Gun laws in Georgia
Gun laws in the state of Georgia regulate the sale, possession, and use of firearms and ammunition in the state of Georgia in the United States. It does not however affect the laws of other states. The Georgia Constitution, like many other state constitutions, guarantees to its citizen the right to keep and bear arms. Article one, section one, paragraph VII of the Georgia Constitution states: "The right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, but the General Assembly shall have the power to prescribe the manner in which arms may be borne."
Georgia reciprocates in recognizing firearms licenses with the following states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
South Carolina H3799 was signed by Gov Haley on June 3, 2016, allowing reciprocity with Georgia CCW permits.
There are a number of ways a firearm can be carried without a permit. No permit is needed:
- To carry a firearm in a person's home, place of business, or vehicle
- To carry a long gun in a fully open and exposed manner
- To carry an unloaded firearm in a case
- To carry a firearm in someone else's vehicle, provided you would qualify for a permit
- To carry a firearm while fishing or hunting, if you have a valid fishing or hunting license
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. This means that local parks, offices, etc. of non-Federal government agencies may not prohibit those with a valid Georgia Weapons License from carrying. Federal regulations continue to prohibit carrying weapons on Corps of Engineers and US Postal Service property.
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:
- In a government building, where ingress into such building is restricted or screened by security personnel and overseen by a POST certified, sworn peace officer
- In a courthouse
- In a jail or prison
- In a place of worship, unless the governing body or authority of the place of worship permits the carrying of weapons or long guns by license holders
- In a state mental health facility
- On the premises of a nuclear power facility
- Within 150 feet (46 m) of any polling place, only during an election. 
- On school grounds (incl. building and grounds), unless carrying or picking up a student, or permitted in writing by an official of the school, however weapons may be securely stored in vehicles parked on school grounds.
As exceptions to the above list, a person may keep their firearm in a locked compartment of their vehicle at any of the above places except nuclear power facilities. Also, a person may approach security or management of any of the above places (except schools and nuclear power facilities) and ask them for directions on removing, securing, storing, or temporarily surrendering the weapon.
Georgia law allows private firearm sales between residents without requiring any processing through an FFL.
A Kennesaw, GA city ordinance requires that all homeowners own a firearm and ammunition (Sec 34-1a). No one has ever been charged with violating this ordinance. An amendment exempts those who conscientiously object to owning a firearm, convicted felons, those who cannot afford a firearm, and those with a mental or physical disability that would prevent them from owning a firearm.
As of the 23rd of April, 2014, Georgia's gun laws were drastically revised when Governor Nathan Deal signed House Bill 60, or the Safe Carry Protection Act, into action. The Safe Carry Protection Act changed many of the currently enacted gun laws in place beforehand.
In 2017, the Georgia legislature passed HB 280, which allows for concealed carry permit holders to carry concealed handguns on public college campuses. Governor Nathan Deal signed it into law on May 4, 2017. The law took effect July 1, 2017 on all University System of Georgia Campuses, including universities, colleges, and trade schools under the University System. Under HB280 any Georgia Weapons Licensee may carry on University System of Georgia property if they are carrying concealed. They may not carry in any dormitory or Greek house owned by the University System, in any athletic venue used for intercollegiate sports, in any daycare facility on campus with limited entry (gated), in any classroom with a currently enrolled high school student, in any private office space, or in any room currently in use for disciplinary proceedings.  HB280 does not remove the prohibition against carry on private university and college property under Georgia Law.
|Subject/Law||Long guns||Handguns||Relevant Statutes||Notes|
|State permit required to purchase?||No||No||None|
|Assault weapon law?||No||No||None|
|Magazine Capacity Restriction?||No||No||None|
|Owner license required?||No||No||None|
|Carry permits required?||No||Yes||O.C.G.A § 16-11-129||Concealed or open carry allowed with permit. See also O.C.G.A § 43–38–10 which is a special permit for armed security guards.|
|Open Carry?||Yes||Yes||O.C.G.A § 16-11-126||Open carry of handguns allowed with a license issued under O.C.G.A § 16-11-129.|
|State Preemption of local restrictions?||Yes||Yes||O.C.G.A § 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.|
|Background checks required for private sales?||No||No||None|
- See O.C.G.A. § 16-11-129
- "A Bill To Be Entitled An Act". Legis.state.ga.us. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
- "See O.C.G.A. § 16-11-129". web.lexisnexis.com. Retrieved 2015-08-24.
- NRA-ILA. "NRA-ILA | Georgia: Pro-Gun Reciprocity Legislation Signed Into Law". NRA-ILA. Retrieved 2017-04-06.
- "Georgia's Firearm Permit Reciprocity | Georgia Department of Public Safety". dps.georgia.gov. Retrieved 2015-08-24.
- House Bill 492 (AS PASSED HOUSE AND SENATE)
- "See O.C.G.A. § 16-11-130.1". web.lexisnexis.com. Retrieved 2015-08-24.
- "Senate Bill 396, Georgia General Assembly". Legis.state.ga.us. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
- http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/20132014/144825.pdf | Line 45 states name directly.
- NRA-ILA. "NRA-ILA | Georgia: Governor Deal Signs Campus Carry Legislation into Law". NRA-ILA. Retrieved 2017-05-05.