Yesterday, Senate Bill 350 passed unanimously in the state Senate Judiciary Committee, along with an amendment submitted by bill sponsor and state Senator Don Balfour (R-9) that would require law enforcement agencies to begin the process of returning seized firearms within thirty days of a court’s final judgment.
SB 350, along with the supported amendment, would mandate municipal, county and state police authorities return all seized firearms, not currently being held as evidence in a criminal investigation, to the lawful owner if able. If the lawful owner is not found or unable to take possession of the firearm, SB 350 would require these agencies to sell these firearms at a public auction to a licensed firearms dealer. Current Georgia law allows for seized guns to be immediately destroyed.
SB 350 would also prevent the wasteful and expensive practice of destroying firearms that could be re-circulated through licensed dealers to the retail market. Localities would be enabled with the ability to reap the benefits of the sale proceeds and consumers would have access to affordable firearms through licensed dealers, with all of the usual safeguards that apply to dealer sales to the public.
SB 350 now goes to the Senate Rules Committee to be scheduled for a vote on the Senate floor in the coming weeks. We thank NRA members for contacting members of the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of SB 350 and will request your active support again before the Senate floor vote.
Please continue to monitor www.NRAILA.org and your e-mail inbox for updates.