There has been a lot of talk lately about guns. About who can carry them, and when and where. Whatever your political stance on the issue, Georgia has very clear laws on the subject.
There are a number of exceptions to who can get a carry permit in Georgia. Unless you fit into one of those categories, it is presumed that you are eligible for a permit. Permits are obtained through the Probate Court in the county in which you reside.
Generally speaking, anyone 21 years of age or older can get a permit. You can get one at 18 if you can show that you’ve been through basic training in the military, or if you currently serve in the military. If you have a permit, Georgia has reciprocity with several states, so you can carry a gun in those states without getting a separate permit. Those states are Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. It is notable that while Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, and North Carolina are on the list, not all states that border Georgia are on the list. South Carolina is not, so beware if your road trip takes you through that state.
You cannot get a permit if you have been convicted of a felony or if you are currently pending felony charges. You also can’t get a permit if you are a fugitive from justice, meaning, that you are currently hiding from an arrest warrant. Of course, most people who are hiding from an arrest warrant aren’t so keen on showing up at a courthouse with its plethora of public safety officers who would be more than happy to remove your fugitive status.
You also can’t get a Georgia permit if you are prohibited by federal law, which makes sense. Also, if you have been convicted of an offense relating to the sale or manufacture of drugs, whether or not it is a felony. Other convictions which would prevent you from getting a permit are carrying a firearm without a permit and carrying a firearm in a prohibited place (such as a school) although, if you have been off probation/parole for more than five years for those offenses you can get a permit.
If your permit was revoked less than three years ago, you can’t get a new one.
If you have been convicted of a drug offense that is simple possession, and a misdemeanor, you can’t get a permit while you are still on probation or parole. If you have been convicted a second time, you can’t get one at all.
If you have been hospitalized in a mental health facility less than five years before the application for the permit, you can’t get one. Likewise, if you have been adjudicated as incompetent you can’t get a permit, nor can you if you have been fount not guilty by reason of insanity for an offense.
There are ways to apply to the Court for an exception to some of these situations. If you do that, there is a hearing in the Probate Court, and the judge there would have access to criminal and mental health records which would otherwise not be accessible.
This is an overview of the list, and doesn’t get into all the details. For more information, you can look up O.C.G.A. 16-11-129 or talk to a lawyer.
This article was written by a lawyer, but should not be considered legal advice in any way, shape, or form. It is written for general (and generally vague) informational purposes only. In order to properly evaluate your case, a lawyer must examine all the facts and circumstances that are particular and personal to your situation. I have not done that here.