Georgia law generally prohibits carrying a firearm:
- In parks, historic sites, and recreational areas;1
- Within 150 feet of any polling place although an exception may apply for concealed carry permittees entering government buildings when they are open for business and where ingress into such buildings is not restricted or screened by security personnel.;2
- Within an airport terminal;3
- In a government building, courthouse, jail, prison, or place of worship; or
- In a state mental health facility that admits individuals on an involuntary basis for treatment of mental illness, developmental disability; or addictive disease.
However, “weapon carry” license holders are exempt from many of these restrictions. These location restrictions do not apply to a firearm possessed by a license holder if the firearm is under the license holder’s control in a motor vehicle or is in a locked compartment, container, or firearms rack in or on a motor vehicle parked in parking facility.4 A person with a valid license may also carry a handgun in parks, historic sites, and recreational areas, including in all publicly owned buildings located in such areas, and in wildlife management areas, and on public transportation, except where prohibited by federal law.5 Georgia also authorizes in airport terminals and aircraft, except where prohibited by federal law.6 It authorizes the governing body or authority of a place of worship to permit the carrying of weapons or long guns by license holders.7. And it authorizes a license holder to carry a weapon in a government building if the building is open for business and “where ingress into such building is not restricted or screened by security personnel.”8
A law Georgia enacted in 2010 repealed several stronger restrictions, including a provision prohibiting a license holder from consuming alcoholic beverages in a restaurant or other eating establishment while carrying a firearm, and a provision prohibiting the carrying of firearms at “public gatherings” defined to include athletic and sporting events and political rallies and functions. In 2014, Georgia enacted a law allowing individuals to carry firearms in bars.9
Private property owners and persons in legal control of property through a lease, rental agreement, licensing agreement, contract or other agreement to control access to property generally have the right to forbid possession of a firearm on their property.10
In addition, regarding wildlife management areas and public fishing areas, Georgia prohibits the possession of:
- A firearm other than a handgun, during a closed hunting season for that area, unless such firearm is unloaded and stored in a motor vehicle so as not to be readily accessible;
- A handgun during a closed hunting season for that area unless such person possesses a valid weapons carry license;
- A loaded firearm other than a handgun, in a motor vehicle during a legal open hunting season for that area; or
- A loaded handgun in a motor vehicle during a legal open hunting season for that area unless such person possesses a valid weapons carry license.11
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- Ga. Code Ann. § 12-3-10(o)(3).
- Ga. Code Ann. §§ 21-2-413(i); 16-11-127(b), (e).
- Ga. Code Ann. § 16-12-127(a).
- Ga. Code Ann. § 16-11-127(d)(3).
- Ga. Code Ann. §§ 12-3-10(o), 16-11-126(g).
- Ga. Code Ann. § 16-12-127(a).
- Ga. Code Ann. § 16-11-127(b)(4).
- Ga. Code Ann. § 16-11-127(e)(1).
- See 2013 Ga. H.B. 60, amending Ga. Code Ann. §§ 16-11-127(6)(6) and 16-11-130.2.
- Ga. Code Ann. § 16-11-127(c).
- Ga. Code Ann. §§ 27-3-1.1, 27-4-11.1.