2010 Georgia Code
O.C.G.A. 16-11-129 (2010)
TITLE 16 - CRIMES AND OFFENSES
CHAPTER 11 - OFFENSES AGAINST PUBLIC ORDER AND SAFETY
ARTICLE 4 - DANGEROUS INSTRUMENTALITIES AND PRACTICES
PART 3 - CARRYING AND POSSESSION OF FIREARMS
§ 16-11-129 - License to carry weapon; temporary renewal permit; mandamus
16-11-129. License to carry weapon; temporary renewal permit; mandamus
(a) Application for weapons carry license or renewal license; term. The judge of the probate court of each county may, on application under oath and on payment of a fee of $30.00, issue a weapons carry license or renewal license valid for a period of five years to any person whose domicile is in that county or who is on active duty with the United States armed forces and who is not a domiciliary of this state but who either resides in that county or on a military reservation located in whole or in part in that county at the time of such application. Such license or renewal license shall authorize that person to carry any weapon in any county of this state notwithstanding any change in that person's county of residence or state of domicile. Applicants shall submit the application for a weapons carry license or renewal license to the judge of the probate court on forms prescribed and furnished free of charge to persons wishing to apply for the license or renewal license. An applicant who is not a United States citizen shall provide sufficient personal identifying data, including without limitation his or her place of birth and United States issued alien or admission number, as the Georgia Bureau of Investigation may prescribe by rule or regulation. An applicant who is in nonimmigrant status shall provide proof of his or her qualifications for an exception to the federal firearm prohibition pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Section 922(y). Forms shall be designed to elicit information from the applicant pertinent to his or her eligibility under this Code section, including citizenship, but shall not require data which is nonpertinent or irrelevant such as serial numbers or other identification capable of being used as a de facto registration of firearms owned by the applicant. The Department of Public Safety shall furnish application forms and license forms required by this Code section. The forms shall be furnished to each judge of each probate court within the state at no cost.
(b) Licensing exceptions.
(1) As used in this subsection, the term:
(A) "Controlled substance" means any drug, substance, or immediate precursor included in the definition of controlled substances in paragraph (4) of Code Section 16-13-21.
(B) "Convicted" means a plea of guilty or a finding of guilt by a court of competent jurisdiction or the acceptance of a plea of nolo contendere, irrespective of the pendency or availability of an appeal or an application for collateral relief.
(C) "Dangerous drug" means any drug defined as such in Code Section 16-13-71.
(2) No weapons carry license shall be issued to:
(A) Any person under 21 years of age;
(B) Any person who has been convicted of a felony by a court of this state or any other state; by a court of the United States including its territories, possessions, and dominions; or by a court of any foreign nation and has not been pardoned for such felony by the President of the United States, the State Board of Pardons and Paroles, or the person or agency empowered to grant pardons under the constitution or laws of such state or nation;
(C) Any person against whom proceedings are pending for any felony;
(D) Any person who is a fugitive from justice;
(E) Any person who is prohibited from possessing or shipping a firearm in interstate commerce pursuant to subsections (g) and (n) of 18 U.S.C. Section 922;
(F) Any person who has been convicted of an offense arising out of the unlawful manufacture or distribution of a controlled substance or other dangerous drug;
(G) Any person who has had his or her weapons carry license revoked pursuant to subsection (e) of this Code section;
(H) Any person who has been convicted of any of the following:
(i) Pointing a gun or a pistol at another in violation of Code Section 16-11-102;
(ii) Carrying a weapon without a weapons carry license in violation of Code Section 16-11-126; or
(iii) Carrying a weapon or long gun in an unauthorized location in violation of Code Section 16-11-127
and has not been free of all restraint or supervision in connection therewith and free of any other conviction for at least five years immediately preceding the date of the application;
(I) Any person who has been convicted of any misdemeanor involving the use or possession of a controlled substance and has not been free of all restraint or supervision in connection therewith or free of:
(i) A second conviction of any misdemeanor involving the use or possession of a controlled substance; or
(ii) Any conviction under subparagraphs (E) through (G) of this paragraph
for at least five years immediately preceding the date of the application; or
(J) Any person who has been hospitalized as an inpatient in any mental hospital or alcohol or drug treatment center within the five years immediately preceding the application. The judge of the probate court may require any applicant to sign a waiver authorizing any mental hospital or treatment center to inform the judge whether or not the applicant has been an inpatient in any such facility in the last five years and authorizing the superintendent of such facility to make to the judge a recommendation regarding whether the applicant is a threat to the safety of others and whether a license to carry a weapon should be issued. When such a waiver is required by the judge, the applicant shall pay a fee of $3.00 for reimbursement of the cost of making such a report by the mental health hospital, alcohol or drug treatment center, or the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, which the judge shall remit to the hospital, center, or department. The judge shall keep any such hospitalization or treatment information confidential. It shall be at the discretion of the judge, considering the circumstances surrounding the hospitalization and the recommendation of the superintendent of the hospital or treatment center where the individual was a patient, to issue the weapons carry license or renewal license.
(3) If first offender treatment without adjudication of guilt for a conviction contained in subparagraph (F) or (I) of paragraph (2) of this subsection was entered and such sentence was successfully completed and such person has not had any other conviction since the completion of such sentence and for at least five years immediately preceding the date of the application, he or she shall be eligible for a weapons carry license provided that no other license exception applies.
Following completion of the application for a weapons carry license or the renewal of a license, the judge of the probate court shall require the applicant to proceed to an appropriate law enforcement agency in the county with the completed application. The appropriate local law enforcement agency in each county shall then capture the fingerprints of the applicant for a weapons carry license or renewal license and place the name of the applicant on the blank license form. The appropriate local law enforcement agency shall place the fingerprint on a blank license form which has been furnished to the law enforcement agency by the judge of the probate court if a fingerprint is required to be furnished by subsection (f) of this Code section. The law enforcement agency shall be entitled to a fee of $5.00 from the applicant for its services in connection with the application.
(d) Investigation of applicant; issuance of weapons carry license; renewal.
(1) For both weapons carry license applications and requests for license renewals, the judge of the probate court shall within five days following the receipt of the application or request direct the law enforcement agency to request a fingerprint based criminal history records check from the Georgia Crime Information Center and Federal Bureau of Investigation for purposes of determining the suitability of the applicant and return an appropriate report to the judge of the probate court. Fingerprints shall be in such form and of such quality as prescribed by the Georgia Crime Information Center and under standards adopted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation may charge such fee as is necessary to cover the cost of the records search.
(2) For both weapons carry license applications and requests for license renewals, the judge of the probate court shall within five days following the receipt of the application or request also direct the law enforcement agency to conduct a background check using the Federal Bureau of Investigation's National Instant Criminal Background Check System and return an appropriate report to the probate judge.
(3) When a person who is not a United States citizen applies for a weapons carry license or renewal of a license under this Code section, the judge of the probate court shall direct the law enforcement agency to conduct a search of the records maintained by the United States Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and return an appropriate report to the probate judge. As a condition to the issuance of a license or the renewal of a license, an applicant who is in nonimmigrant status shall provide proof of his or her qualifications for an exception to the federal firearm prohibition pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Section 922(y).
(4) The law enforcement agency shall report to the judge of the probate court within 30 days, by telephone and in writing, of any findings relating to the applicant which may bear on his or her eligibility for a weapons carry license or renewal license under the terms of this Code section. When no derogatory information is found on the applicant bearing on his or her eligibility to obtain a license or renewal license, a report shall not be required. The law enforcement agency shall return the application and the blank license form with the fingerprint thereon directly to the judge of the probate court within such time period. Not later than ten days after the judge of the probate court receives the report from the law enforcement agency concerning the suitability of the applicant for a license, the judge of the probate court shall issue such applicant a license or renewal license to carry any weapon unless facts establishing ineligibility have been reported or unless the judge determines such applicant has not met all the qualifications, is not of good moral character, or has failed to comply with any of the requirements contained in this Code section. The judge of the probate court shall date stamp the report from the law enforcement agency to show the date on which the report was received by the judge of the probate court.
(e) Revocation, loss, or damage to license. If, at any time during the period for which the weapons carry license was issued, the judge of the probate court of the county in which the license was issued shall learn or have brought to his or her attention in any manner any reasonable ground to believe the licensee is not eligible to retain the license, the judge may, after notice and hearing, revoke the license of the person upon a finding that such person is not eligible for a weapons carry license pursuant to subsection (b) of this Code section or an adjudication of falsification of application, mental incompetency, or chronic alcohol or narcotic usage. It shall be unlawful for any person to possess a license which has been revoked, and any person found in possession of any such revoked license, except in the performance of his or her official duties, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. It shall be required that any license holder under this Code section have in his or her possession his or her valid license whenever he or she is carrying a weapon under the authority granted by this Code section, and his or her failure to do so shall be prima-facie evidence of a violation of Code Section 16-11-126. 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 and notify by telephone and in writing each of the law enforcement agencies whose records were checked before issuance of the original license. The judge shall charge the fee specified in subsection (k) of Code Section 15-9-60 for such services.
(f) (1) Weapons carry license specifications. Weapons carry licenses issued as prescribed in this Code section shall be printed on durable but lightweight card stock, and the completed card shall be laminated in plastic to improve its wearing qualities and to inhibit alterations. Measurements shall be 3 1/4 inches long and 2 1/4 inches wide. Each shall be serially numbered within the county of issuance and shall bear the full name, residential address, birth date, weight, height, color of eyes, and sex of the licensee. The license shall show the date of issuance, the expiration date, and the probate court in which issued and shall be signed by the licensee and bear the signature or facsimile thereof of the judge. The seal of the court shall be placed on the face before the license is laminated. Licenses issued on and before December 31, 2011, shall bear a clear print of the licensee's right index finger; however, if the right index fingerprint cannot be secured for any reason, the print of another finger may be used but such print shall be marked to identify the finger from which the print is taken.
(2) (A) On and after January 1, 2012, newly issued or renewal weapons carry licenses shall incorporate overt and covert security features which shall be blended with the personal data printed on the license to form a significant barrier to imitation, replication, and duplication. There shall be a minimum of three different ultraviolet colors used to enhance the security of the license incorporating variable data, color shifting characteristics, and front edge only perimeter visibility. The weapons carry license shall have a color photograph viewable under ambient light on both the front and back of the license. The license shall incorporate custom optical variable devices featuring the great seal of the State of Georgia as well as matching demetalized optical variable devices viewable under ambient light from the front and back of the license incorporating microtext and unique alphanumeric serialization specific to the license holder. The license shall be of similar material, size, and thickness of a credit card and have a holographic laminate to secure and protect the license for the duration of the license period.
(B) Using the physical characteristics of the license set forth in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, The Council of Probate Court Judges of Georgia shall create specifications for the probate courts so that all weapons carry licenses in this state shall be uniform and so that probate courts can petition the Department of Administrative Services to purchase the equipment and supplies necessary for producing such licenses. The department shall follow the competitive bidding procedure set forth in Code Section 50-5-102.
(g) Alteration or counterfeiting of license; penalty. A person who deliberately alters or counterfeits a weapons carry license or who possesses an altered or counterfeit weapons carry license with the intent to misrepresent any information contained in such license shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for a period of not less than one nor more than five years.
(h) Licenses for former law enforcement officers. Except as otherwise provided in Code Section 16-11-130, any person who has served as a law enforcement officer for at least ten of the 12 years immediately preceding the retirement of such person as a law enforcement officer shall be entitled to be issued a weapons carry license as provided for in this Code section without the payment of any of the fees provided for in this Code section. Such person shall comply with all the other provisions of this Code section relative to the issuance of such licenses. As used in this subsection, the term "law enforcement officer" means any peace officer who is employed by the United States government or by the State of Georgia or any political subdivision thereof and who is required by the terms of his or her employment, whether by election or appointment, to give his or her full time to the preservation of public order or the protection of life and property or the prevention of crime. Such term shall include conservation rangers.
(i) Temporary renewal licenses.
(1) 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.
(2) Unless the judge of the probate court knows or is made aware of any fact which would make the applicant ineligible for a five-year renewal license, the judge shall at the time of application issue a temporary renewal license to the applicant.
(3) Such a temporary renewal license shall be in the form of a paper receipt indicating the date on which the court received the renewal application and shall show the name, address, sex, age, and race of the applicant and that the temporary renewal license expires 90 days from the date of issue.
(4) During its period of validity the temporary renewal permit, if carried on or about the holder's person together with the holder's previous license, shall be valid in the same manner and for the same purposes as a five-year license.
(5) A $1.00 fee shall be charged by the probate court for issuance of a temporary renewal license.
(6) A temporary renewal license may be revoked in the same manner as a five-year license.
(j) When an eligible applicant fails to receive a license, temporary permit, or renewal license within the time period required by this Code section and the application or request has been properly filed, the applicant may bring an action in mandamus or other legal proceeding in order to obtain a license, temporary license, or renewal license. If such applicant is the prevailing party, he or she shall be entitled to recover his or her costs in such action, including reasonable attorney's fees.
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