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Federal law establishes a baseline national standard regarding individuals’ eligibility to acquire and possess firearms. Under federal law, people are generally prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms if they have been convicted of a felony or some domestic violence misdemeanors, or if they are subject to certain court orders related to domestic violence or a serious mental condition. However, federal law merely provides a floor, and has notable gaps that allow individuals who have demonstrated significant risk factors for violence or self-harm to legally acquire and possess guns.

Georgia prohibits the purchase or receipt of a firearm by any person who has been convicted of a felony, or who is either on probation as a “felony first offender” or has received a conditional discharge for a felony.1

For information on the background check process used to enforce these provisions, see the Georgia Background Checks section.

 See our Firearm Prohibitions policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue. 

  1. Ga. Code Ann. § 16-11-131(b), (b.1). Note that while Georgia law generally defines a “felony” as any offense punishable by more than one year in prison, state law uses a slightly broader definition of “felony” for the narrow purposes of its felony firearm restrictions, encompassing offenses punishable by “a term of one year or more” for those purposes. People convicted of misdemeanors punishable by up to 12 months in prison may therefore be subject to Georgia’s felony firearm restrictions. Ga. Code Ann. § 16-1-3(5); Ga. Code Ann. § 16-11-131(a).[]