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Old December 7, 2008, 05:33 PM   #1
pagmic
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Minimum age for handgun ownership in GA

Hey everybody I'm new here so I guess this will be my first post. Well I'm pretty confused about the handgun minimum age for ownership in GA. What I do know is that you must be 21 to buy a handgun from a FFl but Ive heard you only have to be 18 to purchase through a private transaction. I've searched the ATF site, the Ga layman's terms for gun laws, and the internet in general but cant seem to find a clear cut answer. Any help would be greatly appreciated. The reason I want a handgun is because I'm 18 and would like to join an IPSC league but that's pretty hard to do if you don't have anything to shoot with. Thanks in advance. Btw if some one bought the gun for me and I bought the gun from them would that be considered a straw purchase as I'm completely legal, just not 21.
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Old December 7, 2008, 06:28 PM   #2
VHinch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pagmic
Btw if some one bought the gun for me and I bought the gun from them would that be considered a straw purchase as I'm completely legal, just not 21.
The way you word it, yes. If someone buys a handgun with the intent of reselling to you to subvert the law, it is a straw purchase, and both you and the purchaser are guilty of a felony.

You can legally own a handgun at 18 in Georgia. However, you can not buy a handgun from a licensed dealer until you are 21, so it must be purchased from a private party or gifted to you by a parent. Many, if not most, private sellers may be uncomfortable selling a handgun to someone under 21, so the gifting route is probably your best avenue. You should also note that if your parent buys a gun and then you buy it from them, that is not a gift, it is a straw purchase.

You can not carry this weapon. You may use in in a shooting sport, and you may transport it to and from that event, or to and from a shooting range. Being under 21 I would advise transporting the weapon unloaded in the trunk to and from to avoid hassle by law enforcement.
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Old December 7, 2008, 06:37 PM   #3
pagmic
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Thanks for the info. Is it just me or dose that seem kind of backwards, I mean wouldn't the gov. want you to buy from the place that required you to get background checked? Now I just have to get one of my parents to go out and buy me a gun...that's going to be real easy. Thanks again.
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Old December 8, 2008, 12:45 AM   #4
Bud Helms
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Welcome to TFL, pagmic.
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Old December 8, 2008, 07:55 AM   #5
NavyLT
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Quote:
or gifted to you by a parent.
1. I can be gifted to you by ANYONE who is a resident of the same state as you, IE: Georgia.

2. For the parents to gift the gun, they must be residents of the same state as the child, the can't gift across state lines just because they are parents.

Quote:
and you may transport it to and from that event, or to and from a shooting range.
According to GA code 16-11-126 he would NOT be able to transport the handgun to any event:

Quote:
O.C.G.A. § 16-11-126
Carrying a concealed weapon
(a) A person commits the offense of carrying a concealed weapon when such person knowingly has or carries about his or her person, unless in an open manner and fully exposed to view, any bludgeon, knuckles whether made from metal, thermoplastic, wood, or other similar material, firearm, knife designed for the purpose of offense and defense, or any other dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument of like character outside of his or her home or place of business, except as permitted under this Code section.
(d) This Code section shall not forbid the transportation of any firearm by a person who is not among those enumerated as ineligible for a license under Code Section 16-11-129, provided the firearm is enclosed in a case, unloaded, and separated from its ammunition.
An 18 to 20 year old IS ineligible for the Georgia Firearms Permit, and therefore is NOT legal to carry the pistol, even unloaded and in a case.

If he chose to get a hunting or fishing license, then he could carry the pistol:

Quote:
O.C.G.A. § 16-11-128
Carrying pistol without license
(a) A person commits the offense of carrying a pistol without a license when he has or carries on or about his person, outside of his home, motor vehicle, or place of business, any pistol or revolver without having on his person a valid license issued by the judge of the probate court of the county in which he resides, provided that no permit shall be required for persons with a valid hunting or fishing license on their person or for persons not required by law to have hunting licenses who are engaged in legal hunting, fishing, or sport shooting when the persons have the permission of the owner of the land on which the activities are being conducted; provided, further, that the pistol or revolver, whenever loaded, shall be carried only in an open and fully exposed manner.
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Old December 8, 2008, 11:49 AM   #6
Bud Helms
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Quote:
According to GA code 16-11-126 he would NOT be able to transport the handgun to any event:

Quote:
O.C.G.A. § 16-11-126
Carrying a concealed weapon
(a) A person commits the offense of carrying a concealed weapon when such person knowingly has or carries about his or her person, unless in an open manner and fully exposed to view, any bludgeon, knuckles whether made from metal, thermoplastic, wood, or other similar material, firearm, knife designed for the purpose of offense and defense, or any other dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument of like character outside of his or her home or place of business, except as permitted under this Code section.
(d) This Code section shall not forbid the transportation of any firearm by a person who is not among those enumerated as ineligible for a license under Code Section 16-11-129, provided the firearm is enclosed in a case, unloaded, and separated from its ammunition.
An 18 to 20 year old IS ineligible for the Georgia Firearms Permit, and therefore is NOT legal to carry the pistol, even unloaded and in a case.
NavyLT, I disagree with your interpretation of that section of GA Code.

Paragraph 9a) states, "A person commits the offense of carrying a concealed weapon when such person knowingly has or carries about his or her person ... any bludgeon, knuckles whether made from metal, thermoplastic, wood, or other similar material, firearm, knife designed for the purpose of offense and defense, or any other dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument of like character outside of his or her home or place of business, except as permitted under this Code section."

So, if you do this (i.e., carry concealed) and are not licensed (... except as permitted under this Code section.), then you are in violation. However, "in an open manner and fully exposed to view," (that portion I lifted out of the above partial quote) is an exception to the conditions requiring to be licensed. This section discusses the definition of the offense of "carrying concealed ... except as permitted by this Code section". Not carrying. Carrying concealed. Carrying "in an open manner and exposed to view" is a clear exception.

Further, paragraph (d) states, "(d) This Code section shall not forbid the transportation of any firearm by a person who is not among those enumerated as ineligible for a license under Code Section 16-11-129, provided the firearm is enclosed in a case, unloaded, and separated from its ammunition."

This clearly states that as long as a firearm "is enclosed in a case, unloaded, and separated from its ammunition", then those who may not obtain a license (... those enumerated as ineligible for a license under Code Section 16-11-129) are not prohibited (This Code section shall not forbid ...) from the transportation of any firearm.

So, not withstanding GA law governing the possession of a firearm, which is a minimum 18 yrs old, all those who may legally possess a firearm, may transport that firearm.

18-21 (or anyone else ineligble to obtain a GA firearms License) must have the firearm "enclosed in a case, unloaded, and separated from its ammunition". 21 and older must do the same if they are otherwise ineligible for a GFL, or may transport the firearm "in an open manner and fully exposed to view" if they are eligible, but are not licensed.

If you are licensed to carry in GA, these restrictions do not apply. You may carry in your daily carry rig.

GA also does not require you to notify of an officer if you are carrying concealed. However, if you must move so that it will become visible, or if you must dismount your vehicle, then, before moving, it is considered a large courtesy to do so. However, it is not required.

BTW, stout advice by VHinch.
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Old December 9, 2008, 02:00 AM   #7
NavyLT
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We can certainly agree that GA laws are extremely confusing and poorly written. I used to feel the same way about reading the law as you do, but a long time GA resident on another forum convinced me that there are severe limitations to carrying handguns by non eligible persons. He pointed me to the lawsuits that such organizations as georgiacarry.org and georgiapacking.org are filing and the whole basis of those lawsuits was the exception that we disagree upon.

If a person wants to take a chance on their interpretation of the law, that's up to them. I personally believe an 18 year old carrying a pistol in a simple, enclosed, plain black case, unloaded, wouldn't have any problems at all going to the range. But I think it should be pointed out that there are other interpretations of the law and lawsuits being filed over their interpretations.

Now, where I personally draw the line is when someone says, "Yeah, it's legal but you better not do that here because the cops will harass you!" Well, if everyone agrees it is legal, and the state law is very clear that it is legal, than, for me, who gives a rat's behind if the cops are going to be harassing...

So we can agree to disagree. I've heard both sides from GA residents regarding GA's laws.
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Old December 9, 2008, 06:35 AM   #8
pagmic
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Thanks for all the replies everybody you've really helped me out a lot
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