DeKalb County residents may obtain a Georgia Weapons Carry License through a process that, with a little planning and preparation, can be fairly simple and painless, despite the efforts of certain liberty-hating bureaucrats and elected officials of DeKalb County government who are charged with its oversight and execution.
Not — mind you — as simple and painless as, say, registering to vote: can you imagine being required to submit to fingerprinting and pay fees to exercise your civil right to vote? But, clearly, some civil rights are more equal than others, and so your right to keep and bear arms without running afoul of infringing statutes is subject to Jim Crow-type restrictions (regardless of your race), even well into the 21st Century.
By the way, it’s not a “concealed carry permit”, as it pertains to open carry as well. Nor is it a “pistol permit” or a “gun/firearms permit”, as it also pertains to certain other weapons. Not to mention it’s a “license”, not a “permit”. Semantics? Or substantial?
Anyway, how to obtain your license? The first step is to become educated on the process, your rights and your expectations. Logic might dictate starting with, say, a Google search of “Weapons License DeKalb GA”.
USEFUL INFORMATION gleaned from the results of such as of this writing are summarized here by Security Examiner:
- Non-prohibited persons*, including U.S. citizens and legal permanent resident aliens 21 years of age or older, should begin their licensing process at the “DeKalb County Pistol License Department...located on the basement floor of the DeKalb County Courthouse Annex, Room B190.”2
The Courthouse Annex’s address is 556 N McDonough St, Decatur, GA 30030.1,3
- The Court’s Pistol License Department accepts applications between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
- You, the applicant, should bring:
1) ID proving that your legal primary residence is in DeKalb County (GA Drivers License or GA State ID card with current address). If the address on your ID is not current, bring a “water, light or gas bill”2 or your lease to prove DeKalb County residence. No P. O. Boxes. If applicable, also bring naturalization papers if a naturalized citizen or Permanent Resident Alien card if a foreign national.
2) “Application fee” or “permit fees” of $77.25** in cash (Security Examiner strongly recommends exact change), certified check or money order only -- no personal checks or credit/debit cards. **as of 3/1/2013; $44.25 of which covers a GBI background check
3) A stamped envelope you can address to yourself. The county’s instructions do not specify this, but the state’s site http://gaprobate.org/licenses.php does; better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Given the County’s prior hostility toward processing applicants’ fingerprints in a timely manner per state law, Security Examiner would be shocked to discover that the County does not require a SASE AND that they did not intentionally leave said requirement off the “updated” instructions document so that the process could be further delayed by turning applicants aside at the first opportunity. Regardless...
- You will trade your $77.25 (and SASE?) for a form to fill out consenting to a background check and attesting that you're not prohibited from possessing a firearm, and then pose for a photo. Then it’s off to the police department to be fingerprinted.
- Applicants should bring ID, completed application and $5.00 cash to the DeKalb County Police Department located at the Bobby Burgess Building, 3630 Camp Circle, Decatur, GA 30032, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. or 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday.4 To avoid having to make multiple trips or experience unexpected waits, Security Examiner advises applicants to call ahead to ensure they arrive when the fingerprinting office is open, staff is not at lunch, and fingerprinting machines, computers, etc. are operational. That office number is (404) 297-3934.
- Per a Probate Court employee recently phoned at (404) 371-2718 by Security Examiner, your fingerprints must be processed by DCPD at this location; no other law enforcement agency’s fingerprinting services may be utilized.
- The county’s .pdf document2 erroneously states, “If no complications arise, your License will be mailed to you in approximately six months.” Since a delay of this magnitude would be an egregious violation of state law, for which county officials have already been sued, Security Examiner assumes the document, though “revised 2/11/13”, contains at least some far-outdated information -- consistent with other pertinent DeKalb County websites as noted.
- Upon issuance, the court will mail the issued license (likely using the SASE).
You should not expect to be compensated for parking, toll, MARTA or other transportation expenses.
Regardless of the frustrating/harrowing experiences of some as chronicled here, the process of obtaining your Georgia Weapons Carry License as a resident of DeKalb County could take as little as an hour or 2 total (including traffic if you time it right and are lucky) on 2 days about 2 months apart.
Once licensed, the ease of effecting a retail firearms purchase -- and of being approved for superior firearms training opportunities -- make the process worthwhile.
Of course, the top benefit is the ability to carry -- openly or concealed -- your personal life-saving equipment without running afoul of the law.
Even if you don’t (yet) own a firearm, if you've ever considered or think you might consider carrying a weapon for the protection of your loved ones, property and self, go get your carry license. Having it doesn't mean you have to carry, just that you legally can.
For more information, See Also:
*Accurate lists of prohibited persons may be found under the headings:
a) “No weapons carry license shall be issued to:” on the bottom half of the state-run website http://gaprobate.org/licenses.php, and
b) “Federal Categories of Persons Prohibited From Receiving” near the bottom of the FBI website http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/nics/general-information/fact-sheet.
http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/gacode/; search Georgia Code for Section 16-11-125 through 16-11-136.
1The first search result is a DeKalb County Probate Court website titled “Pistol License - Important Notice” -- http://web.co.dekalb.ga.us/probate_court/important_notice.html.
Like Result #3 below, #1 is basically useless, except for the Probate Court address, link to map and link to #2 below.
The site refers repeatedly to the “Georgia Firearm(s) License”, a document having been long since replaced by the “Georgia Weapons Carry License”. The information is clearly not up-to-date. Cf. #2 and #3 below.
Note also: the Notice states “...prior to making application for a firearms license you must be able to answer yes to the following questions:”. However, only statements follow -- no questions. An accurate statement written by someone with a working knowledge of English might read “...prior to making application for a firearms license, the following statements should be true:”.
That aside, amongst the statements that purportedly must be true include “I am a citizen of the Untied [sic] States of America.” This is false; citizenship is not required. The idea behind that truth is that the natural rights recognized and guaranteed by various Amendments to the U.S. Constitution apply to humankind, not merely American citizens. Reasonable people generally find a prohibition due to a history of criminal behavior and/or mental illness to be of appropriate crime-prevention value, but would question why a person would be prohibited merely by where (s)he was born or hails from, given no proclivity to crime, addiction, or other behavior descriptive of reasonably prohibited persons.
2The second search result is a DeKalb County Probate Court website in .pdf format titled “Weapons Carry License Information - Revised 02/11/13” -- http://web.co.dekalb.ga.us/probate_court/pdf/PistolLicenseInfo.pdf.
This document is informative, though it reads in a somewhat unclear, unhelpful and uncooperative tone. Summarized clearly and efficiently in USEFUL INFORMATION above.
3The third search result is a DeKalb County Probate Court website titled “Pistol License – Laws For Pistol License” --http://web.co.dekalb.ga.us/probate_court/laws.html.
Again, though copyrighted in 2010, this site is basically useless, as it includes such wrong information as some of the text of the anti-black Jim Crow “Public Gatherings” law, which was finally removed from Georgia law -- by Republicans -- on June 4, 2010. Except for the Probate Court address, link to map and link to #2, the page is useless: if you can’t trust it, you can’t trust it, yes?
Much more accurate – and therefore useful – information may be found at one or more of the “See Also” links appearing above.
4The fourth search result is a DeKalb County Police Department site titled “Permits – Permits, Taxi, Wrecker Unit” -- http://web.co.dekalb.ga.us/dk_police/pol-permits.html.
This site is useful to the extent it provides the location for fingerprinting and a map link, as well as hours of operation generally and for “Firearm/Gun Permits”. Otherwise, it’s set up in a very confusing fashion and contains at least some incorrect information. Again, what you really need to know is summarized under USEFUL INFORMATION above.
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