Buying Guns and Ammo in Georgia

DISCLAIMER: It is your full responsibility to make sure the firearm, ammunition, or accessories you are purchasing is legal for you to own in your state or jurisdiction. The information contained throughout this web site, including the firearm and ammunition state guide provided below, is not legal advice and should not be construed as legal advice.

Georgia is one of the most gun-friendly states in the United States. While the laws themselves make this clear, Georgia also goes out of its way to promote both shooting and firearms businesses as a core part of its identity.

Georgia’s firearms laws are consistent throughout the state: a state appeals case ruled that localities such as counties and cities cannot make or enforce gun or ammunition laws that are more restrictive than those at the state level.

That means that this guide, though it is not intended as legal advice, applies to the current state of ammunition and gun laws in the entire state of Georgia. In general terms, the GA laws that regulate firearms and ammunition are to be found in Title 16 of the Georgia Code.

Specifically, § 16-11-121 defines some of the restrictions on owning explosives in the state and clarifies NFA definitions, and § 16-11-126 outlines who can carry firearms and where. With those two major statutes in mind, this piece focuses on the process for, and restrictions on, purchasing and carrying firearms and ammunition within Georgia.

Ammo Laws/Buying Ammo in Georgia 

First, we will cover the ammo laws of the state.

Georgia is one of the simplest states in which to buy ammunition. To order ammunition in Georgia, the buyer cannot be a prohibited person as defined by the ATF at the federal level, which includes most people convicted of a violent felony, people who are in the US illegally, or folks who have been declared mentally defective by a court. 

Assuming the buyer is not a prohibited person and is of the requisite age (18 for rifle and shotgun ammo, 21 for handgun ammo) age, the only major restriction on ammunition in Georgia is to be found in § 16-11-121, which is more or less redundant since the ATF requires people to have a permit to possess or manufacture explosives anyway.

Because of the permissive laws in Georgia, most people over 18 years of age can simply order ammunition online or buy it in person from their preferred retailer. The only other restrictions that one is likely to face are those from package carriers: some might require a signature from an adult for ammunition deliveries. The only exception here is a federal one: the ATF requires that handgun ammunition purchasers have to be 21 years of age or older.

There are no state-level bans on magazines, stocks, or firearms accessories that would not require a tax stamp from the ATF: this makes purchasing ammunition, magazines, and accessories in Georgia an exceptionally simple process.  In effect, Georgia itself has little to say about buying ammunition; so as long as buyers follow Federal law and carrier guidelines, buying ammunition in Georgia is straightforward.

Gun Laws/Buying Guns in Georgia 

In terms of purchasing a firearm, GA’s process is also a straightforward one. Since there are no additional regulations placed on the majority of gun purchases in the state beyond federal regulations, buying guns in GA is simple. For rifles and shotguns, anyone 18 or over can simply go to an FFL, fill out form 4473, pay for the firearm, and leave with it the same day. Due to the federal age requirement for handguns and their ammunition, folks have to be 21 to do the same for a handgun. But, either way, most firearm purchases do not have a waiting period in GA.

The only exception to this is for suppressors, short-barreled rifles/shotguns, and other items regulated by the National Firearms Act. While those items are legal to own in Georgia, anyone wishing to purchase them in the state will have to follow ATF’s tax stamp procedures, which will likely include long wait times, up to several months.

Georgia is, officially, an extremely firearms-friendly state. The state’s Department of Economic Development, for example, has a page dedicated to the gun industry in the state, and it provides some useful information for the firearms purchasing process within the state.  It outlines specifically that firearms can be sold between private parties without a background check: of course, the seller is obligated to be reasonably sure that the buyer is not a prohibited person. Buying a firearm in Georgia, whether from an FFL or a private person, is as simple as federal law allows at this time.

Georgia is also a Constitutional Carry state: this means that, currently, adult residents of Georgia do not need a permit to concealed carry a firearm within the state. As is typical in even the most permissive of states, the right to carry a firearm in Georgia has some restrictions on it. Namely, people cannot carry a firearm in the state in:

  • Court buildings

  • Jails/prisons

  • Churches without permission of the leadership

  • Mental health facilities 

  • Nuclear power plants

  • Polling places on election day

These restrictions are the norm, even in especially permissive states.

While Georgians do not need a permit to concealed carry a firearm within the state, Georgia does maintain a Weapon Carry License Program. The state is clear about the purpose of this on its website: the permit in Georgia allows permit holders to concealed carry in other states.

The application for the permit is relatively straightforward: as long as the person is 21 (18 if in the military or honorably discharged) and is not a prohibited person, it’s a matter of a background check with some fingerprints and a $75 fee. About two months later, the permit will arrive by mail.  While the Georgia Weapon Carry License does not do much good within the state itself, about two dozen states recognize the GA permit, so it is handy for folks who travel or do business in other states.

The combination of constitutional carry, a permitting program that gives wide reciprocity for concealed carriers, and a relative lack of state-level waiting periods makes Georgia one of the most gun-friendly states in the US. It is so gun-friendly, in fact, that Remington has made the state the home of their global headquarters.  Firearms are a large part of the Georgia economy, so this gun-friendly attitude is very unlikely to change, which makes things much simpler for those who want to buy and carry firearms in the state.

Sales Tax on Guns/Ammo in Georgia 

While the firearms laws in Georgia are straightforward, the tax code is slightly less so. The baseline sales tax in the state is 4% on most goods. With that said, counties, cities, and other political units can impose additional sales taxes, sometimes up to 9%.  There is a handy interactive map online that will help any potential buyers figure out the sales tax in a given city within Georgia, which might make a fairly large difference in the final purchase price of a firearm or ammunition. There are no additional taxes on firearms or ammunition levied by the state of Georgia.

More Resources

Georgia Packing is a lively forum that has news, reviews, and relevant information for firearms laws, updates, events, and permitting within the state.

Georgia Gun Law FAQ:

No. Georgia residents do not need a permit to concealed carry, assuming they are 18 (if in or formerly military) or 21 years of age. 

The Georgia WCL allows people to concealed carry in about two dozen states, which is why Georgia still maintains the program despite passing a law making it legal to carry without a permit.

As long as the buyer is 18 (for rifle and shotgun ammo) or 21 (for handgun ammo), and not a prohibited person, then it is perfectly legal to have ammo shipped to your door in Georgia.

No. As soon as your background check and payment clear, anyone who can buy a gun in Georgia can leave with it the same day.

Cities, counties, and other political divisions of the state of Georgia have to follow the state gun laws and cannot make their own, more restrictive laws.  This means that there is one consistent set of gun laws for the entire state.