Timothy O. McCalep

Georgia Gun Laws Lead to Mistaken Arrests

As a general rule, gun laws in the South are more lenient than most anywhere else in the United States. Nevertheless, there is often a lot of ambiguity surrounding these laws, both on the part of the general public and on the part of law enforcement officers. This often leads to people unintentionally breaking the law as well as police officers wrongfully arresting people who are within their legal rights. To help clear up some of the confusion, we're exploring the gun laws and regulations in Georgia as they stand today.

When is it Okay to Carry a Firearm off my Property in Georgia?

Some states have recently begun to allow open carry without any kind of permit or licensing. This, however, is not the case with Georgia. While openly carrying a firearm in Georgia is permissible, you must first obtain a Georgia Weapons License. A Georgia Weapons License allows you to carry both open and concealed firearms, though if you choose to open carry you must still be prepared to face some backlash. Though Georgia Weapons License holders are well within their rights to carry a weapon openly, many wrongful arrests still take place.

Hunters in Georgia are also allowed to carry a firearm if they have a Georgia Hunting License. Hunters do not have to obtain a Georgia Weapons License in order to carry a firearm for hunting purposes, though it is important to understand that a hunting license will permit you to carry a firearm for hunting purposes only. For example, a Georgia Hunting License is all you need to carry a rifle or shotgun into the woods, but a Georgia Hunting License does not permit you to carry a handgun on your person in public areas or to keep a loaded handgun in your vehicle. While there is a little ambiguity surrounding what scenarios are permitted under a Georgia Hunting License and what scenarios require you to have a Georgia Weapons License, most of the time a little logic and reasoning is all that is needed to interpret the law.

What Actions are Considered Gun Law Violations in Georgia?

To stay on the right side of the law, you will want to avoid the following actions in the state of Georgia.

You may be charged with a misdemeanor if you:

  • Brandish your weapon or intentionally aim it at another person without justification
  • Discharge a weapon within 50 yards of a public highway or street without legal justification
  • Carry a weapon off of your property without having the proper licensing required
  • Discharge a firearm while intoxicated
  • Discharge a firearm on private property without permission from the property's owner
  • Use your weapon in any way that endangers the life of another person without legal justification

You may be charged with a felony if you:

  • Illegally purchase a firearm for someone who is not permitted to own one, or if you solicit/ convince a firearm dealer to give the firearm to anyone besides the person making the purchase
  • Provide a firearm to a minor that is intended to be used for illegal purposes
  • Produce or carry a counterfeit weapons license


Gun laws are always a touchy subject, and there is arguably more confusion surrounding them than any other subset of laws and regulations. We hope that this guide to Georgia gun laws has been enlightening. However, if you feel that you have been wrongfully arrested for a gun law violation in Georgia, we invite you to contact us today.

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