Tasers are one of the most underrepresented defensive tools when it comes to civilian self-defense… but they can still be a good choice for you!
They’ve been in use with all kinds of police agencies for a long time now, and that’s for a good reason: tasers offer the unique combination of standoff capability and effectiveness that typically leaves no lasting injuries on a target.
They’ve been around a while, but nonetheless tasers just aren’t legal everywhere. How about in Georgia? Are tasers legal in Georgia?
Yes, tasers are legal in Georgia. Assuming you are carrying a taser only for self-defense and committing no other crimes, you can carry one openly or concealed. Be advised, many municipalities in Georgia have differing laws concerning tasers and stun guns.
There’s been considerable confusion concerning the legal status of tasers in Georgia. I can tell you with authority that tasers and stun guns are indeed legal, and they are easy to get and carry assuming you only want one for lawful self-defense.
There are quite a few things you still need to know, so keep reading…
How are Tasers Classified in Georgia?
The legal definition of “taser” in Georgia isn’t as upfront, clear, and concise as you find in other states.
Tasers and stun guns are defined in a couple of different sections, not in a big nice definitions section at the beginning of a chapter, and so we must rely on them to inform our own decisions on these devices.
Broadly, a taser or stun gun is defined as a device which disrupts the central nervous system of the human body using electricity in excess of 20,000 volts and is capable of incapacitating a person.
35-8-26. Taser and Electronic Control Weapons; Requirements for Use; Establishment of Policies; Training
It is the intent and purpose of the Georgia General Assembly to establish legal requirements for the official use of electronic control weapons and similar devices by law enforcement officers, including those officers employed in detention facilities, which requirements shall be consistent with generally accepted industry practices. It is the further intent of the General Assembly to require that such devices, commonly referred to as TASERs or stun-guns, which disrupt the central nervous system of the human body, be used for law enforcement purposes in a manner consistent with established standards and with federal and state constitutional provisions.
16-11-106. Possession of Firearm or Knife During Commission of or Attempt to Commit Certain Crimes
a. For the purposes of this Code section, the term “firearm” shall include stun guns and tasers. A stun gun or taser is any device that is powered by electrical charging units such as batteries and emits an electrical charge in excess of 20,000 volts or is otherwise capable of incapacitating a person by an electrical charge.
Are Stun Guns Legal in Georgia?
Yes, stun guns are legal in Georgia assuming you are carrying them only for lawful self-defense and no other purpose. Georgia sort of lumps tasers and stun guns into a single category by definition, but practically speaking these two devices are different.
A taser is a dart-firing device that trails wires from the projected electrodes and is capable of applying a charge to the target at a distance.
A stun gun, on the other hand, has electrodes fixed to the front of the device and only works at contact distance when jabbed into the target.
Broadly, as far as Georgia law is concerned, these two devices are interchangeable…
Carrying a Taser Openly
Yes, you can open carry a taser in Georgia assuming that you can be in legal possession of the taser and you are carrying it for no purpose other than lawful self-defense.
Carrying a Taser Concealed
Yes, you can conceal carry a taser in Georgia, with no permit required, as long as you are only carrying it for legal self-defense.
Are there Age Restrictions on Taser Ownership or Possession in Georgia?
Yes. Only people aged 18 years old or older may legally own a taser or stun gun in the state of Georgia.
What You Need to Do to Buy a Taser in Georgia
If you want to purchase a taser or stun gun in Georgia you’ll need to head to any retailer where these devices are sold. They are freely available, and in the case of stun guns, you probably won’t even need to complete a background check or any other sort of ID verification to get one.
Tasers are typically sold only after verifying the identity of the buyer, and some sellers will mandate you go through a background check for one similar to what is performed for purchasing a firearm.
Note that in Georgia you cannot be in possession of a taser or stun gun if you are a felon or intend to carry one for any unlawful purpose.
Similarly, there are other disqualifiers such as being adjudicated mentally defective or involuntarily committed, being under a restraining order, or if you are not allowed to possess or purchase firearms for any other reason.
Is Training Mandatory for Taser Ownership in Georgia?
No. You don’t have to undergo any mandatory training or get a permit to own and carry a taser in Georgia.
Where Can You Carry a Taser in Georgia?
You can carry a taser pretty much anywhere in Georgia except government buildings, offices and installations, courthouses, post offices, public meetings and schools, including the surrounding grounds or any events or activities that are put on or hosted by a school away from their property.
Caution: Local county and city laws governing tasers vary considerably in Georgia! You must very all such laws before you carry a taser or stun gun on your person or in your vehicle!
Also, thanks to the passage of House Bill 792 signed into law by Governor Nathan Deal in 2016, students and employees aged 18 years or older may legally carry tasers and stun guns on public college or university campuses assuming they are enrolled or employed there.
Note that the general public cannot! An excerpt of 16-11-127.1 is included below, but make sure you look up and read the whole thing for more details…
16-11-127.1. Carrying Weapons Within School Safety Zones, at School Functions, or on a Bus or Other Transportation Furnished by a School
a. As used in this Code section, the term:
4. “Weapon” means and includes any pistol, revolver, or any weapon designed or intended to propel a missile of any kind, (…) and any stun gun or taser as defined in subsection (a) of Code Section 16-11-106. This paragraph excludes any of these instruments used for classroom work authorized by the teacher.
b.1 Except as otherwise provided in subsection (c) of this Code section, it shall be unlawful for any person to carry to or to possess or have under such person’s control while within a school safety zone, at a school function, or on a bus or other transportation furnished by a school any weapon or explosive compound, other than fireworks or consumer fireworks the possession of which is regulated by Chapter 10 of Title 25.
b.2 Except as provided for in paragraph (20) of subsection (c) of this Code section, any lawful weapons carrier who violates this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Any person who is not a lawful weapons carrier who violates this subsection shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000.00, by imprisonment for not less than two nor more than ten years, or both.
When Can You Use a Taser to Defend Yourself in Georgia?
A taser or stun gun may only be used in self-defense in case you’re legitimately in fear of imminent and unlawful force against you, and specifically unlawful force that may result in death or great bodily injury.
Tasers are not toys, and if you taze anyone because of an argument or insult, or as a joke, you’ll be hit with substantial criminal charges in Georgia.
Tom Marlowe practically grew up with a gun in his hand, and has held all kinds of jobs in the gun industry: range safety, sales, instruction and consulting, Tom has the experience to help civilian shooters figure out what will work best for them.