Atlanta

Number of Georgia gun license applications falls nearly 60% year after permitless carry

ATLANTA — Georgia legislators passed permitless carry for firearms during last year’s session. Gov. Brian Kemp signed it into law in April 2022.

Now, a year after its enactment in July, the number of applications for gun licenses has dropped.

According to newly released data from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the number of applications fell nearly 60%.

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Examining the data from the GBI, Channel 2 Action News focused on the number of license applications from July to December of 2021 and 2022, accounting for the passage and enactment of the licensing change.

In the July to December 2021 period, there were 74,816 applications.

During the same stretch of time in 2022, there were just 30,054, a 59.8% drop in applications.

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Following 2022′s permitless carry passage, applications for firearms are no longer required in the state of Georgia.

Whether or not it’s a direct result of the change, the number of applications submitted for gun licenses in the state fell 44,762 between the two six-month periods of July to December 2021 versus 2022.

In a similar fashion, Channel 2 Action News was also able to compare the January to June statistics for 2022 and 2023, showing the number of gun license applications before and after passage in the first half of the year.

Georgia’s spring to summer gun applications in 2022 were a reported 47,391 applicants, spanning Jan. 1 to June 30, according to the information provided by the GBI.

For the same period in 2023, there were 31,493 applications, a smaller decrease but still roughly one-third lower than the year prior at 33.5%.

In addition to a lower amount of applications coming in due to lack of need thanks to the legislation, there’s a fiscal element too. The GBI data showed both the number of applications and how much was paid in licensing fees.

Licensing in years both heavy and light in applications bring in more than $1 million to the state. The peak amount of the years’ data provided to Channel 2 Action News was the total for 2021 when Georgia collected nearly $3.24 million in licensing fees from firearm applicants.

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