained from the Crime Prevention Resource Center’s publication entitled, “Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States.” Numbers include resident and non-resident permits for those states that issue both.
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.
If you have any questions regarding USCCA Membership, Delta Defense, handguns laws or the lawful process of carrying concealed, please contact the award-winning Delta DefenseCustomer Engagement Team.
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