Know Your Ammo – Georgia

There are so many varieties of ammo on the market today, but not every type is perceived the same in the eyes of the law. Watch Independent Program Attorney Matt Kilgo explain how the type of ammo you use could affect you.  

Matt Kilgo: The question of choice of ammunition, which ammunition should I use to protect myself? In particular, is there a type of ammo in Georgia that is prohibited. If it is all lawful, then is there any type of lawful ammunition that could have some legal consequences, either civilly or criminally, if you use it?

To begin, in Georgia, there are no real restrictions on the types of ammunition you can use as a defensive round to protect yourself. The only real restrictions come in hunting regulations. If we’re talking about the hunting of large game animals: bear, feral hog, or dear, the law in Georgia says with respect to shotguns it has to be 20 gauge or larger and that has to be buckshot or slugs. With a muzzle-loading firearm, it’s got to be .44 caliber or larger. And with a centerfire rifle, it must be .22 caliber or larger. And with a centerfire rifle, it has to be expanding ammunition. Cavitating ammo may not cut the mustard there, it must be expanding ammunition.

If you are in a scenario where you have to defend yourself, either in civil court or criminal court, the type and caliber of ammunition you used could be used against you. While there’s no specific restriction, prosecutors and plaintiffs lawyers are very smart people. If you used a .44 caliber to protect yourself in your home a prosecutor may key on the fact that you did not use the .22 caliber under your bed. When you know that a 22 is not going to protect you quite the way a 44 is, but if a prosecutor really wants to prosecute you he or she is going to use the fact that you sought out the biggest caliber you had. They’re going to use the fact that you used a jacketed hollow-point. So prosecutors and plaintiffs lawyers, be forewarned, can use the type of ammo, the caliber of ammo, how many rounds you had in your firearm, how many rounds you shot. All of those things can be used for you or against you. All the more reason you need to thoroughly protect yourself and then have an attorney.

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