Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representative in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
SECTION 1. Chapter 269 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after Section 10k the following sections:-
(1) Firearm shall mean any pistol, revolver, rifle or smoothbore arm from which a shot, bullet or pellet can be discharged. (2) Owner shall mean a person, other than a lien holder, having registration to the vehicle.
The owner of record of any motor vehicle that contains an illegal firearm shall be liable to the city for an administrative penalty of two thousand dollars ($2,000) plus any towing and storage fees applicable under sections 7,8, & 10 of chapter 135. If the violation takes place within 500 feet of the boundary line of a public park or elementary or secondary school, the penalty shall be three thousand dollars ($3,000) plus towing and storage fees. Any such vehicle shall be subject to seizure and impoundment pursuant to this section.
Whenever a police officer has probable cause to believe that a vehicle is subject to seizure and impoundment pursuant to this section, the police officer shall provide for the towing of the vehicle to a facility controlled by the city or its agents. Before or at the time the vehicle is towed, the police officer shall notify any person identifying himself as the owner of the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation and concurrent process under this law and sections 7, 8, & 10 of chapter 135.
If such property remains unclaimed in the possession of such police department or member thereof for one month and the owner thereof or his place of abode or business is unknown, or if the owner and his place of abode or business are known and the owner, after receipt by registered mail of a written notice from such department or member to take possession of said property, refuses or fails for a period of ten days following said receipt so to do, such department may take ownership of the vehicle or sell the same, excepting money unclaimed, by public auction or any other licensed auction service, including sale over the Internet, notice of the time and place of sale, with a description of the property to be sold, first being given by publishing the same once in each of three successive weeks in a newspaper published in such city.
All proceeds from the sale of a said vehicle shall first be applied to any outstanding fines or fees assessed against the owner of the vehicle that are related to the offense for which it is in the possession of the Department. Subsequent proceeds beyond those that cover the cost of assessed fees and fines shall be deposited into the Commonwealth’s Law Enforcement Trust Fund in accordance with section 47 of chapter 94C. Vehicles deemed un-sellable may be crushed or otherwise destroyed by the Department under the same guidelines referenced above, and may be sold as scrap metal, the proceeds of which shall be deposited into the Law Enforcement Trust Fund.
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