While in common parlance people often refer to the Georgia Weapons License (GWL), previously the Georgia Firearms License, as a concealed carry permit, this term is a misnomer. Even one of the co-sponsors of the recent Senate Bill 308 that clarified Georgia’s carry laws referred to the GWL as a concealed carry permit in a campaign mailer that turned up in my mailbox yesterday.
The fact remains that nothing in Georgia’s carry laws require that a firearm be carried concealed. The two code sections of relevance here are 16-11-126 O.C.G.A., Carrying a concealed weapon, and 16-11-128 O.C.G.A., Carrying a pistol without a license. The first code section makes it illegal to carry a concealed weapon unless a person has a GWL. The second code section makes it illegal to carry a weapon outside of one’s home and business (see code for full list of exceptions) without a GWL whether the weapon may be carried openly or concealed. Just to make sure that it is clear, the carrying of a weapon outside of those specific exceptions requires a GWL. Carrying openly requires the license, but having the license does not require that a firearm or weapon be concealed.
Nothing in the above should be construed as an argument in favor of openly carrying a weapon. I am simply seeking to clarify the law. The decision to carry openly, concealed, or at all is up to the individual.