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Augusta man accused of shooting illegal gun while intoxicated

Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013 9:56 PM
Last updated 10:20 PM
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An Augusta man was arrested Sunday after police say he fired an illegal firearm within 50 yards of children while intoxicated.

James Ronald Sims, 61, of Peach Orchard Road, is charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a sawed-off shotgun, discharge of a firearm while under the influence of alcohol and reckless conduct, according to Richmond County jail records.

About 11:50 a.m., Rich­mond County sheriff’s Deputy Thomas Lanford was driving on Peach Orchard Road when he heard gunshots, according to an incident report. Residents pointed him to Peach Orchard and Rhodes roads, where he found Sims standing near the end of his trailer.

According to the report, Sims dropped something as Langford approached and had a claw hammer in his hand. After talking to Sims, Lang­ford concluded he was intoxicated.

As Langford drew closer, he saw what appeared to be a sawed-off .410-caliber shotgun with an altered bolt and firing pin. The shotgun did not have a serial number and was fired by hitting the end of the bolt with a hammer.

Langford said he found three spent .410-caliber shells and a live shell where Sims had been standing.

According to the report, residents and their children were in their yards within 50 yards of where Sims was shooting the modified firearm.

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Little Lamb
Little Lamb 12/29/13 - 11:26 pm

I don't think the firearm, per se was illegal. Instead, it is illegal for a person to have, hold, or use such a firearm.

We need to be clear in our usage.

dhpsmp 12/30/13 - 05:34 am
Illegal firearm

The firearm did not have a serial number, therefore it was illegal.

nocnoc 12/30/13 - 08:34 am
Almost sounds like the RCSO is avoiding say:

Homemade 410 shotgun.
If it is Homemade shotgun then his crime is being a felon, not the gun. HOWEVER once it is made, it cannot be transferred or sold to others.

These are really easy to make and there dozens of Youtube Videos that show which parts to buy at Home Depot or Lowes or ACE Hardware for 410 or 12 ga.

Hand on Bible
I was at Lowe's back in Jan/Feb of this year
I watched a guy buying 36" long Pipe after
checking the inner diameter with a 12ga shell.

I got to thinking the pipe was thicker than a normal
Shotgun barrel so it should/would work with the screw on
END CAP he also purchased.


Navy Gary
Navy Gary 12/30/13 - 10:00 am
The Second Amendment is dead....?

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Keep in mind, this amendment was placed in the constitution by our forefathers to allow us to be able to protect ourselves against ANY threat, including and especially future governments.

I can see taking guns from people who commit crimes with guns but it seems that now, the laws are geared to keep people from having them at all. The "in possession of a firearm while in the commission of a crime law", allows for you to be charged if you have a gun on you when you write a bad check or get caught speeding.

Also, the Second Amendment was enacted at a time when all that our government possessed was musket and cannon. Now they have fighter jets, bombers, tanks and even nukes. Had the law kept up with technology, we would all be allowed tanks and stinger missles by now....just sayin'....

jimmymac 12/30/13 - 10:24 am

It sounds like the guy didn't have the money to buy fireworks to shoot off so he improvised.

IMRIGHTYOUREWRONG 12/30/13 - 02:12 pm

According to, “sawed-off shotguns” are not illegal in Georgia so long as they are registered in accordance with the Federal Firearms Act. Seeing as the article states that the arresting officer did not observe a serial number, then legally it could not be registered in accordance with the Federal Firearms Act. Thus making the “sawed-off shotgun” illegal.

SJL1204 12/30/13 - 08:31 pm
The main point

I think the main point to glean from this article, is he is a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

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