Federal law states that a convicted felon may never possess any firearm or ammunition. But, federal law provides an exception if the conviction was a state conviction and the state overturns the conviction, pardons the individual or otherwise formally restores the convict's civil rights. The state must restore all of the convict's civil rights, including right to serve on a jury, the right to seek and hold public office, and the right to vote, or the exception does not apply. Georgia Code16-11-131 (b) governs the laws regarding possession of firearms by a convicted felon.
Georgia Code16-11-131 (b) states that any person convicted of a felony offence by a state or federal court is forbidden to own, buy, sell or transport a firearm. The law covers convictions in a military court of law. A firearm is defined as any "weapon which will or can be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or electrical charge." Violation of this law is a felony punishable by one to five years in prison for a first offence.
Georgia code states that if the person's initial conviction is a forcible felony and he is convicted of receiving, possessing, or transporting a firearm, the minimum term of imprisonment is five years. In addition, any person convicted of a forcible felony who attempts to purchase or obtain transfer of a firearm will be convicted of a felony offence. The punishment for this offence is imprisonment for one to five years. Forcible felonies are those that involve the use or threat of physical force or violence against any person, including murder, burglary, armed robbery, kidnapping, rape, aggravated child molestation, arson in the first degree and acts of treason or insurrection.
Georgia law provides that any individual who is convicted while on probation, and whose initial conviction is subsequently overturned, will have the firearms conviction overturned as well, provided he did not violate the law in any other way (such as carrying a concealed weapon without a permit). It also excludes individuals who have been pardoned by any recognized authority, but only if the terms of the pardon specifically authorize the individual to receive, possess or transport a firearm. Convictions for antitrust violations, unfair trade practices or restraint of trade may also be excepted in some situations.