I need to talk to a few Georgia members

This is a discussion on I need to talk to a few Georgia members within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; We are moving to the Atlanta area in a few weeks. New job, better pay, just generally better all around than Memphis for sure. Now ...

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Thread: I need to talk to a few Georgia members

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array TN_Mike's Avatar
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    I need to talk to a few Georgia members

    We are moving to the Atlanta area in a few weeks. New job, better pay, just generally better all around than Memphis for sure.

    Now here is the thing, I am a member over at opencarry.org and have been talking to a few people on the Georgia page. One of them has pretty well put the fear of God into me about carrying in Georgia because of some nuances of the GA carry laws. Below is the text of part of a PM he sent me and shows an example of what I am talking about:

    I Don't carry at all here. It may be silly but I am not up for going to jail (even if the case is later dismissed.)

    A couple examples:
    1) My girlfriend and I are driving to this great craft beer store in midtown Atlanta. The only way to get to this place is to drive through Georgia Tech property. Say the car breaks down on the road next to the school. I am now within 1000' of a school in possession of a firearm (a FELONY in Georgia) and am breaking the law.

    2) We like to walk around the Decatur square and window shop and have lunch. I would have to plan our route around town to never be within 1000' of any of the churches in downtown Decatur...I actually just looked at the map and there is no way I could walk anywhere in downtown Decatur without being within 1000' of a church.

    There is a HUGE list of off limits places in Georgia. I don't think I could plan my weekends around where I can't carry. This may soon change with pending legislation though and at that time I will carry at all times.
    Now what I am asking the GA members here is, is this guy correct? Should I be this worried about carrying in GA when we move there.

    If this is accurate then I hope the pending legislation passes and makes things better but I honestly have to believe that it can't be this bad or I would think we would hear about GA permit holders being brought up on charges all the time for inadvertently breaking the law and getting busted.

    Someone tell me this guy is just being paranoid and it isn't this bad in my soon to be home state!
    ,=====o00o _
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  3. #2
    Member Array Recon4Life2's Avatar
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    Go to the web sight Georgiapacking.org, they can help you out with what ever you want to know. Most of what you want to know is already on their websight.

  4. #3
    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    Yup, he's a paranoid little pup for sure...... I've been carrying here for 20+ years and have never seen or herd of any major problems with the CC laws for Ga. There's some purposed legislation that'll allow church carry and a few other places, but I think he's going a little overboard there for sure.
    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." Luke 22:36

    "If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so." Thomas Jefferson

  5. #4
    Member Array DIXIETWISTER's Avatar
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    yep georgiapacking.org will help you a bunch.
    You may not like guns. You may choose not to own one. That is your right.
    You might not believe in God. That is your choice.
    However, if someone breaks into your home at 3AM the first two things you are going to do are:
    1) Call someone with a gun.
    2)Pray they get there in time." - A wise man

  6. #5
    Member Array Sledzep01's Avatar
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    +1 they have great info there.

    I remember reading (maybe on that site) that you if you are on a "public road" and passing through or past a school you are OK.

    Sled

  7. #6
    Member Array Phantoms's Avatar
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    Also check out Georgia Carry : An information clearinghouse for Georgia Firearms License issues and news.
    Sign up and help support our gun rights, Georgia Carry has done a lot for our gun rights here and continues to fight the good fight on our behalf.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Array Moga's Avatar
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    Generally speaking, the code of Georgia law that deals with firearms carry is found in Official Code Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.) 16.11.120 through 16.11.135. There are a few other sections of law in Georgia Code that deal with guns, but they only apply in very narrow circumstances, such as carrying while hunting or while visiting a wildlife preserve. Let's just set those aside for the time being.

    Section 16.11.127 is titled "Carrying deadly weapons to or at public gatherings; affirmative defenses." It is this section that is most likely giving your acquaintance the fits with respect to his comment that "there is a HUGE list of places that are off limits in Georgia." Indeed, this section is difficult to grasp and, by all historical precedents, was purposely written that way. But it isn't as bad as makes it out.

    The meat and potatoes of 127 states the following:

    For the purpose of this Code section, "public gathering" shall include, but shall not be limited to, athletic or sporting events, churches or church functions, political rallies or functions, publicly owned or operated buildings, or establishments at which alcoholic beverages are sold for consumption on the premises and which derive less than 50 percent of their total annual gross food and beverage sales from the sale of prepared meals or food. Nothing in this Code section shall otherwise prohibit the carrying of a firearm in any other public place by a person licensed or permitted to carry such firearm by this part.
    Tricky, huh?

    In common practice, it is usually those places specifically mentioned that are off limits, plus certain other cases, such as when an event, short lived in duration, is held in a location that isn't usually off limits, such as a political appearance held at a mall (political rally) or a marathon held at a park (sporting event). Once you become familiar with the law and how its commonly applied, you will be able to quickly determine if an otherwise permissible place is a PG (Public Gathering). Gottabkiddin is right; there is legislation being sponsored in the Georgia Legislature this season that would strike this language from the books. It's only a matter of time.

    Now, moving on to schools. The applicable legalese in Georgia Code is 16.11.127.1; titled Carrying weapons within school safety zones, at school functions, or on school property . It reads:

    (a) As used in this Code section, the term:

    "School safety zone" means in, on, or within 1,000 feet of any real property owned by or leased to any public or private elementary school, secondary school, or school board and used for elementary or secondary education and in, on, or within 1,000 feet of the campus of any public or private technical school, vocational school, college, university, or institution of postsecondary education.
    .
    .
    .
    Except as otherwise provided in subsection (c) of this Code section, it shall be unlawful for any person to carry to or to possess or have under such person's control while within a school safety zone or at a school building, school function, or school property or on a bus or other transportation furnished by the school any weapon or explosive compound, other than fireworks the possession of which is regulated by Chapter 10 of Title 25. Any person who violates this subsection shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000.00, by imprisonment for not less than two nor more than ten years, or both; provided, however, that upon conviction of a violation of this subsection involving a firearm as defined in paragraph (2) of subsection (a) of Code Section 16-11-131, or a dangerous weapon or machine gun as defined in Code Section 16-11-121, such person shall be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000.00 or by imprisonment for a period of not less than five nor more than ten years, or both. A child who violates this subsection shall be subject to the provisions of Code Section 15-11-63.

    This is likely the source of the trepidation felt by the fellow at OPDO when he contemplates how to carry and remain on the right side of the law. But that also isn't the full reading of that section of the law.


    Subsection (a) of this Code section shall not apply:
    .
    .
    .
    (7) A person who is licensed in accordance with Code Section 16-11-129 or issued a permit pursuant to Code Section 43-38-10, when such person carries or picks up a student at a school building, school function, or school property or on a bus or other transportation furnished by the school or any weapon legally kept within a vehicle in transit through a designated school zone by any person other than a student;
    I have snipped the full reading of 127.1 for brevity. There are a number of persons that are exempted from 127.1 other than holders of a Georgia Firearm License.

    Section 129 is the code that gives the State of Georgia the authority to issue a firearm license for carry. The title of that section is: License to carry pistol or revolver; temporary renewal permit. I will not reproduce it here, as it states pretty much what you'd expect.

    So, Sledzep01 is absolutely right. A GFL that is armed and going about his business on a road through Georgia Tech is perfectly legal. It is not clear if there would be a violation if his mode of transport broke down. That's totally a judgment call for the responding officers and the courts, yet I don't think an arrest would stick. The physical evidence of the inoperable motor vehicle would likely be taken into consideration. Either way, know that the example is fairly contrived. The comment about being 1000' from a church is completely baseless, BTW.

    I hope this has helped. I encourage you to do your own research and become comfortable interpreting and knowing Georgia Law, then follow it up with a course on applicable firearm case law to round yourself out. That way, you don't become nervous-nelly every time you decide to put on your tool belt and tool before leaving the house like our friend at OCDO.

    Cheers. Carry wisely, carry often, and welcome.
    2nd Amendment: because personal violence never makes an appointment.
    Evil resides in the heart of the individual, not in inanimate objects.
    Proud Member of GeorgiaCarry.Org

  9. #8
    Member Array Toml's Avatar
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    Open carry and concealed carry are legal with a valid Georgia Firearms License. Decatur Square is highly recommended, accessible by MARTA. You may carry on MARTA and in restaurants serving alcohol, but don't consume while totin'.

    Welcome to Hotlanta!

  10. #9
    Senior Member Array Moga's Avatar
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    TN_MIKE, let me also say something else, because looking back on my post, I notice that I didn't point it out clearly. Being ok to travel through a school zone armed with a GFL is NOT the same as stepping onto school property armed. The latter is NOT permissible, even with a license, as the law is currently written. An amendment to this code is also currently sponsored this legislative session, but for now, it's a no-go.
    2nd Amendment: because personal violence never makes an appointment.
    Evil resides in the heart of the individual, not in inanimate objects.
    Proud Member of GeorgiaCarry.Org

  11. #10
    Member Array MountainPacker's Avatar
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    Congratulations on the new job!

  12. #11
    Senior Member Array mzmtg's Avatar
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    One important difference between TN and GA is signage law. In GA, there is none.

    In GA, "no guns" signs (of any type) do not legally prohibit one from carrying into that building. You don't see very many of them, but if you do, don't worry about being inviolation of the law.

  13. #12
    Member Array BMack's Avatar
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    Sounds to me like the guy trying to put the "fear of god" into CCWers might be a troll. I wonder how long he's been a member at opencarry and how many posts he's entered?

  14. #13
    Member Array Biomortis's Avatar
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    TN-Mike - To put your mind at ease about school zones and carrying, here in Augusta which is about 2 hours east of Atlanta, there is an indoor gun range which also sells firearms literally ACROSS THE STREET from Westside High School. Unfortunately, Atlanta cops are a lot more uptight than Augusta cops. Prepare for minor hassle on open carry. Oh, and in Kennesaw there is a law on the books, although unenforced, that every household must have a firearm.

    As those above have mentioned, Georgiapacking.org is a great resource. Even the Glock carrying probate judge that approved my GFL sent a letter recommending it.

    Basically the big things to remember are:
    Don't carry inside a church.
    Don't carry inside a school of any kind.
    Don't carry to a sporting event.
    Don't carry to a concert.
    Don't carry to a bar (restaurant is fine, just don't drink)
    Don't carry in government buildings.
    No signage laws so signs mean nothing. Just leave if asked to leave.
    Don't carry on MARTA (public transport) unless you are prepared for a legal battle. It's legal but they are jumpy as hell about it.

    So basically since I have no need for church and have no children and don't know how many touchdowns are in a home run when playing on a half court, the only times I have to disarm is when I want a drink or am rocking out on stage.

    Advance greetings to the area.
    Glock 22 (G2) & 27 (G3)
    S&W 686 .357 4" Stainless Pre-lock
    Ruger 10/22
    Marlin Model 65 .22LR - 1968
    Remington Model 31 16ga - 1932
    Remington 1900 12ga - 1904

  15. #14
    Member Array Phantoms's Avatar
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    In Georgia, you may carry a handgun anywhere inside your vehicle, concealed or open, loaded or not. You can do so as long as you can legally own a gun, no permit is required.

    You can carry a handgun inside your vehicle onto school property as long as you are just picking up/dropping off someone or proceeding though school property or a school zone. You may not carry outside of your vehicle on any school property except under very limited conditions.

  16. #15
    Distinguished Member Array Doc Holliday's Avatar
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    So what part of the metro Atlanta area are you moving to?

    The advice on georgiapacking.org is spot on. Also, please join GCO when you get here.
    Why Ike, whatever do you mean? Maybe poker's just not your game Ike. I know! Let's have a spelling contest!

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