I do not have a protective order against the abuser, and s/he has not been convicted of any crimes. Is there anything I can do?
It depends. In Georgia, even if you don't have a protective order that prohibits the abuser from having a gun and the abuser has not been convicted of any crime, the following people cannot get a license to carry a weapon:
- someone who 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);
- a person who has been hospitalized as an inpatient in any mental hospital or alcohol or drug treatment center within the past five years;
- someone who currently has felony charges pending against him/her (but hasn't yet been convicted);
- a fugitive from justice; or
- a person who has been adjudicated (found by a judge) "mentally incompetent to stand trial" or "not guilty by reason of insanity” at the time s/he committed a crime.*
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. 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.**
If this is your situation, please talk to an advocate or lawyer in your area about how this law is being enforced. Go to the GA Advocates and Shelters page for local programs.
If none of these situations apply, you can still make a plan for your safety. See our Safety Tips page for more information. You can also contact your local domestic violence organization for additional help. You may want to talk to them about whether leaving the area - either long-term or for a little while - might help improve your safety.
For additional information on gun laws in Georgia, you can go to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence website.
* GA ST § 16-11-129(b)(2)
** GA ST § 16-11-132(d)