Constitutional Carry Legislation

How Does the Recent Constitutional Carry Legislation Impact Existing Laws Governing The Carrying of Weapons on Campus? 

Georgia Senate Bill 319, also known as “Constitutional Carry,” became effective on April 12, 2022, and made changes in the law by removing the phrase ‘weapons carry license holder’ and replacing it with ‘lawful weapons carrier.’ This did away with the weapons carry license requirement and now simply requires armed individuals to be lawful weapons carriers.

However, the legislation did not make changes to the types of weapons allowed within a school safety zone. Handguns can legally be carried in a concealed manner by lawful weapons carriers within a school safety zone, with the exception of certain facilities such as athletic venues where intercollegiate sporting events are held; in student housing complexes; in faculty, staff and administrative offices; and in classrooms where dual-enrolled high school students are present. 

The full text of S.B. 319 can be found here.

What is a 'lawful weapons carrier?'

Although a weapons carry license (WCL) is no longer required in Georgia, to be considered a ‘lawful weapons carrier,’ one must be eligible for a WCL. If a person were not eligible for a WCL, they would not be considered a ‘lawful weapons carrier.’

Senate Bill 319 (S.B. 319) states, in part:

‘Lawful weapons carrier’ means any person who is licensed or eligible for a [weapons carry] license pursuant to Code Section 16-11-129 and who is not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing a weapon or long gun, any resident of any other state who would otherwise be eligible to obtain a license pursuant to such Code section but for the residency requirement, and any person licensed to carry a weapon in any other state.

The full text of S.B. 319 can be found here.

The full text of Code Section 16-11-129, which lists the circumstances in which a person would not be eligible for a weapons carry license, thus not considered a ‘lawful weapons carrier,’ can be found  here.

Under O.C.G.A. 16-11-127.1, Carrying weapons within school safety zones, at school functions, or on school property, knives are still restricted to those with a blade less than two (2) inches in length.   


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