Each and every state determines how individuals are permitted to buy, own and utilize a wide array of firearms, and the State of Georgia is no different.
While it is true that firearms control laws within Georgia are considered to be somewhat less stringent than elsewhere in the United States, that is not to say that there are no restrictions in place and that it is not possible for firearms charges to be brought against a citizen.
The fact is that there are a series of charges which can be lodged in connection with gun possession or ownership, and it is important for anyone facing such serious allegations to consult with a defense attorney in Georgia to protect their rights.
From concealed weapon violation charges to accusations of using a gun to commit a felony, the possible scenarios in which weapons charges may be brought are quite varied, and the penalties imposed on those found guilty can be onerous indeed.
When it comes to defending against charges connected to the use, possession or ownership of a firearm, it is critical to enlist the aid of a seasoned Georgia gun lawyer who can provide the zealous advocacy required.
Common Firearms Charges
First of all, it is necessary to realize that, as found in O.C.G.A. Title 16 Chapter 11 Article 4 Part 2, the right to gun ownership is far from unfettered in Georgia and that there are certain types of weapons that simply cannot be possessed legally. Fully automatic machine guns, sawed-off rifles and silencers are a few key examples, along with bazookas, rocket launchers and recoil-less rifles designed to fire rockets.
Furthermore, there are several categories of individuals who are prohibited from owning firearms at all, including:
- Those convicted of drug offenses
- Those convicted of felonies
- Those convicted of having guns at certain public places or in school zones
- Fugitives from the law
- Those under 18 years of age
- Those in the process of felony criminal proceedings
- Those hospitalized for drug/alcohol addiction or mental health issues
It is also possible to face charges for a number of other gun-related offenses, such as carrying a pistol or a revolver without a license, pointing an unloaded or loaded firearm at another person, or carrying a weapon that is not in full view of others. Alleged possession of stolen weapons, gun trafficking, straw purchases and other types of offenses can also give rise to firearms charges in Georgia.
Sanctions resulting from conviction on any of the above offenses can be quite serious, result in costly fines, terms of probation, periods of incarceration and difficulty securing or keeping gainful employment. That is why a strong legal defense from a gun attorney in Georgia is needed whenever charges of this nature are lodged.
In addition to costly fines and damage to personal reputation, the consequences of being found guilty of a gun charge in Georgia can be extremely difficult to bear. While certain offenses are classified as misdemeanors punishable by comparatively low fines and a maximum of one year in jail, there are several others which provide for much more serious losses of personal liberty, making it important a Georgia gun attorney is consulted.
For instance, possession of a prohibited class of weapon can bring upwards of five years imprisonment. Second or subsequent convictions on gun charges can also result in enhanced sentences of up to five years, and the use of a weapon in the commission of certain categories of felonies can produce an additional and distinct felony charge. Subsequent offenders of this type may face upwards of 10 years in prison.
Protecting the Rights of Gun Owners in Georgia
As stated in O.C.G.A. § 16-11-138, defense of self or others is considered an absolute defense to any weapons violation articulated within Georgia law. A skilled Georgia gun lawyer will pursue all avenues of attack on the state’s case and use a multi-faceted approach to secure the best possible outcome for every client served. To learn how an attorney with our firm can assist with your case, contact us today.