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What is the Penalty for Carrying a Gun without a Permit?

If for some reason, you are holding and carrying your gun from one place to another without a permit or license, you are basically taking a risk. Every state in the USA has slightly different rules that you need to be aware of. For instance, if you were on your way to getting some kind of addition for your .30-30 Winchester rifle to enhance its performance or simply to make it more aesthetically pleasing and you were pulled over by a cop with your rifle, there are going to be different legal implications in the state of California than Georgia.

Therefore, we have jotted down the varying laws of different states in the USA when you are carrying a gun without a permit. They will not only help you in identifying whether you were actually guilty in a particular situation or not, but they may also be helpful in making sure that you don’t run into similar unpleasant situations in the future. Read below!

State of Georgia

The law of Georgia states that an individual should only carry a gun with them if they own a license. However, there are some exceptions to this case:

  • You carry an unloaded gun in a case.
  • You carry a firearm in your workplace, vehicle, or home.
  • You hold a valid permit for hunting or fishing with a gun and you have the permission of the property’s owner.

Some people even have a valid license for carrying a gun outside the state of Georgia. In that case, you can carry your weapon for up to 90 days after becoming a resident of Georgia. But it’s ideal to apply for your gun permit as soon as possible.

Penalties for Carrying a Weapon without a License in Georgia

If you are caught first-time with a gun without a permit, you may have to face up to $1000 of fine, one year of jail time, or both.

If it’s your second offense, your jail sentence may be extended to up to five years as it will be considered a felony.

In case of a felony conviction, your prison sentence and fines will increase and you will lose the right of voting or owning weapons completely. Employment and residency will become even more difficult for you due to your criminal record.  

State of Indiana

The law of carrying a gun without a permit in Indiana is not really different from the state of Georgia. However, you should be aware of the slightest differences as well.

It’s prohibited to carry a gun by an individual on their body or in their car without a valid permit in Indiana. Although there are a few exceptions (among others) to this rule:

  • You can carry a weapon in your car without a license only if it’s properly concealed in a case and is unloaded.  
  • You can carry a gun at a shooting range if you’re attending a training course or you’re legally hunting.

Penalties for Carrying a Gun without a Permit in Indiana

In case you’re found carrying a gun without a license in Indiana as a first-time offender, you’re going to face some basic misdemeanor charges which include a fine or a short duration jail sentence.  

However, your fine and prison sentence can increase drastically:

  • If you carry a gun on school property, a school bus, or even within a 500-feet radius of the school building.
  • If you’re not a first-time offender or you carry a fake license for carrying your gun.

By “drastically”, you can expect to serve a sentence of one to six years and a fine of up to $10,000.

State of Florida

The rules and regulations are almost the same in Florida in comparison to other states. You cannot carry a gun without a valid license, however, you will be given exemption in the following cases:

  • You carry your gun at your home or a business place.
  • You carry it in your vehicle that is concealed and secured in a case.
  • You are in transit to or returning from your fishing, hunting, or camping expedition or you are carrying your gun for these activities.

Penalties for Carrying a Gun without a Permit in Florida

If you are found carrying a gun without a permit, it will be considered a third-degree felony. It means that you can be entitled to up to five years of jail sentence and probation along with a fine of up to $5,000.

If you already have a criminal record regarding this offense, you can face a penalty of up to $10,000 along with up to 15 years in jail.

State of California

The laws in California regarding carrying guns without a permit are quite different from the other states in the USA. In the other states, you have some sorts of exemptions to the “carrying a gun without a license” rule such as whether the firearm is concealed, unloaded, and secured in a case or not.

However, in California, it doesn’t matter if you carry a gun in a safe in your vehicle or it’s concealed in your pocket, you will be charged with penalties in case you’re found with a gun without a permit.

Permit of another State in California

In some of the states in the USA, your permit is valid for a certain period of time in a state that you are traveling to. But this is not the case in California. You need to have California’s permit to carry a gun no matter you’re a tourist or a resident otherwise you can be fined up to $1,000 along with serving jail time.

Penalties for Carrying a Gun without a Permit in California

As the laws of California are quite strict, you should make sure to adhere to them. Otherwise, you will be faced with serious charges and a prison sentence.

As a first-time offender, you can expect a fine of $1,000 and six months in prison. Although your penalty may also be dependent upon your past criminal record, evidence regarding your intent to use the firearm and how well you cooperate with the police.

If you have already been convicted of a felony charge, your jail sentence and fine can increase drastically i.e., one to three years and up to $1,000 respectively.  

Hence, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Knowing and implementing the rules and regulations in different states that you’re planning to travel to or move to can help you stay free of any charges or criminal records.