The Restaurant Has a Bar. Can I Carry? Georgia

Spring Break is here, and everyone is thawing out after a long winter. Watch Independent Program Attorney Matt Kilgo instruct you on the law before walking into a restaurant or bar with your firearm. 

Can You Carry Into a Bar?

Prior to 2014, bars were listed as a specific exclusion—a place where you could not carry a firearm even with a weapons carry license.In 2014, Governor Nathan Deal signed the Safe Carry Protection Act, which struck bars from the list of excluded places.Meaning, as of 2014, if you have a weapons carry license, you can carry a firearm into a bar. Remember, the law in Georgia says that if you are authorized to carry a weapon, meaning you’re in lawful possession of a valid weapons carry license, you can carry in every location in this state not prohibited. Since bars are no longer prohibited you can carry into a bar.

Can You Carry While Intoxicated?

Yes, you can but it’s not necessarily recommended. The law in Georgia has no specific restriction on carrying while intoxicated, but there is a restriction on discharging firearms while intoxicated. You cannot discharge a firearm if you’re intoxicated by alcohol, or by drugs, or any combination there of that makes you less safe to discharge that firearm. But even then there’s an exception to the rule. Even if you are intoxicated by alcohol or by drugs, and that includes prescription drugs, you can use the firearm to protect yourself, protect your home, protect your family, so the statutory defenses of defense of person, property, or household still apply.

What If This Bar Has a Sign That Says No Guns Allowed?
Remember, the law says that if you’re legal to carry you can carry in every place in the state. So, the signs shouldn’t have any impact on your ability to carry. You can go on into the building. That’s at least our considered opinion. However, the owner, or the person in legal control of the property, has the right to eject you, or to exclude you, if you’re found in possession of a firearm. So, you may lawfully enter so long as you have a valid weapons carry license, but if you are asked to leave by someone who owns or controls the property then you must leave. Failure to do so could result in you being arrested for criminal trespass.

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