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GCO Life Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Reading through all the various bills I have for the last few years, I keep seeing individual bills defining the term "Firearm". So, I looked up 16-11.125.1 where this appears to be defined, and I was surprised to Find the following in there:

There does not appear to be a definition of "Rifle" in the code, it appears to be defined as a "Long Gun". If there is no actual definition of a Rifle, then what do all these bills that include a "Rifle" in their Firearms definition actually refer to?

As a side note, "Handguns" and "Long Guns" that expel a single projectile less than .46cm (0.180in) in diameter are specifically excluded from these definitions.

So a .17 Caliber (0.172) weapon is not a weapon, not a handgun, or not a long gun under Georgia Law?

I am so very much hoping my research is somehow flawed and my findings are NOT correct, but these are the only places that I have seen definitions like this.
 

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Yukon Cornelius
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Correct about the size of the projectile and your understanding. You can carry a gun with that size caliber in off limits places. Not including schools though they define guns differently
 

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Atlanta Overwatch
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Why do .17caliber weapons or "rifles" need specific definitions? Is there something wrong with allowing a "rifle" to be defined under the term "long gun"?
 

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GCO Life Member
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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Why do .17caliber weapons or "rifles" need specific definitions? Is there something wrong with allowing a "rifle" to be defined under the term "long gun"?
My question EXACTLY! Actually, my question really is "What is the intent behind excluding single projectiles 0.46cm dia and smaller?".
 

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GCO Life Member
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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Correct about the size of the projectile and your understanding. You can carry a gun with that size caliber in off limits places. Not including schools though they define guns differently
And that brings up another point in the Ga Code. With what appears to be EVERY different bill defining what constitutes a "Firearm"--and almost every one--defining it differently, how is a law abiding citizen supposed to be able to know what is and what is not a firearm?

16-11-125.1 appears to have a reasonably compete definition of what constitutes a firearm or a weapon. It would seem that rather than trying to reinvent the wheel--or in this case redefining what constitutes a firearm or weapon--Legialators would want to have a readily accessible set of definitions that are uniform throughout the code--Don't they reference the code as UCOG (Uniform Code of Georgia)?
 

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GCO Life Member
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Correct about the size of the projectile and your understanding. You can carry a gun with that size caliber in off limits places. Not including schools though they define guns differently
I bet carrying a .17 rifle into the State House would raise eyebrows, and cause mass panic!

Vincent Fort would have to go home and burn his pants!
 

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Registered
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I bet carrying a .17 rifle into the State House would raise eyebrows, and cause mass panic!
Yeah because GUNZ!!!!!!!:bigshock::panic:
 

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Premium Member
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Reading through all the various bills I have for the last few years, I keep seeing individual bills defining the term "Firearm". So, I looked up 16-11.125.1 where this appears to be defined, and I was surprised to Find the following in there:

There does not appear to be a definition of "Rifle" in the code, it appears to be defined as a "Long Gun". If there is no actual definition of a Rifle, then what do all these bills that include a "Rifle" in their Firearms definition actually refer to?

As a side note, "Handguns" and "Long Guns" that expel a single projectile less than .46cm (0.180in) in diameter are specifically excluded from these definitions.

So a .17 Caliber (0.172) weapon is not a weapon, not a handgun, or not a long gun under Georgia Law?

I am so very much hoping my research is somehow flawed and my findings are NOT correct, but these are the only places that I have seen definitions like this.
There is a lot to go through with this post.

First, if a definition is not given, the common meaning is used. Typically it is what is found in a dictionary.

Second, definitions when defined are confined to what they declare their reference is: "As used in this code" or "as used in this part" or "as used in this chapter", etc.

A narrower reference of a definition overrides all definitions above it. For instance, 16-11-125.1 defines weapon in this "part" which are code sections 16-11-125.1 to 16-11-138. However, 16-11-127.1 has it's own definition for weapon and that definition is the one to be used for 16-11-127.1.

That can get confusing really quickly when you forget definition for "weapon" in one code section is different that the definition for weapon in another code section.

As for your side note, I disagree with that interpretation at least as it pertains to .17HMR, others though agree with it.

Here is why I think it .17HRM is covered:
(1) "Handgun" means a firearm of any description, loaded or unloaded, from which any shot, bullet, or other missile can be discharged by an action of an explosive where the length of the barrel, not including any revolving, detachable, or magazine breech, does not exceed 12 inches; provided, however, that the term "handgun" shall not include a gun which discharges a single shot of .46 centimeters or less in diameter.
So it is a handgun if it explosively fires any shot, bullet, or other missile. The exception limits itself to a single shot and does not mention anything else (multiple shot, bullet, or other missile). So basically a pellet or bb gun.

The same is true for long gun.
 

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Premium Member
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And that brings up another point in the Ga Code. With what appears to be EVERY different bill defining what constitutes a "Firearm"--and almost every one--defining it differently, how is a law abiding citizen supposed to be able to know what is and what is not a firearm?

16-11-125.1 appears to have a reasonably compete definition of what constitutes a firearm or a weapon. It would seem that rather than trying to reinvent the wheel--or in this case redefining what constitutes a firearm or weapon--Legialators would want to have a readily accessible set of definitions that are uniform throughout the code--Don't they reference the code as UCOG (Uniform Code of Georgia)?
The bills are drafted by the Legislative Counsel. Some of them are not very good at their job. That is why there are committee meetings to go over the various bills. It is to point out flaws in the law.

Sometimes you really want a different definition for a particular law. We don't want local governments banning "weapons" such as a swiss army knife or other pocket knife that we don't have to have a license to carry. So you define weapon in one place as what you need a license to carry for, and in another code section you define weapon as pretty much every self defense type weapon you can think of.

They reference the code as OCGA (Official Code of Georgia Annotated).
 

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GCO Life Member
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Preceding trimmed for brevity and clarity. GG

As for your side note, I disagree with that interpretation at least as it pertains to .17HMR, others though agree with it.

Here is why I think it .17HRM is covered:

So it is a handgun if it explosively fires any shot, bullet, or other missile. The exception limits itself to a single shot and does not mention anything else (multiple shot, bullet, or other missile). So basically a pellet or bb gun.

The same is true for long gun.
I believe I have seen definitions where "shot" refers to round balls--BBs, bird shot, typically found in a shotgun type of shell. Is that the definition that is intended, or is the definition intended to separate a semi-auto from one that could potentially discharge multiple "shot" with one trigger pull?
 

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GCO Life Member
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The bills are drafted by the Legislative Counsel. Some of them are not very good at their job. That is why there are committee meetings to go over the various bills. It is to point out flaws in the law.

Sometimes you really want a different definition for a particular law. We don't want local governments banning "weapons" such as a swiss army knife or other pocket knife that we don't have to have a license to carry. So you define weapon in one place as what you need a license to carry for, and in another code section you define weapon as pretty much every self defense type weapon you can think of.

They reference the code as OCGA (Official Code of Georgia Annotated).
<Sarcasm on>
Now that last statement sounds like Vincent Fort!
<Sarcasm off>

I see your point on the OCGA, must be confusing it with something else.

TMA (Too Many Acronyms)!
 

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Man of Myth and Legend
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(1) "Handgun" means a firearm of any description, Blah blah blah for this; provided, however, that the term "handgun" shall not include a gun which discharges a single shot of .46 centimeters or less in diameter.
Sure seems to me that it specifically exempts anything that shoots less than their measure. I think thats calculated out to 18 caliber.
 

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GCO Life Member
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Why? You want the scope of government regulation and restriction to be greater?
Not at all. Seems like it could be somewhat simpler if there were a standard set of definitions for what comprises a "firearm".

I am recognizing that a single definition simply will not suffice, but the inclusions and exclusions in almost every bill poses a daunting challenge to be "informed" on what each definition is and where in the code it is.
 

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Premium Member
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I think that bird shot type of shot is the definition because it is referring to what can be propelled out of a barrel via an explosive (any shot, bullet, or other missile which can be discharged). Buckshot, bird shot, rat shot, etc.

The code defining a machine gun is found in 16-11-121
(2) "Machine gun" means any weapon which shoots or is designed to shoot, automatically, more than six shots, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.
Also, I think you can confirm it is not a single pull of the trigger meaning of single shot by looking at the definition of long gun:
(4) "Long gun" means a firearm with a barrel length of at least 18 inches and overall length of at least 26 inches designed or made and intended to be fired from the shoulder and designed or made to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed:

(A) Shotgun shell to fire through a smooth bore either a number of ball shot or a single projectile for each single pull of the trigger or from which any shot, bullet, or other missile can be discharged; or

(B) Metallic cartridge to fire only a single projectile through a rifle bore for each single pull of the trigger;

provided, however, that the term "long gun" shall not include a gun which discharges a single shot of .46 centimeters or less in diameter.
The "provide, however" part applies to both (A) and (B). So as you can see for (B), it says a single projectile through a rifle bore for each single pull of the trigger but shall not include a gun which discharges a "single shot". That is either completely redundant which a judge would not read it to be, or "shot" means a group of pellets or BBs and "single shot" means one of those pellets or BBs.
 

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Moderator
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Not at all. Seems like it could be somewhat simpler if there were a standard set of definitions for what comprises a "firearm".

I am recognizing that a single definition simply will not suffice, but the inclusions and exclusions in almost every bill poses a daunting challenge to be "informed" on what each definition is and where in the code it is.
The way the statutes are written now, some guns in Georgia are unregulated. If you propose to include guns that are now excluded, then the result would be an increased scope of regulation and restriction.
 
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