Georgia Weapons Carry License Apps And Renewals Still On Hold

During COVID-19 pandemic, asks Gov. Kemp to temporarily relax enforcement on state code referencing gun carry laws.

Brad Gill | March 25, 2020

If you currently have a Georgia weapons carry license (GWL) and it’s set for renewal between now and April 13, you’re getting an extension on that deadline, according to a recent statement by Currently, probate courts across the state have temporarily suspended acceptance of new applications and renewals for Georgia weapons carry licenses after the Supreme Court of Georgia declared a Judicial Emergency in response to the COVID-19 crisis. (GCO) reports, “We are told that if your license is due renewal during the emergency period, your license will not expire. You will be able to renew after the emergency ends and your current license will remain valid until April 13, 2020.”

In addition, GCO recently sent Gov. Brian Kemp a letter requesting that he use his emergency powers to suspend the enforcement of O.C.G.A. § 16-11-126. This state law places certain restrictions on those without a Georgia weapons carry licenses who wish to carry weapons outside one’s home, automobile or place of business. GCO is asking for a suspension of enforcement on O.C.G.A. § 16-11-126 until probate courts begin the normal business of issuing and renewing Georgia weapons carry licenses.

Below is the letter sent from GCO to Gov. Kemp on March 19.

Dear Gov. Kemp:

I am writing you on behalf of GeorgiaCarry.Org, Inc. As you know, Chief Justice Melton has declared a Statewide Judicial Emergency and has ordered judges not to perform “non-essential” functions. The Council of Probate Judges has determined that issuing Georgia weapons carry licenses (GWLs) is “non-essential.” For the duration of the Judicial Emergency, the State is not issuing GWLs or even accepting applications for them.

O.C.G.A. § 16-11-126 prohibits carrying a weapon outside one’s home, automobile or place of business without a GWL. Violations are punishable as for a misdemeanor ($1,000 fine and 12 months in jail).

The only way our licensing requirement “works” constitutionally is with the relative ease for law-abiding citizens to obtain a GWL. We have moved from the status quo ante of relative ease to the current state of sheer impossibility of obtaining a GWL.

In order to preserve the Second Amendment and State Constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens during the emergency, I therefore request that you use your emergency powers to suspend enforcement of O.C.G.A. § 16-11-126 for the duration of the emergency. This request is not a drastic one. Dangerous people such as convicted felons and mentally ill will remain prohibited under state and federal law (O.C.G.A. § 16-11-131; 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)) from even possessing firearms, let alone carrying them. The request would only allow people who already are permitted to possess firearms to carry them outside their homes, automobiles and places of business in order to protect themselves and their families during this time of crisis.

Thank you in advance for your consideration and your leadership during this emergency, and please contact me if you have any questions.

John R. Monroe
Vice President, GeorgiaCarry.Org, Inc.

For more info on GCO, check them out online.

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