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Legal Statutes: Georgia

UPDATED September 29, 2016

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Part 3. Carrying and Possession of Firearms

back to top16-11-126. Possessing or carrying a handgun or long gun

(a) Any person who is not prohibited by law from possessing a handgun or long gun may have or carry on his or her person a weapon or long gun on his or her property or inside his or her home, motor vehicle, or place of business without a valid weapons carry license.

(b) Any person who is not prohibited by law from possessing a handgun or long gun may have or carry on his or her person a long gun without a valid weapons carry license, provided that if the long gun is loaded, it shall only be carried in an open and fully exposed manner.

(c) Any person who is not prohibited by law from possessing a handgun or long gun may have or carry any handgun provided that it is enclosed in a case and unloaded.

(d) Any person who is not prohibited by law from possessing a handgun or long gun who is eligible for a weapons carry license may transport a handgun or long gun in any private passenger motor vehicle; provided, however, that private property owners or persons in legal control of private property through a lease, rental agreement, licensing agreement, contract, or any other agreement to control access to such private property shall have the right to exclude or eject a person who is in possession of a weapon or long gun on their private property in accordance with paragraph (3) of subsection (b) of Code Section 16-7-21, except as provided in Code Section 16-11-135.

(e) Any person licensed to carry a handgun or weapon in any other state whose laws recognize and give effect to a license issued pursuant to this part shall be authorized to carry a weapon in this state, but only while the licensee is not a resident of this state; provided, however, that such licensee shall carry the weapon in compliance with the laws of this state.

(f) Any person with a valid hunting or fishing license on his or her person, or any person not required by law to have a hunting or fishing license, who is engaged in legal hunting, fishing, or sport shooting when the person has the permission of the owner of the land on which the activities are being conducted may have or carry on his or her person a handgun or long gun without a valid weapons carry license while hunting, fishing, or engaging in sport shooting.

(g) Notwithstanding Code Sections 12-3-10, 27-3-1.1, 27-3-6, and 16-12-122 through 16-12-127, any person with a valid weapons carry license may carry a weapon in all parks, historic sites, or recreational areas, as such term is defined in Code Section 12-3-10, including all publicly owned buildings located in such parks, historic sites, and recreational areas, in wildlife management areas, and on public transportation; provided, however, that a person shall not carry a handgun into a place where it is prohibited by federal law.

(h)(1) No person shall carry a weapon without a valid weapons carry license unless he or she meets one of the exceptions to having such license as provided in subsections (a) through (g) of this Code section.

(2) A person commits the offense of carrying a weapon without a license when he or she violates the provisions of paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(i) Upon conviction of the offense of carrying a weapon without a valid weapons carry license, a person shall be punished as follows:

(1) For the first offense, he or she shall be guilty of a misdemeanor; and

(2) For the second offense within five years, as measured from the dates of previous arrests for which convictions were obtained to the date of the current arrest for which a conviction is obtained, and for any subsequent offense, he or she shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned for not less than two years and not more than five years.

(j) Nothing in this Code section shall in any way operate or be construed to affect, repeal, or limit the exemptions provided for under Code Section 16-11-130.

Laws 1837, Cobb's 1851 Digest, pp. 848, 849; Laws 1851-52, p. 269, §§ 1-3; Laws 1865-66, p. 233, §§ 1, 2; Laws 1882-83, p. 48, § 1; Laws 1898, p. 60, § 1; Laws 1968, p. 1249, § 1; Laws 1976, p. 1430, § 1; Laws 1982, p. 3, § 16; Laws 1992, p. 6, § 16; Laws 1996, p. 108, § 1; Laws 1998, p. 1153, § 1; Laws 2000, p. 1630, § 3; Laws 2007, Act 18, § 16, eff. May 11, 2007; Laws 2008, Act 551, § 3, eff. July 1, 2008; Laws 2008, Act 802, § 3, eff. July 1, 2008; Laws 2009, Act 8, § 16, eff. April 14, 2009; Laws 2010, Act 643, § 1-2, eff. June 4, 2010; Laws 2014, Act 604, § 1-4, eff. July 1, 2014; Laws 2015, Act 100, § 2, eff. July 1, 2015.