State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_15 > GS_15-11_2

§ 15‑11.2.  Dispositionof unclaimed firearms not confiscated or seized as trial evidence.

(a)        Definition. – Forpurposes of this section, the term "unclaimed firearm" means afirearm that is found or received by a law enforcement agency and that remainsunclaimed by the person who may be entitled to it for a period of 30 days afterthe publication of the notice required by subsection (b) of this section. Theterm does not include a firearm that is seized and disposed of pursuant to G.S.15‑11.1 or a firearm that is confiscated and disposed of pursuant to G.S.14‑269.1.

(b)        Published Notice ofUnclaimed Firearm. – When a law enforcement agency finds or receives a firearmand the firearm remains unclaimed for a period of 180 days, the agency shallpublish at least one notice in a newspaper published in the county in which theagency is located. The notice shall include all of the following:

(1)        A statement that thefirearm is unclaimed and is in the custody of the law enforcement agency.

(2)        A statement that thefirearm may be sold or otherwise disposed of unless the firearm is claimedwithin 30 days of the date of the publication of the notice.

(3)        A brief descriptionof the firearm and any other information that the chief or head of the lawenforcement agency may consider necessary or advisable to reasonably inform thepublic about the firearm.

(c)        If the firearmremains unclaimed for a period of 30 days after the publication of the notice,then the person who found the firearm and turned it over to the law enforcementagency may claim the firearm provided the person satisfies the custodial lawenforcement agency holding the firearm that the person is qualified under Stateand federal law to possess the firearm and also presents a pistol permit issuedin accordance with Article 52A of Chapter 14 of the General Statutes.

(d)        If the firearmremains unclaimed for a period of 30 days after the publication of the noticeand the person who found the firearm does not claim it as provided bysubsection (c) of this section, then the head or chief of the law enforcementagency may apply to the appropriate district court for an order of dispositionof the unclaimed firearm. The application shall be written.

(e)        Disposition ofFirearm. – The judge, after hearing, may order the disposition of the firearmin one of the following ways:

(1)        By ordering thefirearm turned over to be destroyed by the sheriff of the county in which thelaw enforcement agency applying for the order of disposition is located or bythe sheriff's duly authorized agent. The sheriff shall maintain a record of thedestruction of the firearm.

(2)        By ordering thefirearm turned over to the law enforcement agency applying for the dispositionof the firearm for (i) the official use of the agency or (ii) sale, trade, orexchange by the agency to a federally licensed firearm dealer in accordancewith all applicable State and federal firearm laws. The court may order adisposition of the firearm pursuant to this subsection only if the firearm hasa legible, unique identification number.

(f)         Disbursement ofProceeds of Sale. – If the law enforcement agency sells the firearm, then theproceeds of the sale shall be retained by the law enforcement agency and usedfor law enforcement purposes. The receiving law enforcement agency shallmaintain a record and inventory of all firearms received pursuant to thissection. (2005‑287,s. 2.)