New amendment allows Macon residents to sell firearms from their home

The Planning and Zoning Committee amended a resolution that prevented people from selling guns from their homes / Evan Watson (WGXA)

MACON, Ga. -- The Macon-Bibb Planning and Zoning Committee recently amended a resolution that prevented residents from selling firearms from their homes because it did not comply with state law.

According to Jim Thomas, Director of the Planning and Zoning Committee, there is a Georgia law in place that says a local government cannot have stricter gun selling regulations than the state does.

Now, Macon-Bibb County residents can apply for a home-based federal firearms license.

Macon resident Bill Carswell has collected guns his whole life, and now that he is nearing retirement, he wants to turn his passion into a job and sell firearms at gun shows and online.

"I'll never get rich at it," Carswell said. "Not trying to. It is a hobby and I'm turning it into a business."

When Carswell looked into how to do just that, he found out that to obtain a federal firearms license, he would have to have a business location where the weapons can be stored and picked up.

Under the Macon-Bibb County law, Carswell could not legally store the guns at his house.

"Our regulations basically said you cannot be a guns dealer or an arms dealer as home occupation," Thomas said.

Carswell petitioned the committee to "delete the prohibition against firearms dealers, brokers and salesmen" from the ordinance.

"We're going to follow state law," Thomas said. "We cannot be in conflict and it was a clear case that we were."

Thomas wants residents to know that this does not mean just anyone can sell weapons in their neighborhoods. Each seller still has to abide by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and federal firearms license guidelines.

"There is no room for error with firearm sales," Carswell said.

The Planning and Zoning Committee said gun sellers will also have to follow local business guidelines. For example, the seller cannot have more than one customer in his or her home at a time.

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