As of April 12, 2022, Georgia state law allows residents and non-residents over 21 to carry firearms (openly or concealed) without needing a permit – where certain requirements are met. However, despite this substantial expansion of gun rights for people in the Peach State, there are still several other ways in which the law restricts who can possess firearms, as well as where and how they can be used. Violating any one of these laws can have substantial legal consequences.
If you need help dealing with any criminal charges involving firearms, you should speak with a Griffin firearm lawyer as soon as possible. Support from an experienced defense attorney can be invaluable in protecting your rights and ensuring you are not deprived of them in the long term.
Compared to most other states, Georgia imposes very few restrictions on the rights of residents to purchase, possess, and carry guns. Residents are not required to obtain state permits or owner licenses before purchasing firearms, register any purchased firearms, or complete background checks during private sales.
The two most common firearm charges are Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon and Possession of a Firearm during the Commission of a Felony. O.C.G.A. § 16-11-106 prohibits the possession of a firearm during any crime involving another person, unlawful entry into a car or vehicle, theft, or from certain drug offenses. Many people do not know that possessing a firearm during a crime is illegal, even if the possession of the firearm is otherwise legal. As a Griffin gun attorney can further explain, a violation of this law carries a five-year consecutive sentence for the first conviction and a ten-year consecutive sentence for the second offense.
O.C.G.A. § 16-11-131 prohibits the possession of firearms by convicted felons. Any person who is a convicted felon or on first-offender probation cannot possess a firearm. A conviction for this offense carries up to ten years in prison.
Generally, individuals convicted of any felony offense in any state or federal court are prohibited from possessing firearms in Georgia. However, it is sometimes possible to restore this right by filing an application with the state Board of Pardons and Paroles. This document affirms that they have fulfilled all conditions of their original felony conviction and have not committed or been charged with any other crimes for at least five years afterward.
Notably, this process only applies to state-level felony convictions adjudged in Georgia, and different procedures are necessary for convictions in other states or at the federal level. A firearms attorney in Griffin can help determine if someone may be eligible to have their possession rights restored.
Both the Georgia and United States Constitutions affirm the right of residents to keep and bear firearms. However, state and federal authorities still have the power to determine what constitutes lawful or unlawful gun usage. If you are charged with violating any gun regulations set forth by the government, you may face years of potential prison time and the loss of your right to possess firearms after your release.
Resolving situations like this can be much easier with assistance from a seasoned Griffin firearms lawyer. Call our firm today to schedule an initial consultation.
J. Ryan Brown Law, LLC
J. Ryan Brown Law, LLC