Do You Need a Gun Permit to Shoot at a Gun Range in Georgia?

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If you are new to shooting, an indoor range will be ideal because of the controlled shooting environment and the focus on the target skills. Georgia has numerous gun ranges where excellent instruction coupled with fun is guaranteed. But do you need a permit to shoot at any of the ranges? Read on.

Do You Need a Gun Permit to Shoot at a Gun Range in Georgia?

Yes, you need a permit to shoot at a gun range in Georgia because though the constitution provides the right to bear a firearm, you must have an open or concealed weapon carry license. However, neither a permit, a background check, nor firearm registration is required when purchasing a private individual’s firearm.

Man wondering if he needs a gun permit to shoot at a gun range in Georgia

Is Open Carry Legal in Georgia?

Open carry is allowed in Georgia if you have a license, but not for long guns. You can safely use a firearm immediately after acquiring a state permit. Some weapon types are not allowed in Georgia as per their gun laws.

Whether for open or concealed carry, some weapons are not permitted in the state. These include barreled rifles, encased AR 15 rifles with silencers, semi-auto guns, and other explosive types of weapons. Only people authorized under the federal firearm acts can handle such weapons.

Authorized people include firearm dealers, law enforcement, and military members like the Navy Seals.

Where Are You Allowed to Open Carry in Georgia?

Once you have successfully acquired a weapon permit, you can open carry it in bars and restaurants as long as the owners do not prohibit firearm possession on their premises. You can also carry it in your private car or the roadside areas if you have a permit. Have no worries open carrying your firearm in state forests, parks, and wildlife areas.


Georgia has several places where open carrying is against the law. The places include:

  • Schools, school buses, or any organized school events
  • Sporting events, unless they include shooting sports
  • Law courts or courtrooms during proceedings
  • Government buildings and places of worship, unless it is allowed
  • Prisons, jails, detention homes, and correctional facilities
  • Polling stations
  • Safety areas of the airport
  • Any location forbidden by the federal laws

Applying for a Weapon Carry License?

A weapon carry license is not necessary when purchasing a firearm. However, it is a requirement when carrying a gun in certain situations. The WCL may be valid in other states that Georgia has reciprocity with.

Man holding his gun holster

 The requirements you must meet to be eligible for the permit are:

  • Be a Georgia resident
  • Be over 21 years or 18 if you in active military
  • Have no felony convictions
  • Have not been in a mental hospital for the last five years
  • Have no other disqualifications such as domestic violence or carrying a firearm without a license
  • Have no drug conviction, including using or possessing drugs, or making or distributing a controlled substance

The documents you will need to apply for the permit are proof of Georgia residency, proof of identity, proof of U.S citizenship, a self-addressed and stamped envelope if you want to receive the permit through the mail, and a form of payment.

Once you are ready, take all the required materials to the probate office to finish the application process. The probate judge will launch a criminal and background check and if you qualify, your permit will be ready in 30 days. The weapon carry license is valid for 5 years.


The key takeaway here is that you must have a license to carry your firearm to a gun range in Georgia. Otherwise, your trip to the gun range may be cut short by the police as you may have to answer offense charges.

James Forrester is a lifelong gun and firearms owner, and an even bigger advocate for gun safety. He created with the purpose of sharing helpful tips and educating others on how to keep guns and weapons safe and secure.