GA constitutional Carry Bill SB-319 has been signed into law
- Georgia Does Have Constitutional (Permitless) Carry
- Georgia Open Carry Laws
- Georgia Concealed Carry Laws
- How to get a WCL in Georgia
- Georgia Concealed Carry Reciprocity with other states
- Georgia Carry Location Restrictions FAQs
- Are there places I cannot carry a firearm, even if I have a Weapons Carry License in Georgia?
- Can I Carry in Restaurants or Bars in Georgia?
- Can I carry concealed in a vehicle in Georgia?
- Can I Carry in State Parks, National Parks, Forests and Wildlife Management Areas of Georgia?
- FAQ Georgia Laws Regarding the Sale or Transfer of Firearms
- Is a permit required to purchase firearms in Georgia?
- Do Private-party sales and transfers require a background check in Georgia?
- Does Georgia have a waiting period when buying a handgun?
- Do I need to Register my handguns in Georgia?
- Does Georgia have magazine limits for handguns?
- Are there restrictions on the purchase of ammunition in Georgia?
- FAQ About Firearms Laws in Georgia
This article will provide an overview of the state of Georgia’s gun laws. Constitutional Carry in Georgia just became effective April 12,2022. As in all states, Georgia’s Constitutional Carry Law has restrictions, so please continue reading as it is not as clear as you may think.
Open Carry and Concealed Carry gun laws in Georgia will also be discussed. Georgia is one of the more gun-friendly states in the country and has recently made it easier for law abiding citizens to protect themselves by carrying a firearm.
Disclaimer: This article is NOT LEGAL ADVICE and is for Informational Purposes Only. Gun Laws can be tricky and unclear at times and changes are made often. We take no responsibility for the use or misuse of any information contained in this article. You are responsible for knowing the gun laws if you are going to carry a gun. Consult a Lawyer with any questions. See Footnote*
Georgia Does Have Constitutional (Permitless) Carry
Georgia Constitutional Carry is legal. You no longer need a license in Georgia to carry a concealed handgun. SB 319, known as the “Georgia Constitutional Carry Act of 2021” was signed into law April 12, 2022.
Carrying a handgun legally without a permit is referred to as “Constitutional Carry” or “Permitless Carry”. Many states (25 in August, 2022) have adopted a version of law to allow Americans to exercise their Second Amendment rights. See: Which States Have Constitutional or Permitless Carry?
Georgia Open Carry Laws
Georgia Allows Open Carry but you must have a Georgia WCL (Weapons Carry License). Open carry is not specified in the Constitutional Carry Law, SB 319. This means it is currently unclear if Open Carry is legal without a Georgia WCL.
Open Carry in Georgia without a permit is allowed in these areas only:
- Your own property.
- Your own vehicle.
- Your own place of business.
- Open Carry of a long gun is allowed.
You can apply for Georgia’s WCL here. Open Carry is also allowed with a concealed carry permit form another state with which Georgia has a reciprocal agreement. See Georgia’s Firearm Permit Reciprocity.
Georgia Concealed Carry Laws
A Georgia WCL (Weapons Carry License) is no longer required to carry a concealed handgun in Georgia. A WCL is still available in order to carry in reciprocal states, carry in certain government buildings or to Open Carry as mentioned above in the Georgia Open Carry section.
Georgia is a shall-issue state. This means that as long as a WCL applicant meets the requirements, he will be issued a permit, regardless of whether the issuing agent believes applicant “deserves” or has a specific reason to have such a license.
The minimum age is 21 (18 with certain military training) in order to get a WCL in Georgia. Apply for Georgia WCL Here.
Also see: States that allow Concealed Carry
Gun permit related statistics in Georgia in 2022
- There have been 1.27 million permits issued in Georgia.
- Georgia state population is 10.7 million.
- Percentage of the population of Georgia with a permit is about 11.9%.
- States that currently honor the Georgia carry permit: 33. See Georgia Reciprocity.
- Georgia currently honors 32 other states permits. As of April 12, 2022, Georgia HB-218 was signed into law that Georgia now honors concealed carry permits from all other states so long as you are 21 or older. (18 if military)
- Concealed carry permits in Georgia are good for 5 years.
- Georgia is a “shall issue” state. (Shall- issue means that if you apply for a permit they will issue you one unless there is a legal reason not to. Such as if you are a convicted felon.)
Minimum age to get a Georgia Weapons Carry License (WCL) in Georgia
You must be at least 21 years old (18 with certain military training) to get a Weapons Carry License (WCL) in the State of Georgia.
How to get a WCL in Georgia
The Georgia Gun Permit is called an WCL, which stands for Weapons Carry License. It may be referred to as an WCL, permit, license to carry or concealed carry permit. It all means the same thing for the purposes of this article.
You can apply at the Georgia Weapons Carry License Application site.
There are no courses or training required to get a Georgia WCL. You will need to pay a fee in the neighborhood of $75 and have your fingerprints taken.
Georgia Concealed Carry Reciprocity with other states
As of April 12, 2022, the governor of Georgia signed HB-218 into law. This means that Georgia now recognizes Concealed Carry Permits and Licenses from all other states, but you must be 21 (18 if military) years of age or older.
Legal Protection Specifically for those that carry a firearm for self defense
It is a good idea to consider a legal protection membership if you have decided to carry a deadly weapon for self defense. If you ever need to use your firearm to protect yourself or your family, you will need to deal with the police. You may need the services of a lawyer to help you navigate the legal system.
It is not uncommon for someone to be detained, arrested and even charged with a crime after a completely legal self defense incident. Until everything is cleared up, you may need legal representation which can be extremely expensive.
Having a membership with Firearms Legal Protection will cover these costs and provide an experienced attorney to guide you through the process.
Firearms Legal Protection starting at $9.95/month*
FLP is highly regarded and recommended by some of the top names in the self defense firearms industry. At least check them out before you make a decision.
Who CANNOT Obtain a Concealed Carry Permit in Georgia?
- Anyone under the age of 21 (18 with certain military training)
- Anyone who is prohibited by Federal or State law from possessing a firearm may not obtain a Weapons Carry Permit.
Georgia Carry Location Restrictions FAQs
Are there places I cannot carry a firearm, even if I have a Weapons Carry License in Georgia?
Under Georgia law, concealed handguns are prohibited in these locations (This is not a complete list):
- Any areas where handguns are prohibited by Federal Law
- Restricted Areas of Airport terminals
- Jails, prisons, detention facilities and correctional institutions
- Facilities that care for those with mental illness
- Any Courthouse including any building where a courtroom is located
- Colleges and Universities, unless handguns are specifically permitted
- Churches or other Places of worship, unless handguns are specifically permitted
- Certain State and federal government facilities.
- Nuclear power facilities
- School safety zones (defined as a school, school premises or building.) Georgia WCL holders (non-student) may have a handgun in a motor vehicle in a School Safety Zone so long as it is in a LOCKED container or rack and is under the WCL holders control.
- A school bus
- A school function
- within 150 feet of a polling place or location when an election is being held
Certain areas of college, university or higher learning campuses are also off-limits:
- Sporting event properties and/or buildings.
- Student housing (includes sorority and fraternity houses) property and/or buildings.
- Any areas used for Preschool or child care on the campus.
- Any areas used for “specialized schools” (i.e. college or career academy).
- Any administrative, faculty or staff offices or rooms, where disciplinary proceedings are taking place.
You should be attentive for signs warning of restricted areas especially when carrying firearms into public places.
Can I Carry in Restaurants or Bars in Georgia?
Yes. The State of Georgia does not have a law prohibiting the carry of a handgun into a restaurant or bar as long as there are no signs posted otherwise.
Can I carry concealed in a vehicle in Georgia?
Yes, must be your own vehicle unless you have permission from the vehicle owner.
Can I Carry in State Parks, National Parks, Forests and Wildlife Management Areas of Georgia?
Yes. Carry in these areas is permitted in Georgia.
FAQ Georgia Laws Regarding the Sale or Transfer of Firearms
Here are some common questions dealing with the purchase of a gun, magazine or ammunition in Georgia.
Is a permit required to purchase firearms in Georgia?
No permit is needed to purchase a handgun in Georgia. Having a Georgia WCL does exempt you from a background check.
Do Private-party sales and transfers require a background check in Georgia?
No. Private sales in Georgia do not require a background check. However, sales to people that are prohibited by Federal or State law from owning a handgun are still prohibited.
Does Georgia have a waiting period when buying a handgun?
No. there is no waiting period to buy a gun in Georgia.
Do I need to Register my handguns in Georgia?
No. Georgia does not require handgun registration.
Does Georgia have magazine limits for handguns?
No. There are no magazine restrictions in the State of Georgia (GA).
Are there restrictions on the purchase of ammunition in Georgia?
No. there are no ammunition restriction laws in Georgia.
FAQ About Firearms Laws in Georgia
Here are a few frequently asked questions regarding gun laws in Georgia. Please read these if you are going to be legally carrying a gun and want to do it right!
Is There a Duty to Retreat in Georgia?
Is there a ‘Red Flag” law in Georgia?
No, Georgia does have not currently have a Red Flag Law.
Are “No Guns” signs enforced by law in Georgia?
No. Georgia generally does not enforce “No Guns” or “No Weapons Allowed” signs..
Is there a Duty to inform law enforcement that I am carrying a gun in Georgia?
No. In Georgia, you are not required inform a law enforcement officer that you are carrying a firearm if you are stopped for a traffic violation, or are questioned by police on another matter.
Here is an excellent video on How to Navigate a Traffic Stop While Carrying a Handgun
If and when you do inform law enforcement, simply tell the officer you are legally carrying a concealed handgun. Never touch or reach for the gun, just hand the officer your permit (if applicable) along with your drivers license or ID and wait for his or her instructions. Always keep your hands in plain sight and make no sudden or furtive movements.
A Word of Advice and Additional questions
I will just leave you with a word of advice. Always use common sense when carrying a handgun in Georgia or any other location, concealed or otherwise.
You must avoid confrontation at all times and never allow yourself to get into an argument of any kind with anybody. If you are carrying, you are essentially bringing a deadly weapon into every interaction you have in your daily life.
- If someone cuts you off in traffic, LET IT GO.
- If someone cuts in line in front of you, LET IT GO.
- If someone starts trouble, LEAVE or CALL 911.
You must never instigate a problem or escalate an issue. If you get into an argument on the street and it ends with you drawing your weapon, you had better be the picture of innocence if you want to claim self defense.
If you have other questions, please leave them in the comments below and I will do my best to answer them.
Please keep in mind that these Georgia gun laws can change at any time and it is your responsibility as the gun owner to know the laws in the states, counties, buildings and properties where you will be carrying your firearm.
Do not base your decision to carry your firearm in Georgia or any other location solely on this article. I make no guarantee that this information is accurate at the time you read it, although I will endeavor to keep it up to date and accurate. I am not a lawyer. I am simply providing this information that I have gathered from various trustworthy sources in one place for your convenience.