Forfeiture of firearms — Disposition — Confiscation.
(1) The superior courts and the courts of limited jurisdiction of the state may order forfeiture of a firearm which is proven to be:
(a) Found concealed on a person not authorized by RCW 9.41.060 or 9.41.070 to carry a concealed pistol: PROVIDED, That it is an absolute defense to forfeiture if the person possessed a valid Washington concealed pistol license within the preceding two years and has not become ineligible for a concealed pistol license in the interim. Before the firearm may be returned, the person must pay the past due renewal fee and the current renewal fee;
(b) Commercially sold to any person without an application as required by RCW 9.41.090;
(c) In the possession of a person prohibited from possessing the firearm under RCW 9.41.040 or 9.41.045;
(d) In the possession or under the control of a person at the time the person committed or was arrested for committing a felony or committing a nonfelony crime in which a firearm was used or displayed;
(e) In the possession of a person who is in any place in which a concealed pistol license is required, and who is under the influence of any drug or under the influence of intoxicating liquor, as defined in chapter 46.61 RCW;
(f) In the possession of a person free on bail or personal recognizance pending trial, appeal, or sentencing for a felony or for a nonfelony crime in which a firearm was used or displayed, except that violations of Title 77 RCW shall not result in forfeiture under this section;
(g) In the possession of a person found to have been mentally incompetent while in possession of a firearm when apprehended or who is thereafter committed pursuant to chapter 10.77 or 71.05 RCW;
(h) Used or displayed by a person in the violation of a proper written order of a court of general jurisdiction; or
(i) Used in the commission of a felony or of a nonfelony crime in which a firearm was used or displayed.
(2) Upon order of forfeiture, the court in its discretion may order destruction of any forfeited firearm. A court may temporarily retain forfeited firearms needed for evidence.
(a) Except as provided in (b), (c), and (d) of this subsection, firearms that are: (i) Judicially forfeited and no longer needed for evidence; or (ii) forfeited due to a failure to make a claim under RCW 63.32.010 or 63.40.010; may be disposed of in any manner determined by the local legislative authority. Any proceeds of an auction or trade may be retained by the legislative authority. This subsection (2)(a) applies only to firearms that come into the possession of the law enforcement agency after June 30, 1993.
By midnight, June 30, 1993, every law enforcement agency shall prepare an inventory, under oath, of every firearm that has been judicially forfeited, has been seized and may be subject to judicial forfeiture, or that has been, or may be, forfeited due to a failure to make a claim under RCW 63.32.010 or 63.40.010.
(b) Except as provided in (c) of this subsection, of the inventoried firearms a law enforcement agency shall destroy illegal firearms, may retain a maximum of ten percent of legal forfeited firearms for agency use, and shall either:
(i) Comply with the provisions for the auction of firearms in RCW 9.41.098 that were in effect immediately preceding May 7, 1993; or
(ii) Trade, auction, or arrange for the auction of, rifles and shotguns. In addition, the law enforcement agency shall either trade, auction, or arrange for the auction of, short firearms, or shall pay a fee of twenty-five dollars to the state treasurer for every short firearm neither auctioned nor traded, to a maximum of fifty thousand dollars. The fees shall be accompanied by an inventory, under oath, of every short firearm listed in the inventory required by (a) of this subsection, that has been neither traded nor auctioned. The state treasurer shall credit the fees to the firearms range account established in RCW 79A.25.210. All trades or auctions of firearms under this subsection shall be to licensed dealers. Proceeds of any auction less costs, including actual costs of storage and sale, shall be forwarded to the firearms range account established in RCW 79A.25.210.
(c) Antique firearms and firearms recognized as curios, relics, and firearms of particular historical significance by the United States treasury department *bureau of alcohol, tobacco, and firearms are exempt from destruction and shall be disposed of by auction or trade to licensed dealers.
(d) Firearms in the possession of the Washington state patrol on or after May 7, 1993, that are judicially forfeited and no longer needed for evidence, or forfeited due to a failure to make a claim under RCW 63.35.020, must be disposed of as follows: (i) Firearms illegal for any person to possess must be destroyed; (ii) the Washington state patrol may retain a maximum of ten percent of legal firearms for agency use; and (iii) all other legal firearms must be auctioned or traded to licensed dealers. The Washington state patrol may retain any proceeds of an auction or trade.
(3) The court shall order the firearm returned to the owner upon a showing that there is no probable cause to believe a violation of subsection (1) of this section existed or the firearm was stolen from the owner or the owner neither had knowledge of nor consented to the act or omission involving the firearm which resulted in its forfeiture.
(4) A law enforcement officer of the state or of any county or municipality may confiscate a firearm found to be in the possession of a person under circumstances specified in subsection (1) of this section. After confiscation, the firearm shall not be surrendered except: (a) To the prosecuting attorney for use in subsequent legal proceedings; (b) for disposition according to an order of a court having jurisdiction as provided in subsection (1) of this section; or (c) to the owner if the proceedings are dismissed or as directed in subsection (3) of this section.
[2003 c 39 § 5; 1996 c 295 § 10; 1994 sp.s. c 7 § 414; 1993 c 243 § 1; 1989 c 222 § 8; 1988 c 223 § 2. Prior: 1987 c 506 § 91; 1987 c 373 § 7; 1986 c 153 § 1; 1983 c 232 § 6.]
| *Reviser's note: The bureau of alcohol, tobacco and firearms of the department of the treasury was transferred to the department of justice on November 25, 2002. See 6 U.S.C. Sec. 531, Public Law 107-296. The "bureau of alcohol, tobacco and firearms" was renamed the "bureau of alcohol, tobacco, firearms and explosives."|
Finding -- Intent -- Severability -- 1994 sp.s. c 7: See notes following RCW 43.70.540.
Effective date -- 1994 sp.s. c 7 §§ 401-410, 413-416, 418-437, and 439-460: See note following RCW 9.41.010.
Effective date -- 1993 c 243: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect immediately [May 7, 1993]." [1993 c 243 § 2.]
Severability -- 1989 c 222: See RCW 63.35.900.
Legislative findings and intent -- 1987 c 506: See note following RCW 77.04.020.
Legislative finding, purpose -- Severability -- 1987 c 373: See notes following RCW 46.61.502.
Severability -- 1983 c 232: See note following RCW 9.41.010.