§ 27-3-4. Legal weapons for hunting wildlife generally; use of silencers and suppressors prohibited; penalty for violations.




Article 1. HUNTING


Current through 2019-2020 Chapter 609

§ 27-3-4. Legal weapons for hunting wildlife generally; use of silencers and suppressors prohibited; penalty for violations

(a) It shall be unlawful to hunt wildlife with any weapon, except that:
(1) Longbows, recurve bows, crossbows, and compound bows may be used for taking small game, feral hogs, or big game. Arrows for hunting deer, bear, and feral hogs must be broadhead type;
(2) During primitive weapon hunts or primitive weapons seasons:
(A) Longbows, recurve bows, crossbows, compound bows, muzzleloading firearms of.44 caliber or larger, and muzzleloading shotguns of 20 gauge or larger loaded with single shot may be used; and
(B) Youth under 16 years of age may hunt deer with any firearm legal for hunting deer;
(3) Firearms for hunting deer and bear are limited to 20 gauge shotguns or larger shotguns loaded with slugs or buckshot (except that no buckshot is permitted on state wildlife management areas unless otherwise specified), muzzleloading firearms of.44 caliber or larger, and center-fire firearms.22 caliber or larger; provided, however, that firearms for hunting feral hogs, other than those weapons specified in this paragraph, may be authorized by rule or regulation of the board. Bullets used in all center-fire rifles and handguns must be of the expanding type;
(4) Weapons for hunting small game shall be limited to shotguns with shot shell size of no greater than 3 1/2 inches in length with No. 2 lead shot or smaller or federally approved nontoxic shot size of F or smaller shot,.22 caliber or smaller rimfire firearms, air rifles, muzzleloading firearms, longbows, recurve bows, crossbows, and compound bows; provided, however, that in addition to the weapons listed in this paragraph, any center-fire firearm of.17 caliber or larger may be used for hunting fox and bobcat. Nothing contained in this paragraph shall permit the taking of protected species;

(5) It shall be unlawful to hunt turkey with any weapons except shotguns using No. 2 shot or smaller, muzzleloading firearms, longbows, crossbows, recurve bows, or compound bows. Any person taking turkey in violation of this paragraph shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished as for a misdemeanor, except that a fine imposed for such violation shall not be less than $250.00;
(6) Weapons for hunting alligators shall be limited to hand-held ropes or snares, snatch hooks, harpoons, gigs, or arrows with restraining lines attached. Lawfully restrained alligators may be killed with any caliber handgun or bangstick and shall be killed immediately before transporting;
(7) There are no firearms restrictions for taking nongame animals, nongame birds, or feral hogs; and
(8) The use of silencers or suppressors for hunting within this state is prohibited; provided, however, that a silencer or suppressor may be used for hunting on the private property of the person using such silencer or suppressor, on private property for which the owner of such property has provided verifiable permission to the person using such silencer or suppressor, and on public lands in areas designated by the department.
(9) For purposes of this subsection, the term 'air gun' means any pistol, handgun, or shoulder-held device, each of not less than 0.30 caliber, or air bow that propels a projectile in the form of a slug, shot, or arrow equipped with a broadhead utilizing unignited compressed air or gas. Air guns are legal weapons for hunting big game only during primitive weapon hunts, primitive weapon seasons, and firearm seasons. This paragraph shall stand repealed effective July 1, 2025, unless continued in effect by the General Assembly prior to that date. At its 2025 regular session, the General Assembly shall review this paragraph to determine whether it should be continued in effect.
(1) It shall be illegal to use a silencer or suppressor for hunting in violation of paragraph (9) of subsection (a) of this Code section. A person who violates the provisions of this paragraph shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
(2) The hunting privileges of any person who has been convicted of violating the provisions of this title or any rule or regulation promulgated pursuant thereto by hunting without landowner permission, hunting in an area that is closed for hunting, or hunting big game out of season or at night with a firearm equipped with a suppressor shall be suspended for three years.

Cite as OCGA § 27-3-4

History. Amended by 2020 Ga. Laws 600, §4-1, eff. 8/5/2020.

Amended by 2019 Ga. Laws 264, §3, eff. 7/1/2019.

Amended by 2015 Ga. Laws 228, §6, eff. 7/1/2015.

Amended by 2014 Ga. Laws 604, §1-2A, eff. 7/1/2014.

Amended by 2013 Ga. Laws 133, §2, eff. 7/1/2013.

Amended by 2010 Ga. Laws 635, §3, eff. 6/4/2010.

Amended by 2006 Ga. Laws 520, §2, eff. 7/1/2006.

Amended by 2003 Ga. Laws 311, §9, eff. 7/1/2003.

Amended by 2002 Ga. Laws 939, eff. 7/1/2002.

Amended by 2001 Ga. Laws 307.