Unlawful Gun Possession Defense in Atlanta
Atlanta Weapon Charge Lawyer Helping Clients Challenge Charges
America's gun laws are a highly controversial issue. Shooting rampages that have occurred throughout the country in recent years have led political leaders nationwide to push for tighter gun and weapons restrictions. Those who do not comply with current state and federal gun laws can be subject to strict penalties, which can provide various negative impacts on the these individuals' lives.
If you are dealing with charges for unlawful gun possession in the Atlanta or in the surrounding areas, working with a capable Atlanta criminal defense attorney can greatly improve your chances of receiving a favorable outcome your case. The Law Office of Matthew T. McNally provides useful information to help you better understand your charges. The firm, which features a skilled criminal defense lawyer who has valuable experience as a former prosecutor, provides top-rate legal representation for those accused of illegally possessing guns.
How Georgia Law Defines Lawful and Unlawful Possession
Individuals must have proper licenses in order to carry guns (either handguns or long guns) in public, unless these individuals are peace officers, military personnel or employees of other designated offices. In certain locations, people in the state of Georgia are allowed to carry these types of guns without weapons carry licenses, as long as they are not individuals who are specifically prohibited by the law from possessing such guns.
Locations where guns are allowed without these types of licenses include the individual's home, motor vehicle or place of business, according to O.C.G.A. §16-11-126. When a long gun is loaded, it can be carried without this type of license only if carried in a fully exposed manner. A handgun can be carried when it is unloaded and enclosed in a case. An individual who has a hunting or fishing license (or who is not legally required to have such a license) can also carry a handgun or long gun without a weapons carry license, as long as the activities are being carried out legally. Residents of other states who have valid licenses can carry guns when they are in the state of Georgia, as long as they also comply with Georgia's laws.
When individuals do not fall under these categories, they are required to have licenses for carrying guns. With a valid license, guns can be carried in all parks, recreational sites, and historic sites, as well as in publicly owned buildings at these locations. Failure to a carry guns without the proper licensing or circumstances for exception can lead to a misdemeanor charge upon a first offense. If a second or subsequent offense occurs within a five-year period, the individual can be charged with a felony, which can result in two to five years of imprisonment upon conviction.
Certain weapons are illegal to possess. These include sawed-off shotguns, sawed-off rifles, machine guns, dangerous weapons and silencers, according O.C.G.A. §16-11-123. Unlawfully possessing one of these weapons can result in five years of imprisonment.
Locations Where Licensed Individuals Cannot Carry Guns
Even when individuals are licensed to carry guns, Georgia laws prohibits them from carrying the weapons in the following locations:
- Government buildings
- State mental health facilities
- Jails or prisons
- Within 150 feet of polling places
- Places of worship
On the premises of nuclear power plants
The act of carrying weapons in these locations (unless specifically authorized to do so) can result in a misdemeanor charge. It is also illegal to carry guns through airport security, or at a school or school event.
Furthermore, there are certain individuals who are not allowed to possess or carry guns. These include convicted felons and individuals who are under the age of 18, unless under certain circumstances (such as when they are taking hunting education courses, in target shooting at established ranges, etc.).
Fighting Charges with an Experienced Legal Advocate
Attorney Matthew T. McNally has a full range of experience when it comes to defending individuals accused of weapons-related crimes and other criminal offenses. Along with unlawful gun possession, he also handles cases that involve illegal weapons distribution, sales and trafficking and other related crimes. With weapons charges having the potential to lead to years in prison and very expensive fines, it is vital that you turn only turn to the very best when trying to protect your freedom. Contact our office immediately so we can help you identify the options that are available you for defending your case.