This week, Walmart, Kroger, Walgreens, CVS and Wegmans food stores all asked customers not to openly carry firearms in their stores. Walmart also announced it will stop selling ammunition for handguns and others weapons.
Here’s a rundown of what Georgia law allows and doesn’t allow:
Who can carry? Georgia residents who have been issued a weapons carry license or anyone who is visiting Georgia with a reciprocal permit.
What’s a reciprocal permit? Georgia has agreements with 32 states to recognize weapons carry licenses issued by those states (and vice versa). Those states are Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
I’m a Georgia resident but don’t have a permit. How do I get one? In Georgia, county probate courts issue firearms licenses to state residents who are at least 21 years old, provided they consent to be fingerprinted and pass a criminal background check. Certain other exemptions or restrictions may apply. This is not, however, a quick process. If you have never had a weapons carry license before, the process may take more than a month.
Can I carry a gun into a restaurant or bar? Yes. However, Georgia law allows a restaurant or bar owner to ask you to leave if they do not want you to carry in their establishment. The best way to avoid a problem is to ask before you are seated.
What if I want to go to church service on Sunday? License holders may carry their guns into a church or religious building, but only with permission from the church.
Can I carry at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport? Yes, in what are considered “non-secure” portions of the main terminals. You are not allowed to carry past the TSA security checkpoints or in the concourses.
What if I’m driving? Yes, you may carry in your car.
What if I’m planning to ride MARTA? Yes, you may take your gun on the train if you are legally licensed to carry it. But the agency requests you also have your license with you while carrying your weapon. Anyone found carrying a firearm without a license will receive a citation and have the firearm confiscated.
Anything else I should know? State law currently guns at public colleges and universities in the state, such as the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Georgia State and Kennesaw State universities. It does not apply to private institutions such as Emory University or Spelman College. They’re not allowed in athletic venues, student housing, fraternity and sorority houses, faculty academic offices, offices where disciplinary proceedings are held, spaces where classes are held for high school students, including dual-enrollment programs, as well as pre-school and childcare facilities.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.