Georgia permits most people in the state an opportunity to purchase and possess firearms if they want to do so. However, Georgia also has numerous criminal statutes regarding the purchase, possession, and use of firearms that may result in prison terms if convicted.
An Alpharetta gun lawyer can assist if you are charged with violating any of Georgia’s or the federal firearms laws. A skilled criminal defense lawyer will be essential help in building a strong defense to your charges.Background Checks for Firearms
In Alpharetta, a permit is not required if you wish to purchase or possess a shotgun, rifle, or handgun. A background check is required, however for any firearm purchase. When someone purchases a firearm from a licensed gun dealer, the dealer must check the buyer’s background.
Generally, the background process is quick and easy. The dealer will only need a buyer’s driver’s license or state-issued identification card in order to run the background check. The background check is conducted at the time the purchase is made. If the dealer cannot get the background check completed within three days from the date of purchase the dealer must give the firearm to the buyer regardless of the background check.
Individual, unlicensed firearm sellers do not have to conduct a background check. The only requirement for an unlicensed seller is that they are prohibited from knowingly selling a firearm to someone who is prohibited from having one. If a seller does, they can be charged with a felony.Unlawful Possession
Georgia permits people to have a firearm in their home, car, and place of employment. It is illegal however to carry a concealed weapons without a permit into certain locations.
For example, Georgia law prohibits anyone who does not have a license to carry a firearm from entering places such as the courthouse, mental health institutions, places of worship, historical sites, and other similar types of places. An Alpharetta gun attorney can help someone to understand the specific gun laws in their area.
A person must first be photographed, fingerprinted, and undergo a criminal background check in order to obtain the permit. A permit will not be allowed until these items are complete. It takes approximately 30 days to complete the process for a permit. Once the permit is issued, the person can enter the places listed above with their firearm.Firearm Licensing Exceptions
Most people do not have a problem obtaining the necessary clearance to possess a firearm. There are though, people who are prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm. If a prohibited person possesses a firearm, they may be charged with a misdemeanor for the first offense and a felony for the second and any subsequent offenses.
Some of the licensing prohibitions are:
- Individuals convicted of felonies
- Those who have prior convictions for possession of a controlled substance
- People who have previous convictions for carrying a weapon without a license
- Anyone under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Minors and anyone under the age of twenty-one
- Defendants who have been determined to be mentally incompetent to stand trial
As with most areas of law, there are exceptions to the prohibitions listed. If you are charged with a firearm offense, contact an Alpharetta gun lawyer today to discuss how the laws apply to your case and how best to proceed.