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Georgia Background Check and Gun Laws

Subject/Law
Long guns
Handguns
Relevant Statutes
Notes
State Permit to Purchase? No No None  
Firearm registration? No No None  
"Assault weapon" law? No No None  
Owner license required? No No None  
Carry permits issued? No Yes OCGA §16-11-129 Concealed or open carry allowed with permit. See also OCGA §43-38-10 which is a special permit for armed security guards.
State Preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes OCGA §16-11-173 Despite state preemption, several localities continue to have local gun restrictions. Recent court rulings have resulted in many of these ordinances being withdrawn.
NFA weapons restricted? No No None  
Peaceable Journey laws? No No None Federal rules observed.
Unlicensed open carry? Yes No OCGA 16-11-128 A Georgia Firearms License (GFL), or a recognized out-of-state permit, is required for open carry of any pistol or revolver outside of one's home, motor vehicle, or place of business.

 

Georgia is a "shall issue" state, and issues firearms permits to residents through a county probate court. 
 
Georgia recognizes permits from any other state which recognizes Georgia's permit, provided the non-resident individual would meet the eligibility requirements for a Georgia Firearms License as a resident.
 
Vehicle carry is allowed if the possessor is eligible for a permit. An eligible person without a permit must keep a firearm unloaded in a case separated from ammunition, or loaded and fully exposed to view (Lindsey vs State of Georgia indicates that the firearm must be fully visible to all possible observers), or loaded in a closed compartment of the vehicle. Permit holders may carry a firearm open or concealed anywhere within a vehicle.
 
State preemption laws prohibit localities from regulating the ownership, transportation, and possession of firearms. Georgia also has a law preventing localities from enacting ordinances or lawsuits to classify gun ranges as nuisances.
Firearm regulations are uniform throughout the state, and a firearms permit is valid throughout the state, in all areas other than in a few specially-defined areas. These specially-defined prohibited areas include:
  • federally-controlled areas (such as national parks, inside the boundaries of which guns must be kept securely locked)
  • nuclear power facilities
  • any federal buildings or property
  • any public gathering (includes, but is not limited to, athletic or sporting events, churches or church functions, political rallies and/or functions, publicly owned or operated buildings)
  • any place licensed to sell alcohol for consumption on premises (excluding restaurants that serve alcohol)
  • wildlife management areas, except by a licensed hunter in an appropriate open season (not during a primitive weapon season)
  • any school building or grounds (except for authorized teachers and staff)
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