Coronavirus pauses processing of Georgia weapons carry licenses

March 17, 2020 - Atlanta - A nearly empty display at Stoddard's Range and Guns, in Atlanta, where the store has seen an uptick in ammunition and gun sales as the coronavirus threat intensifies. Bob Andres / robert.andres@ajc.com

Credit: Bob Andres

Credit: Bob Andres

Probate courts across Georgia have been instructed to temporarily stop accepting applications for weapons carry licenses.

The statewide judicial emergency put in place Saturday by Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold Melton ordered all Georgia courts to "suspend all but essential court functions" until at least mid-April. The move is aimed at protecting workers and limiting in-person interactions amid the spread of coronavirus.

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In a statement provided Wednesday to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Council of Probate Court Judges of Georgia said it has decided that processing weapons carry licenses is not an essential function.

Georgia gun owners only need licenses to carry a weapon outside of their own home, vehicle or place of business.

“For those with weapons carry licenses set to expire during the emergency period, the emergency declaration extends the deadline for renewals, therefore a temporary license is not necessary,” Judge T.J. Hudson, the council’s president, wrote in the statement.

The council has urged law enforcement agencies not to enforce concealed carry violations for those whose licenses expire during the emergency period.

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