SECTION 1. Chapter 140 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 131O the following section:-
131O1/2. Notwithstanding any general or special law, rule or regulation to the contrary, the colonel of state police, in conjunction with each county sheriff shall promulgate rules and regulations implementing a firearm buy-back program. The program shall allow any citizen of the commonwealth who complies with the policies set forth by the colonel to voluntarily exchange a firearm for a cash reward or gift certificate. Each county sheriff shall designate or establish at least 1 location in his or her county where personnel will accept firearms in exchange for a cash reward or gift certificate on 1 day of every month. Each county sheriff shall provide personnel to oversee the location on that day and may establish procedures to implement this program; provided, however, that the procedures do not contradict the policies set forth by the colonel.
Any citizen of the commonwealth who complies with the policies set forth by the colonel shall not be asked for identification when exchanging a firearm through this program, although he or she may voluntarily sign a list maintained by the colonel to show that a specific firearm was relinquished. Any citizen of the commonwealth who complies with the policies set forth by the colonel shall be immune from prosecution for possession of a firearm; provided, however, that nothing herein shall prohibit the prosecution of any person for any other offense committed within the commonwealth.
Any firearm surrendered in accordance with this program that is reported stolen shall be returned to its lawful owner; provided, however, that any firearm suspected to be evidence in a crime shall remain in the custody and control of the department of state police in the same manner as any other such firearm lawfully seized by the department of state police. All weapons that have been voluntarily surrendered that are not suspected to be evidence of criminal activity and have not been reported stolen shall be melted down or otherwise disposed of in accordance with procedures established by the colonel.
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