Carry at the NRA Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia

By Dean Weingarten

NRA Atlanta 2017
Dean Weingarten
Dean Weingarten

Arizona – -(
This year, 2017, the NRA Annual Meeting is being held in Atlanta at the Georgia World Congress Center. 80,000 people are expected to attend.  There will be 450,000 square feet of exhibits. As with the past two annual meetings, attendees will be able to carry firearms in accordance with state laws. In Georgia a carry permit is required.

Georgia recognizes carry permits from 32 other states. lists the states.

Virginia is not listed on the official page, but I understand that Georgia reciprocity with Virgina has been restored. You are responsible for validating your own information.


Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming all recognize Georgia-issued firearms licenses. 

Georgia recognizes both resident and non-resident permits from the above states. Georgia carry law covers both handguns and knives that are designed for defense or offense, and have blades that are over five inches in length.

A carry permit is required for both open and concealed carry.

There are gun free zones in Georgia law, but most do not apply to the  Georgia World Congress Center where the Annual Meeting will be held.  However, the food court at the CNN Center in their hotel complex is a gun free zone. There are other areas in the CNN Center, which has a number of retail shops, that ban guns.
Here is a statement from the

Firearms Policy for the 2017 NRA Annual Meetings:

During the 2017 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits, lawfully carried firearms will be permitted in the Georgia World Congress Center and the Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center in accordance with Georgia law. However, firearms are not allowed in the remainder of the CNN Center, including the food court and shops. When carrying your firearm, remember to follow all federal, state and local laws.

Be aware of your surroundings. If someone asks you to leave an area because you are carrying, it is best to politely leave.
Last year there were a number of open carriers at the NRA annual meeting in Louisville, Kentucky.
Anti-rights political activists complained that the NRA would not allow people to carry firearms at their annual meetings.  The NRA stopped those complaints by insisting on allowing legal carry. The anti-rights groups cannot make that claim any longer.

It seems unlikely that the NRA leadership would schedule an Annual Meeting for a state that does not honor the right to bear arms. That would rule out California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island. It might rule out Washington State, Oregon, and Illinois, on the basis of lack of reciprocity.

The next few Annual Meetings are:

  • 2018  Dallas, Texas
  • 2019  Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 2020  Nashville, Tennessee
  • 2021  Houston, Texas
  • 2022  Undetermined
  • 2023  Indianapolis, Indiana

Attendance at the NRA Annual Meetings has grown to about 80,000. There are a limited number of venues that can accommodate that number of attendees. In addition, a central location makes it a bit easier for attendees to travel to the Meeting.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

Link to Gun Watch


About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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I was there no one said anything about Guns . People were carrying in the convention area. The City of Atlanta got a lot of Money from the NRA Members .


Many hotels are posted no firearms. Naturally this is an issue given the cost of attending.. moreover no notice is provided with registration.. had I known I would not be attending.. ( yes it may be inferred that I am only recently actually attending the NRA meeting or I would have known better) Indeed had I flown in, would have no option but to leave directly , pursuant to NRA policy , and fly out the same night. No guns no money.. should have stayed home. Unless this changes…This is my last meeting in Atlanta… Texas is next .. but… Read more »

Marc Grundfest


Shuttle never showed.. as of 930 I called it and aborted my trip .. still money to save by leaving early .

Marc Grundfest

I was just told that the shuttle was never for that hotel.. ethier way it’s time to cut losses..

Never Atlanta.

Mark Are

A carry permit is required for both open and concealed carry. IN DIRECT VIOLATION OF THE 2ND AMENDMENT. But hey The NEW Second Amendment of the amended US Bill of Rights… (sorry, we no longer follow “proper procedure” for amending these pain in the ass listed rights) A well regulated militia being necessary for the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed EXCEPT: You are buying the firearms for yourself. EXCEPT: you are under indictment or information for a felony for which the judge could imprison you for… Read more »

Charlie B Cochran Sr.

Frankly I’m surprized that the NRA would hold a meeting in Atlanta. I have vivid memories of the SHOT show being held in Atlanta years ago. It was made apparent that the show wasn’t exactly welcome in this modern progressive city. Maybe things have changed……..(I doubt it.)

Patrick B.

CNN not allowing CCW? Why am I not surprised.


Heck, YES: carry! Atlanta is Mau-Mau country. Bolshevik elements are planning riots outside the venue the day that trump is scheduled to address the NRA.


Virginia is now listed. Carry away. ☺️


AN OPEN LETTER TO TED NUGENT: “THE DAY I’LL JOIN THE NRA” 1. When the NRA announces, from the rooftops, that the police have NO LEGAL DUTY to protect the average American citizen. 2. When the NRA aggressively presses to abolish all concealed carry permit laws. 3. When the NRA calls for the complete and unconditional disbanding of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE). 4. When the NRA soundly condemns, and works tirelessly to abolish, the “Gun Control Act of 1968”. 5. When the NRA quits kowtowing to authoritarian police bureaucrats and takes a no compromise stand… Read more »