2022 Georgia Code
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
§ 16-11-127. Carrying Weapons or Long Guns in Unauthorized Locations

Universal Citation: GA Code § 16-11-127 (2022)
  1. As used in this Code section, the term:
    1. “Courthouse” means a building occupied by judicial courts and containing rooms in which judicial proceedings are held.
    2. “Government building” means:
      1. The building in which a government entity is housed;
      2. The building where a government entity meets in its official capacity; provided, however, that if such building is not a publicly owned building, such building shall be considered a government building for the purposes of this Code section only during the time such government entity is meeting at such building; or
      3. The portion of any building that is not a publicly owned building that is occupied by a government entity.
    3. “Government entity” means an office, agency, authority, department, commission, board, body, division, instrumentality, or institution of the state or any county, municipal corporation, consolidated government, or local board of education within this state.
    4. “Parking facility” means real property owned or leased by a government entity, courthouse, jail, prison, or place of worship that has been designated by such government entity, courthouse, jail, prison, or place of worship for the parking of motor vehicles at a government building or at such courthouse, jail, prison, or place of worship.
  2. Except as provided in Code Section 16-11-127.1 and subsection (d) or (e) of this Code section, a person shall be guilty of carrying a weapon or long gun in an unauthorized location and punished as for a misdemeanor when he or she carries a weapon or long gun while:
    1. In a government building without being a lawful weapons carrier;
    2. In a courthouse;
    3. In a jail or prison;
    4. In a place of worship, unless the governing body or authority of the place of worship permits the carrying of weapons or long guns by persons who are lawful weapons carriers;
    5. In a state mental health facility as defined in Code Section 37-1-1 which admits individuals on an involuntary basis for treatment of mental illness, developmental disability, or addictive disease; provided, however, that carrying a weapon or long gun in such location in a manner in compliance with paragraph (3) of subsection (d) of this Code section shall not constitute a violation of this subsection;
    6. On the premises of a nuclear power facility, except as provided in Code Section 16-11-127.2, and the punishment provisions of Code Section 16-11-127.2 shall supersede the punishment provisions of this Code section; or
    7. Within 150 feet of any polling place when elections are being conducted and such polling place is being used as a polling place as provided for in paragraph (27) of Code Section 21-2-2, except as provided in subsection (i) of Code Section 21-2-413.
  3. Any lawful weapons carrier shall be authorized to carry a weapon as provided in Code Section 16-11-135 and in every location in this state not listed in subsection (b) or prohibited by subsection (e) of this Code section; provided, however, that private property owners or persons in legal control of private property through a lease, rental agreement, licensing agreement, contract, or any other agreement to control access to such private property shall have the right to exclude or eject a person who is in possession of a weapon or long gun on his or her private property in accordance with paragraph (3) of subsection (b) of Code Section 16-7-21, except as provided in Code Section 16-11-135. A violation of subsection (b) of this Code section shall not create or give rise to a civil action for damages.
  4. Subsection (b) of this Code section shall not apply:
    1. To the use of weapons or long guns as exhibits in a legal proceeding, provided that such weapons or long guns are secured and handled as directed by the personnel providing courtroom security or the judge hearing the case;
    2. To a lawful weapons carrier who approaches security or management personnel upon arrival at a location described in subsection (b) of this Code section and notifies such security or management personnel of the presence of the weapon or long gun and explicitly follows the security or management personnel’s direction for removing, securing, storing, or temporarily surrendering such weapon or long gun; and
    3. To a weapon or long gun possessed by a lawful weapons carrier which is under the possessor’s control in a motor vehicle or is in a locked compartment of a motor vehicle or one which is in a locked container in or a locked firearms rack which is on a motor vehicle and such vehicle is parked in a parking facility.
    1. A lawful weapons carrier shall be authorized to carry a weapon in a government building when the government building is open for business and where ingress into such building is not restricted or screened by security personnel. A lawful weapons carrier who enters or attempts to enter a government building carrying a weapon where ingress is restricted or screened by security personnel shall be guilty of a misdemeanor if at least one member of such security personnel is certified as a peace officer pursuant to Chapter 8 of Title 35; provided, however, that a lawful weapons carrier who immediately exits such building or immediately leaves such location upon notification of his or her failure to clear security due to the carrying of a weapon shall not be guilty of violating this subsection or paragraph (1) of subsection (b) of this Code section. A person who is not a lawful weapons carrier and who attempts to enter a government building carrying a weapon shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
    2. Any lawful weapons carrier who violates subsection (b) of this Code section in a place of worship shall not be arrested but shall be fined not more than $100.00. Any person who is not a lawful weapons carrier who violates subsection (b) of this Code section in a place of worship shall be punished as for a misdemeanor.
  5. Nothing in this Code section shall in any way operate or be construed to affect, repeal, or limit the exemptions provided for under Code Section 16-11-130.

History. Ga. L. 1870, p. 421, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1878-79, p. 64, § 1; Code 1882, § 4528; Penal Code 1895, § 342; Ga. L. 1909, p. 90, § 1; Penal Code 1910, § 348; Code 1933, § 26-5102; Code 1933, § 26-2902, enacted by Ga. L. 1968, p. 1249, § 1; Ga. L. 1976, p. 1430, § 2; Ga. L. 1986, p. 673, § 1; Ga. L. 1987, p. 358, § 1; Ga. L. 1992, p. 1315, § 1; Ga. L. 1996, p. 748, § 11; Ga. L. 1997, p. 514, § 1; Ga. L. 2003, p. 423, § 1; Ga. L. 2008, p. 1199, § 4/HB 89; Ga. L. 2010, p. 963, § 1-3/SB 308; Ga. L. 2014, p. 432, § 2-5/HB 826; Ga. L. 2014, p. 599, § 1-5/HB 60; Ga. L. 2015, p. 805, § 3/HB 492; Ga. L. 2022, p. 74, § 6/SB 319.

The 2022 amendment, effective April 12, 2022, substituted “without being a lawful weapons carrier” for “as a nonlicense holder” at the end of paragraph (b)(1); substituted “persons who are lawful weapons carriers” for “license holders” at the end of paragraph (b)(4); in subsection (c), substituted “Any lawful weapons carrier” for “A license holder or person recognized under subsection (e) of Code Section 16-11-126” at the beginning, and “his or her” for “their” near the end of the first sentence; inserted “that” in paragraph (d)(1); and substituted “lawful weapons carrier” for “license holder” in paragraphs (d)(2), (d)(3), four times in paragraph (e)(1), and twice in paragraph (e)(2).

Cross references.

Exemption from section for private detectives and private security agents who hold firearms permits issued by Georgia Board of Private Detective and Security Agencies, § 43-38-10 .

Editor’s notes.

Ga. L. 1992, p. 1315, § 3, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: “All schools shall post in public view the provisions as contained in Code Section 16-11-127.1 (a) and (b).”

Ga. L. 2008, p. 1199, § 1/HB 89, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: “This Act shall be known and may be cited as the ‘Business Security and Employee Privacy Act.’ ”

Ga. L. 2010, p. 963, § 3-1/SB 308, not codified by the General Assembly, provides, in part, that the amendment of this Code section shall apply to all offenses committed on and after June 4, 2010, and shall not affect any prosecutions for acts occurring before June 4, 2010, and shall not act as an abatement of any such prosecution.

Ga. L. 2014, p. 599, § 1-1/HB 60, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: “This Act shall be known and may be cited as the ‘Safe Carry Protection Act.’ ”

Ga. L. 2022, p. 74, § 1/SB 319, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: “This Act shall be known and may be cited as the ‘Chairman John Meadows Act.’”

Ga. L. 2022, p. 74, § 2/SB 319, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: “The General Assembly finds and determines that:

“(1) The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution recognizes the right of the people to keep and bear arms and that such right shall not be infringed; and

“(2) The people of this state, to perpetuate the principles of free government, insure justice to all, preserve peace, promote the interest and happiness of the citizen and of the family, and transmit to posterity the enjoyment of liberty, provided that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed but that the General Assembly shall have power to prescribe the manner in which arms may be borne.”

Law reviews.

For article surveying developments in Georgia constitutional law from mid-1980 through mid-1981, see 33 Mercer L. Rev. 51 (1981).

For article, “Crimes and Offenses,” see 27 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 131 (2011).

For article on the 2014 amendment of this Code section, see 31 Ga. St. U. L. Rev. 47 (2014).

For annual survey on real property law, see 70 Mercer L. Rev. 209 (2018).

For note, “Education Under Fire?: An Analysis of Campus Carry and University Autonomy in Georgia,” see 54 Ga. L. Rev. 387 (2019).

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