Although the Second Amendment protects the rights of all US citizens to keep and bear arms, everyone who owns a gun must still comply with all applicable state laws in exercising that right. There are many rules and restrictions relating to the sale, transportation, and use of firearms in the state of Georgia, the violation of which can have serious consequences.
In order to lawfully carry a handgun outside of your private residence, you must apply for and obtain a Georgia Weapons Carry License (GWL) from your local courthouse.
Seeking Legal Counsel
Atlanta gun lawyers have experience dealing with many different matters related to the lawful ownership of firearms, and can assist in a variety of difficult situations, including criminal charges involving the discharge of a weapon.
Although Georgia is a shall issue state, meaning that every individual who meets the legal requirements contained in the Georgia Code should be able to obtain a GWL upon application for the license, the assistance of an attorney who understands the laws relating to responsible gun ownership is nonetheless sometimes necessary to obtain a license.
There are many ways to become disqualified from being able to carry a firearm under Georgia law, and failure to understand the nuances of gun law can even result in a criminal charge. The presence of a firearm, even one lawfully obtained, in any incident involving law enforcement can have serious consequences.
If facing charges related to purchasing or carrying a gun in the Atlanta area, a person will need the assistance of a gun attorney in Atlanta who understands this specific area of the law, and who will work tirelessly to protect their second amendment rights.
Georgia Gun Laws
Georgia Laws relating to lawfully owning and carrying a firearm, as well as certain criminal charges involving firearms, may be found in Title 16, Chapter 11, Article 4 of the Georgia Code.
In Georgia, although people may legally own and possess a firearm within their home or place of business, they must obtain a license if they wish to carry a handgun with them outside of their private property. A Georgia Weapons Carry License (GWL/WCL) allows people to lawfully carry a concealed weapon on their person while in public.
Failure to present a valid hunting license or concealed carry license while carrying a gun in Georgia can have criminal consequences, and typically constitutes a misdemeanor offense. However, deliberately altering a valid weapons license is a felony offense, punishable by up to five years in prison.
To obtain a GWL, a person will have to apply to the probate court in the county where they reside. Georgia is a shall issue state, meaning that Georgia residents who are not legally disqualified from carrying a concealed weapon shall be issued a GWL upon completing an application.
Concealed Carry Disqualifiers
If any of the following apply to a person, their application for a GWL will be denied:
- Under 21 years of age (unless over 18 years of age and in the US armed forces)
- Convicted of a felony or facing felony charges
- Prior revocation of GWL within the last three years
- Conviction of a misdemeanor offense involving the use or possession of a controlled substance within the last five years
- Prior conviction of carrying a weapon without a license in the last five years
- Mentally incompetent or hospitalized at a mental hospital or treatment center for drugs or alcohol within the last five years
Once a person obtains a valid GWL, they must still abide by certain restrictions on where and how they may legally carry a gun. Violation of these rules can result in revocation of GWL in addition to serious criminal charges. Even with a valid GWL, it is against the law to carry a handgun in the following places:
- A government building
- A courthouse
- A jail or prison
- A place of worship
- A state mental health facility
- A nuclear power plant
- Within 150 feet of a polling location
Hiring a Gun Lawyer
If you have been charged with violation of any of Georgia’s laws relating to the purchase and carrying of a handgun, you should seek the legal advice of an Atlanta gun lawyer immediately. Conviction of a weapons-related offense can have serious consequences beyond the revocation of your GWL.
Our lawyers understand that the ability to arm yourself for self-defense is an important constitutional right, and will fight to protect your ability to own and carry a gun.
Our attorneys will help you understand any state and federal laws that apply to your case, and will work with you to defend your second amendment rights. Contact our offices for a consultation today.