People hold misconceptions sometimes, and it gets in the way of their reasoning. Sometimes these people might be in law enforcement, thinking a "public gathering" is anywhere 15 or more people happen to be, thus placing almost every public place off limits. Other times, it might be a judge, who is sitting on your case. The following is REAL Georgia case law, and it is about as wrong as can be. The interpretation of OCGA Â§ 16-11-124(3) is a matter of first impression; the reason for prohibiting sawed-off shotguns is not. As stated by the Supreme Court of Georgia, the evil of sawed-off shotguns is that they "are of a size such as can easily be concealed and which are adapted to and commonly used for criminal purposes." Thus, the legislature found it appropriate to "prohibit the keeping and carrying of sawed-off shotguns," except under limited circumstances. Three of those exceptions apply only to a limited class of people who have a legitimate reason to possess a working sawed-off shotgun: law enforcement personnel, servicemen who possess them in the line of duty, and certain importers and manufacturers. Because the general public, as a rule, has no legitimate reason to possess such a dangerous weapon, the legislature obviously deemed it appropriate to authorize the public to possess sawed-off shotguns only when they are inoperative and can do no harm. State v. Watson, 249 Ga.App. 256, 547 S.E.2d 789 (2001). Anybody notice that he just skips over the fact that anybody in the general public paying the $5 tax (or $200 tax) can readily own them, even without a "legitimate reason to possess such a dangerous weapon?" In fairness, the case was about whether the firearm was functional, so this issue was not argued, but then maybe the judge should not speak past the arguments and thus enshrine this nonsense into case law. Be careful out there!