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The 189th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 129D: Surrender of firearms and ammunition to licensing authority upon denial of application for, or revocation of, identification card or license; right to transfer; sale by colonel of state police; rules and regulations

Section 129D. Upon revocation, suspension or denial of an application for a firearm identification card pursuant to section 129B or for any firearms license if the firearm identification card is not then in force or for any machine gun license, the person whose application was so revoked, suspended or denied shall without delay deliver or surrender to the licensing authority where the person resides all firearms, rifles, shotguns and machine guns and ammunition which the person then possesses unless an appeal of the revocation or suspension is pending. The person or the person's legal representative shall have the right, at any time up to 1 year after the delivery or surrender, to transfer the firearms, rifles, shotguns and machine guns and ammunition to any licensed dealer or any other person legally permitted to purchase or take possession of the firearms, rifles, shotguns and machine guns and ammunition and, upon notification in writing by the purchaser or transferee and the former owner, the licensing authority shall within 10 days deliver the firearms, rifles, shotguns and machine guns and ammunition to the transferee or purchaser and the licensing authority shall observe due care in the receipt and holding of any such firearm, rifle, shotgun or machine gun and ammunition; provided, however, that the purchaser or transferee shall affirm in writing that the purchaser or transferee shall not in violation of section 129C transfer the firearms, rifles, shotguns or machine guns or ammunition to the former owner. The licensing authority shall at the time of delivery or surrender inform the person in writing of the authority's ability, within 1 year after delivery or surrender, to transfer the firearms, rifles, shotguns and machine guns and ammunition to any licensed dealer or other person legally permitted to purchase or take possession.

The licensing authority, after taking possession of any firearm, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or ammunition by any means, may transfer possession of such weapon for storage purposes to a federally and state licensed dealer of such weapons and ammunition who operates a bonded warehouse on the licensed premises that is equipped with a safe for the secure storage of firearms and a weapon box or similar container for the secure storage of other weapons and ammunition; provided, however, that the licensing authority shall not transfer to such dealer possession of any weapon that is or may be evidence in any current or pending criminal case concerning a violation of any general or special law, rule or regulation governing the use, possession or ownership of such weapon. Any such dealer that takes possession of a weapon under the provisions of this section shall: (i) inspect such weapon; (ii) issue to the owner a receipt indicating the make, model, caliber, serial number and condition of each weapon so received; and (iii) store and maintain all weapons so received in accordance with such regulations, rules or guidelines as the secretary of the executive office of public safety may establish under this section. The owner shall be liable to such dealer for reasonable storage charges and may dispose of any such weapon as provided under this section by transfer to a person lawfully permitted to purchase or take possession of such weapon.

Firearms, rifles, shotguns or machine guns and ammunition not disposed of after delivery or surrender according to the provisions of this section shall be sold at public auction by the colonel of the state police to the highest bidding person legally permitted to purchase and possess said firearms, rifles, shotguns or machine guns and ammunition and the proceeds shall be remitted to the state treasurer. Any such weapon that is stored and maintained by a licensed dealer as provided under this section may be so auctioned at the direction of: (i) the licensing authority at the expiration of one year following initial surrender or delivery to such licensing authority; or (ii) the dealer then in possession, if the storage charges for such weapon have been in arrears for 90 days; provided, however, that in either case, title shall pass to the licensed dealer for the purpose of transferring ownership to the auctioneer; and provided further, that in either case, after deduction and payment for storage charges and all necessary costs associated with such surrender and transfer, all surplus proceeds, if any, shall be immediately returned to the owner of such weapon; provided, however, that no firearm, rifle, shotgun or machine gun or ammunition classified as having been used to carry out a criminal act pursuant to section 131Q shall be sold at public auction pursuant to this section.

If the licensing authority cannot reasonably ascertain a lawful owner within 180 days of acquisition by the authority, the authority may, in its discretion, trade or dispose of surplus, donated, abandoned or junk firearms, rifles, shotguns or machine guns or ammunition to properly licensed distributors or firearms dealers. The proceeds of the sale or transfer shall be remitted or credited to the municipality in which the authority presides to purchase weapons, equipment or supplies or for violence reduction or suicide prevention; provided, however, that no firearm, rifle, shotgun or machine gun or ammunition classified as having been used to carry out a criminal act pursuant to section 131Q shall be considered surplus, donated, abandoned or junk for the purposes of this section.

The secretary of the executive office of public safety may make and promulgate such rules and regulations as are necessary to carry out the provisions of this section.