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Legal Information: Georgia

State Gun Laws

Updated: 
November 12, 2018

I am a victim of domestic violence and the abuser has a gun. Is that legal?

Georgia law says that a person cannot have or buy a gun if s/he:

  • is under 21 years of age (unless s/he is 18 or older and provides proof that s/he has completed basic training in the armed forces of the United States and either is actively serving or has been honorably discharged);
  • has been convicted of a felony in any state or in another country;
  • currently has felony charges pending against him/her (but hasn't yet been convicted) or is a fugitive from justice;
  • has had his/her license to carry weapons revoked within three years before the date of the application for a firearm license;
  • is prohibited under federal law from having a firearm in his/her possession;
  • has been convicted of an offense arising out of the unlawful manufacture or distribution of a controlled substance or other dangerous drug;
  • has been convicted of any misdemeanor involving the use or possession of a controlled substance (drugs) and within the past five years, s/he also:
    • has been in restraint or under supervision
    • gets a second conviction of any misdemeanor involving the use or possession of a controlled substance; or
    • is convicted for various weapons charges;
  • has been convicted of carrying a weapon without the proper license;
  • has been convicted of carrying a weapon or long gun in an unauthorized location (unless for the past five years, s/he has not been under restraint or supervision related to these crimes and has not been convicted of any other crime);
  • has been hospitalized as an inpatient in any mental hospital or alcohol or drug treatment center within the past five years; or
  • has been adjudicated (found by a judge) "mentally incompetent to stand trial" or "not guilty by reason of insanity” at the time that s/he committed a crime.1

Also, a person under 18 is not allowed to possess a handgun at any time unless s/he is on land that is controlled by his/her parent, legal guardian, or grandparent and the minor has the adult's permission.2 There are some exceptions when a minor can carry a gun, such as when shooting at a gun range or hunting. To read the complete list, go to our GA Statutes page and see section 16-11-132(c). Note: The exceptions do not apply if the minor has been convicted of a forcible felony or forcible misdemeanor.3

If any of these situations apply to the abuser, it may be illegal for him/her to have a gun. Also, federal laws, which apply to all states, restrict an abuser's right to have a gun if you have a restraining order against him/her that meets certain requirements or if s/he has been convicted of a felony or domestic violence misdemeanor. Go to Federal Gun Laws to get more information.

1 GA ST § 16-11-129(b)(2)
2 GA ST § 16-11-132(b)
3 GA ST § 16-11-129(d)