New York Penal Law § 400.05 Disposition of weapons and dangerous instruments, appliances and substances




1. Any weapon, instrument, appliance or substance specified in article two hundred sixty-five, when unlawfully possessed, manufactured, transported or disposed of, or when utilized in the commission of an offense, is hereby declared a nuisance.  When the same shall come into the possession of any police officer or peace officer, it shall be surrendered immediately to the official mentioned in paragraph (f) of subdivision one of section 265.20, except that such weapon, instrument, appliance or substance coming into the possession of the state police shall be surrendered to the superintendent of state police.

2. The official to whom the weapon, instrument, appliance or substance which has subsequently been declared a nuisance pursuant to subdivision one of this section is so surrendered shall, at any time but at least once each year, destroy the same or cause it to be destroyed, or render the same or cause it to be rendered ineffective and useless for its intended purpose and harmless to human life.

3. Notwithstanding subdivision two of this section, the official to whom the weapon, instrument, appliance or substance is so surrendered shall not destroy the same if (a) a judge or justice of a court of record, or a district attorney, shall file with the official a certificate that the non-destruction thereof is necessary or proper to serve the ends of justice;  or (b) the official directs that the same be retained in any laboratory conducted by any police or sheriff's department for the purpose of research, comparison, identification or other endeavor toward the prevention and detection of crime.

4. In the case of any machine-gun or firearm taken from the possession of any person, the official to whom such weapon is surrendered pursuant to subdivision one of this section shall immediately notify the executive department, division of state police, Albany, giving the calibre, make, model, manufacturer's name and serial number, or if none, any other distinguishing number or identification mark.  A search of the files of such division and notification of the results of the search to such official shall immediately be made.

5. Before any machine-gun or firearm is destroyed pursuant to subdivision two of this section, (a) the official to whom the same has been surrendered shall forward to the executive department, division of state police, Albany, a notice of intent to destroy and the calibre, make, model, manufacturer's name and serial number, or if none, any other distinguishing number or identification mark of the machine-gun or firearm;  (b) such division shall make and keep a record of such description together with the name and address of the official reporting the same and the date such notice was received;  and (c) a search of the files of such division and notification of the results of the search to such official shall be made without unnecessary delay.

6. A firearm or other weapon which is surrendered, or is otherwise voluntarily delivered pursuant to section 265.20 of this chapter and which has not been declared a nuisance pursuant to subdivision one of this section, shall be retained by the official to whom it was delivered for a period not to exceed one year.  Prior to the expiration of such time period, a person who surrenders a firearm shall have the right to arrange for the sale, or transfer, of such firearm to a dealer in firearms licensed in accordance with this chapter or for the transfer of such firearm to himself or herself provided that a license therefor has been issued in accordance with this chapter.  If no lawful disposition of the firearm or other weapon is made within the time provided, the firearm or weapon concerned shall be declared a nuisance and shall be disposed of in accordance with the provisions of this section.


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