Recently, Second Amendment rights have become a heated political issue across the United States. While it is true that the Second Amendment protects citizens’ rights to bear arms, this legal right is not without restriction. Georgia state law creates many regulations pertaining to the improper use of guns. It is important for residents and visitors of Georgia to obey these laws. Not only will this shield them from civil and criminal liability, but it will also protect them from the possibility of losing their gun rights permanently. An experienced Georgia criminal defense attorney can help defendants facing firearm charges mitigate these consequences.
Proper Gun Use Under Georgia Law
Georgia law places many restrictions on proper gun use. Some of these are familiar, such as the ban on carrying weapons in courthouses, government buildings, and other such prohibited locations. (See Section 16-11-127 of the Official Code of Georgia.) Many gun owners also know that it is illegal to possess a shotgun or rifle which has been sawed off, machine guns, silencers, and other dangerous firearms. A conviction for such possession is punishable by five years in prison. (See Section 16-11-123 of the Official Code of Georgia.)
Other gun restrictions may be less well known to gun owners but can still subject them to criminal penalties. For example, it is a misdemeanor to point or aim a gun or pistol at another without legal justification (such as the defense of a person or property). Section 16-11-102 designates this act as a crime whether or not the firearm is loaded. It is also illegal to discharge a gun or pistol near a public highway (See Section 16-11-103) or to discharge a firearm on the property of another person or corporation without first obtaining permission. (See Section 16-11-104.) This does not apply to guns being used in defense of person or property, or to law enforcement officers.
Once a person is convicted of a felony, he or she is automatically prohibited from possessing firearms. Gun rights can be restored in limited circumstances. This is not, however, guaranteed to occur, and the penalties for violating the ban can be severe. Valdosta Today reports that one convicted felon was sentenced to 115 months in federal prison for the possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. That is nearly ten years in prison simply for possessing a gun. For this reason, it is important to understand your gun rights in Georgia.
Protect Your Legal Rights – Seek the Advice of an Experienced Defense Attorney
While gun ownership is a right protected by the Second Amendment, it is subject to the safety restrictions imposed by state laws. It is important to defend against allegations of a violation of state law in order to protect your right to own firearms. Attorney Jacob Stidham is an experienced defense lawyer who has handled all types of firearms cases. He represents defendants across Georgia, including Buford, Suwanee, Gainesville, and Flowery Branch. To schedule an appointment call 678-889-7953 today. A defense attorney can help mitigate the fines, penalties, prison term, and loss of gun ownership rights that defendants face for violations of state firearms law.