On January 2nd, 1788 Georgia became the fourth state to ratify the new and unusual United States Constitution. After slogging through the authoritarian nanny-state muck of the mid-Atlantic Nanny States, it feels good to be back in free country again. When it comes to knives, that free country is Georgia. It wasn’t always so, but let’s get to the good news first…
…After a short disclaimer: As I mentioned in the first installment of ‘Know Your Knife Laws’, I’m not licensed in any state except Washington and none of this is meant to be relied on as legal advice. If you need to know what you can or can’t get away with under any state or local law, you’ll need to hit the law books yourself or call a lawyer in that state.
So where’s the good news I promised? Right here. The simple version of Georgia knife laws can be summed up in one sentence: you can carry any blade you want, any way you want, any place in the state so long as it’s not over five inches in length. You can carry bigger blades with a concealed weapon permit, and Georgia is a ‘shall-issue’ state for those. (For the longer version, look up Official Code of Georgia § 16-11-125.1.)
Georgia’s wonderful State law also pre-empts local ordinances, although there are still the usual restrictions about carry in schools, courthouses, prisons and the like, as well as regulations about giving or selling knives to minors.
All of this good news is the result of hard work by Knife Rights. Georgia knife laws had been a mess of absurd and contradictory local restrictions, but SB432 simplified state law and preempted local regulations. It went into effect on July 1st, 2012.
Conclusion: Georgia trusts you and respects your right to armed self-defense. And that is simply awesome.