Court of Appeals Affirms Lower Court on 60 Day Issue

As many of you know, probate courts in Georgia frequently take from 4 to 6 months to issue firearms licenses, with 2.5 years being the outside time so far reported.  The licensing statute states that the judge “shall issue” the license “[n]ot later than 60 days after the date of application . . .” 

GCO sued the Coweta County Probate Judge after she waited more than 120 days, twice the time allowed in the statute, to issue a license to a GCO member.  GCO lost the case on summary judgment, with the court holding that the “plain language of the statute” permits the judge to wait beyond 60 days.

GCO appealed the judgment to the Georgia Court of Appeals.  The Georgia Court of Appeals affirmed the Superior Court’s judgment.  The decision is available here: http://www.georgiacarry.com/moore/COA%20Opinion.pdf.  GCO is reviewing whether to petition the Georgia Supreme Court to hear the issue.

HB 850 is now pending in the General Assembly to fix this issue.  HB 850 will shorten law enforcement’s timeline to report to the probate judge to 30 days, require issuance of the license in 45 days, and, more importantly, provide for temporary licensing for first time applicants, as well as eliminate the $1.00 fee for temporary licenses.

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