Georgia’s New Conceal Carry Legislation


Paul O'Neill, Staff Writer

The Georgia House of Representatives passed House Bill 1358 in recent months, and the bill has been amended to mirror Senate Bill 319. The goal of this house bill is to remove the requirement of applying and paying for a concealed carry license for gun owners.

Currently, if a Georgia resident would like a concealed carry license, they must apply through their local probate court or sheriff’s office. When their application is approved, they are fingerprinted, have to pass a background check and are charged a service fee of $75. House Bill 1358 passed on a 5-2 vote with Republicans voting in favor.

GC Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Adam Lamparello said he believes this bill is not a drastic change from how things operate today.

“[This bill] only applies to people who could otherwise lawfully carry a weapon,” Lamparello said. “It’s not like we are giving anybody on the street ability to carry a weapon.”

Lamparello further explained that a background check would be required for any purchase of firearms in the state. Therefore, if there were any reasons someone would not be able to pass the application to conceal carry, they would not have been able to legally purchase a firearm in the first place.

“The law allows any person to carry a concealed weapon provided they are not prohibited by a felony or drug conviction or mental health issues,” Lamparello said.

In other words, this bill will make conceal carry easier for Georgians who could already lawfully possess a gun.

GC currently abides by the “Campus Carry” legislation that passed in 2017. This legislation allows licensed conceal carry holders to bring firearms on the campus. In order for a firearm to be allowed on campus, it must be concealed, and it must be a handgun.

This new bill would mean that it is no longer required to have a license to conceal carry a handgun on GC campus. However, The student must have ownership of the handgun, signaling that they went through a background check.

While this may seem alarming, there are many parts of campus where Campus Carry does not apply. Campus Carry does not allow handguns in any building where athletic sporting events take place. Likewise, they are prohibited in any faculty, staff or administrator’s office. Handguns are also not permitted in any spaces used for child care or rooms where high school students are being taught.