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Georgia Gun Laws For Purchasing & Registering Firearms

How to Buy a Gun in Georgia

Georgia is an easy state to own a gun in. For one, a gun owner is not required to register their firearms, nor is a permit required to purchase one legally. So what else does one need to buy a gun in Georgia? No need to search elsewhere, for we’ll let you know exactly what.

Georgia’s pretty lax when it comes to gun laws. Also, it’s not an absolute requirement to attend training to possess a firearm, but we highly recommend that you take a training course first. 

There is no waiting period when it comes to purchasing firearms in the state. On many occasions, you can enter a shop and emerge with a firearm in hand on the very same day.

If you decide to purchase from an unlicensed firearms dealer, it will qualify as a personal sale, and no background check will be required. 

Purchasing a Gun in Georgia

And if you have a permit to carry concealed guns in the state of Georgia, you are exempt from the background check as per gun laws. You simply have to fill out the store’s paperwork, and you’re good to go with your newly purchased firearm.

Concealed Carry Laws

Despite the Georgia State not requiring any license to purchase and possess guns, if you decide to bring your firearm anywhere that is not your place of business, your home, or vehicle/car, you will need to secure a permit to conceal carry.  

This Georgia Weapons Carry License (WCL) permit will be valid for five years upon securing with a small fee. You are recommended to renew the permit at least two months before or one month after its expiry. Carrying it without proper renewal may impose penalties, according to O.C.G. A 16-11-126 code. 

The Georgia Weapons Carry License is also acknowledged in other states that reciprocate firearms licenses. You can search the list of states where carrying your Georgia WCL is valid here [1].

Requirements in Securing A Permit To Carry

Requirements in Securing A Permit To Carry

To apply for a Georgia Weapons Carry License, you must first and foremost be a resident of Georgia and a United States citizen or legal US resident as per the gun laws.  

Application for this permit is made in the local probate court in your county, and processing usually takes about 60 days. Here are the other requirements to secure a permit to carry firearms in the probate court in your local county. 

Age

Only those who are 21 years of age and above are allowed to apply for a WCL. Those younger than 21 are eligible but only under special circumstances, which we’ll talk more about below.  

State-Issued Photo ID

As with any other application, an ID with the printed name, face, and address of the person is required. The address must reflect an official residency in Georgia. 

Clean Records

Clean records are highly important to secure approval or permit for a weapon carry license. A person involved in the following scenarios will automatically be denied: 

  • Anyone under 18 years old 
  • Fugitive from justice 
  • Has been involved in a past felony 
  • Has been hospitalized in a mental institution within the past five years of applying 
  • Has a history of drug or alcohol abuse and had been in a rehabilitation center within the past five years of applying
  • Has been disreputably discharged from the US Armed Forces 
  • Has a restraining order for stalking or harassment 
  • Has been convicted/imprisoned of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence 

Background Check

After the first requirements have been met, the probate court local county judge would request a criminal history background check with the law enforcement to finalize everything. Licensed firearms dealers are also required to perform instant background checks. 

However, if you process a deal with a private firearms dealer, no criminal history background check will be required as this will apply as a private sale. You are free to trade the item as you would any other possession.

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How To Secure A License When You’re Below 18

How To Secure A License When You’re Below 18

If you are under 21 but over 18 years of age, you may apply for a WCL but only under the following circumstances: 

  • If you can provide proof that you are in the military and have completed basic training
  • If you are either on active duty in the military or honorably discharged 
  • Those who are minors or are 18 years old and younger are prohibited from applying for a WCL, but possessing a long gun or other handguns is allowed in these situations: 
  • If you are attending a firearm safety course 
  • Practice shooting at a target range 
  • Participating in a competition that uses firearms 
  • Hunting/fishing with the approval of the landowner under the condition that the handgun will always be exposed 
  • Traveling to and from the activities listed above, as long as the guns are unloaded
  • Within the legal property of the minor’s parent, grandparent, or legal guardian, with the knowledge and permission of the aforementioned

Who is Restricted in Owning a Gun in Georgia?

According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and O.C.G. A 16-11-126 code, the state of Georgia prohibits any person under 18 years old from possessing and carrying a firearm legally. 

Those who have been convicted of a felony, on probation as a felony first offender, or on a conditional discharge for a felony or anything related to such are also restricted.

Who Cannot Purchase A Gun?

FAQS

Yes, you can carry your firearm anywhere in Georgia, except for schools and courthouses, and with the restrictions of some holsters, unless you have Georgia’s permit to carry license. However, a state-backed license will automatically authorize you to carry the necessary firearms if you are going hunting, sporting, or even in your vehicle/car.

No, you are not required to register your long gun or handguns in the state, but you do need to register any machine guns in your possession as per Federal Law.

No training or anything related is required to purchase a gun in Georgia, but we highly recommend that you attend courses to learn important safety rules.

So, How Do You Buy A Gun In Georgia?

The state of Georgia has fairly mild gun laws. You can carry your gun or other firearms with confidence without any hassle at all as long as you have the necessary permit.  

Also, Federal Law requires you to put the weapon somewhere safe and hidden if you don’t have complete access to it, such as when you’re outside or asleep, so no minor can get their hands on it. Please note that information here should not be taken in place of actual legal advice.

References:

  1. https://dps.georgia.gov/ask-us/georgias-firearm-permit-reciprocity

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