Georgia Gun Crime Lawyer
Georgia gun owners are required to comply with a number of state laws, as well as federal regulations when it comes to purchasing, carrying, and selling firearms. Running afoul of any of these laws can have significant repercussions for the parties involved, so if you are facing a gun charge, it is critical to speak with an experienced Georgia gun crime lawyer who can help protect your rights and interests.
Georgia law doesn’t require that residents register their firearms. It does, however, require that gun owners obtain one of two licenses, one of which applies to armed guards and the other, which allows holders to carry their firearms, whether open or concealed, if they want to have their weapon on their person anywhere but in their home or vehicle. There are some individuals who are not permitted to hold either licenses, including:
- Anyone under the age of 21 years old, unless they have reached the age of 18, have received basic training in the Armed Forces, and are serving or have been honorably discharged from the U.S. military;
- Anyone with a pending felony case;
- Fugitives from the law;
- Anyone whose carrying license has been revoked in the last three years; and
- Anyone who has been admitted to a drug or alcohol rehabilitation center or mental hospital in the last five years.
Even those who are granted a license to carry must follow certain rules, or risk being charged with a criminal offense.
Gun owners in Georgia are allowed to use force, or threaten the use of force, to prevent someone else from entering their home by what has become known as the Castle Doctrine. However, a few other requirements must be met before this kind of interaction will be deemed legal, including that:
- The intruder’s entrance was violent or tumultuous and the gun owner believes that he or she has an intent to act violently;
- A person who isn’t a member of the household forcibly and unlawfully enters the residence; or
- The gun owner has reason to believe that the intruder plans to commit a felony crime.
Georgia is also a Stand Your Ground state, which means that gun owners don’t have a duty to retreat when preventing a forcible felony like rape, armed robbery, or kidnapping.
Carrying a Firearm in Public
Under Georgia law, licensed gun owners are allowed to carry their weapons in most open, public areas. In fact, it is even allowed to carry a weapon onto private property, unless the owner prohibits it. There are some locations, however, where it is illegal to carry a deadly weapon, including:
- Government buildings where a government entity is housed or meets, unless the building lacks security personnel;
- Courthouses, prisons, mental health facilities, places of worship, and polling locations;
- School property;
- Nuclear facilities;
- Public transportation-related locations, unless the gun owner has a license to carry; and
- State parks, recreational areas, or historic sites controlled by the government unless the person holds a license to carry.
To learn more about Georgia’s open carry laws, please call our dedicated legal team today.
Experienced Georgia Gun Crime Attorneys
Please call our office at 770-209-2310 to speak with a member of the legal team at Hawkins Spizman about Georgia’s gun laws, or how to defend yourself against gun-related criminal charges.