What you need to know about current gun laws in Georgia

Current gun laws as of the 2017 / 2018 Georgia Law Enforcement Handbook.Photo: Kailey McCarthy

The Lee County Sheriff's Office says they are often asked about the current gun laws as of the 2017 / 2018 Georgia Law Enforcement Handbook.

They want to make sure you're familiar with the current legislation and what changes have been made from previous years.

According to Lee County Director of Training and Special Operations Colonel Chris Owens, the law has changed quite a bit and education on the changes is very important.

One big change, you can now carry your firearm wherever you want inside your vehicle. According to Owens, the new law looks at the automobile as an extension of your home.

And rather than calling it a concealed carry permit, the new law calls it a weapons carry license that allows you to carry a firearm anywhere you want on your person.

The new law also says that firearms can not be admitted into governmental buildings, court houses, jails, nuclear power plants and must be atleast 150 feet away from a polling place.

According to Owens, specifically with governmental buildings and court houses, there has to be some sort of check point with a certified peace officer. The officer has to give you an opportunity to put your firearm back in your vehicle.

When it comes to schools, the old law used to say that you could not have a gun on school property period. You still can't carry it inside the building but, if your picking up your child, you can have the weapon as long as it's locked inside your car.

Owens says school administrators can also have weapons as long as it's approved by the individual school board and in a locked container within a locked vehicle.

According to Owens, the sheriff's office often gets asked about the use of deadly force.

He says the use of deadly force can only be used if it's reasonable and necessary.

"Well if somebody's in my yard and they're stealing some of my property out of the yard, let's say they're taking a lawn mower or something out of the yard, can I shoot them? No. The law says that it has to be reasonable and has to be necessary," said Owens.

The sheriff's office often holds classes on the use of deadly force and gun laws.

Currently, there is no scheduled class at this time.

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