We’re all human. Sometimes that means forgetting a phone number; sometimes it’s misplacing your car keys. But what happens when you realize you’ve misplaced your Weapons Carry License? How does this affect your right to carry in Georgia?
WHAT THE LAW SAYS
Generally, no Weapons Carry License is needed to possess a firearm in Georgia. So long as you are eligible to possess a handgun in general (this means you are over the age of 18; you suffer from no pending felony charges or felony convictions; you have no convictions for misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence; and you are not a First Offender Act probationer), you may do so without a Georgia Weapons Carry License, and may carry lawfully in your home, car (and the vehicle of others, so long as you have their permission and otherwise qualify for a Weapons Carry License), place of business, property that you own or lease, or when the firearm is “enclosed in a case and unloaded.” Ga. Code Ann. § 16-11-126.
For long guns (rifles and shotguns), no Weapons Carry License is required for lawful possession. This includes public locations that otherwise would require a Weapons Carry License for a handgun. Of course, all restrictions on carrying in certain locations (courthouses, houses of worship, schools, etc.) must be followed.
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU REALIZE YOU NEED A REPLACEMENT
If you find you’ve lost your Weapons Carry License, inform your county probate court immediately: Georgia statute requires you report the loss within 48 hours.
“Loss of any license issued in accordance with this Code section or damage to the license in any manner which shall render it illegible shall be reported to the judge of the probate court of the county in which it was issued within 48 hours of the time the loss or damage becomes known to the license holder. The judge of the probate court shall thereupon issue a replacement for and shall take custody of and destroy a damaged license; and in any case in which a license has been lost, he or she shall issue a cancellation order. The judge shall charge the fee specified in subsection (k) of Code Section 15-9-60 for such services.”
The judge “shall thereupon issue” a replacement Weapons Carry License after issuing a cancellation order for the lost license.
CAN I CARRY WHILE I WAIT?
More frequently, the question arises whether you can carry while awaiting a renewal Weapons Carry License. The answer is yes! Keeping in mind the general rules on carrying without a license, when you apply for a renewal license, you may also ask for a temporary renewal license:
“Any person who holds a weapons carry license under this Code section may, at the time he or she applies for a renewal of the license, also apply for a temporary renewal license if less than 90 days remain before expiration of the license he or she then holds or if the previous license has expired within the last 30 days.” Ga. Code Ann. § 16-11-129(i)(1)
The temporary renewal license is a receipt that must be carried with the license to be renewed and is valid for 90 days. Anyone who has more than 90 days left on a Weapons Carry License and has a legal name change or change of address may apply for a “replacement” license to update their personal information. When the replacement license is received, the license being replaced must be surrendered to the probate court.
If you have any questions about Georgia’s replacement Weapons Carry License procedures, please call U.S. LawShield and ask to speak with an Independent Program Attorney.
The preceding should not be construed as legal advice nor the creation of an attorney-client relationship. This is not an endorsement or solicitation for any service. Your situation may be different, so please contact your attorney regarding your specific circumstances. Because the laws, judges, juries, and prosecutors vary from location to location, similar or even identical facts and circumstances to those described in this presentation may result in significantly different legal outcomes. This presentation is by no means a guarantee or promise of any particular legal outcome, positive, negative, or otherwise.