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  • Summary date: Mar 6 2023 - View Summary

    Amends GS 15-11.1 (pertaining to court orders for the disposition of seized firearms determined to be no longer useful as evidence) GS 15-11.2 (pertaining to dispositions of unclaimed firearms not confiscated or seized as trial evidence), and GS 14-269.1(pertaining to disposition of confiscated firearms used for offenses involving a deadly weapon) by removing each statutory requirement that a firearm not have a legible, unique identification number or is unsafe before it can be turned over to the appropriate law enforcement agency to be destroyed.

    Enacts GS 15-11.3, creating the disposition of firearms received through a firearm buy-back program (a program in which firearms, ammunition, or firearms and ammunition are purchased or voluntarily surrendered for the purpose of destruction). Sets forth the following three requirements for participating law enforcement agencies. (1) The serial number of each firearm that is purchased or surrendered to the  program is checked against any local, State, and federal records of stolen  firearms and, if it is found that the firearm is a stolen firearm, that the firearm is not destroyed without the written permission of the lawful owner, and that if the lawful owner of the firearm does not give written permission  for the firearm to be destroyed, that the firearm is returned to its lawful owner. (2) If it is determined that a firearm that is purchased by or surrendered to the  firearm buy-back program is stolen, that the law enforcement agency makes  an effort to arrest the thief or any person who possessed the firearm knowing it was stolen. (3) Prior to the destruction of any firearm that is purchased or surrendered, that a  written determination is made as to whether the firearm may have been used  in a crime, and that if it is determined that the firearm probably was used in a crime, that it is retained for evidence, and if it is determined that the firearm probably was not used in a crime, if the firearm is a rifled firearm, that a fired bullet and fired cartridge case is retained for possible use as evidence and that if the firearm is a smooth bore firearm, that a fired cartridge case is retained for possible use as evidence.

    Requires that a law enforcement agency determine whether a lawful owner is entitled to possess a firearm under federal law before returning a stolen firearm to that owner. Authorizes the law enforcement agency to destroy the firearm if the owner is barred from owning the firearm under federal law after the written determination set forth above. 

    Effective July 1, 2023, and applies to any firearm found or received by a law enforcement agency on or after that date.