With numerous thefts, armed robberies and home invasions being reported in the community lately, there’s been a lot of talk about “packing guns.” And on Thursday, a Moultrie attorney discussed the changes made to Georgia’s gun laws in a presentation to the Moultrie Kiwanis Club.

Attorney Hamilton Garner said the changes to Georgia’s gun laws came into effect on June 4. The laws made several changes to where someone can or can not possess or carry a handgun or knife with a five-inch or longer blade, regardless of whether the person has a gun permit or not.

The changes come at a good time for Georgia, as Garner said applications for gun-carrying permits have skyrocketed recently. The gun laws can get very complicated, but he said he has never seen anyone following the law being arrested for gun possession.

According to the new laws, Garner said the State of Georgia is now the sole authority for regulating guns and knives in Georgia, except for federal laws. Counties and municipalities can prohibit discharging a gun within its limits, but no other laws can be made that supersede state law.

Another change to the law is that gun registration is not required to own one, Garner said. The Moultrie Police Department will allow someone to register a gun, but the main benefit of registration is the information will be available if it is stolen. Garner offered another solution besides registering a gun.

“If you’re afraid of your gun being stolen,” Garner said, “write down the serial number and keep it somewhere safe.”

Garner said the new laws prohibit bringing a gun into any building housing a government body such as a courthouse, a place of worship, within 150 feet of a polling place, inside school buildings or school events whether you have a license or not. The only exemptions to the law are for law enforcement officers, judges, prosecutors and corrections officers. They can bring a gun into these places.

Read more of John Oxford’s article in The Moultrie Observer.

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