How Long May a Probate Court Wait to Issue a License?

Georgiacarry.org appealing adverse ruling.

To many of you who have read the licensing statute, O.C.G.A. 16-11-129, the answer to the question contained in the title appears to be rather simple and straightforward.

Not later than 60 days after the date of the application the judge of the probate court shall issue the applicant a license to carry any pistol or revolver if no facts establishing ineligibility have been reported and if the judge determines the applicant has met all the qualifications, is of good moral character, and has complied with all the requirements contained in this Code section.

As many of you already know, most of the counties take substantially longer than 60 days to issue a firearms license. Every one of them points the blame for delay to a source outside the probate court, which leaves one wondering how some of the probate courts manage to consistently issue firearms licenses within the statutory timeline.

Recently, the Honorable Allen B. Keeble, Judge of the Superior Court of Coweta Judicial Circuit, ruled that the statutory language quoted above means that a probate judge need not issue within 60 days. “The statute’s plain language gives probate judges the discretion to go beyond the 60 day time period . . .”

The briefs and the court order are available for viewing here: http://www.georgiapacking.org/sccc/

Georgiacarry.org is busy appealing this ruling to the Georgia Court of Appeals on behalf of the plaintiff and will post updates as they are available.

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