REFERENCE TITLE: unclaimed property; firearms; disposition




State of Arizona

House of Representatives

Fifty-first Legislature

First Regular Session




HB 2455


Introduced by

Representatives Barton, Kwasman, Livingston, Montenegro, Smith, Stevens, Thorpe: Allen, Borrelli, Fann, Gowan, Lesko, Mitchell, Olson, Shope, Senators McGuire, Murphy





amending sections 12-940, 12-941 and 12-945, Arizona Revised Statutes; relating to unclaimed property in hands of public agency.





Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Arizona:

Section 1.  Section 12-940, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

START_STATUTE12-940.  Definitions

In this article, unless the context otherwise requires:

1.  "Dispose" means the transfer of property by its return to the owner, sale, conversion or destruction or by any other means of disposal.

2.  "Evidence" means property that is held for possible presentation in a judicial or administrative proceeding to establish the truth or falsity of an alleged matter of fact.

3.  "Found property" means recovered, lost, surrendered or abandoned property that is turned over to a public agency where the owner may or may not be known and that is not classified as evidence.

4.  "Property" means any item, including currency, that is held for safekeeping or as evidence or found property or that has been abandoned, unclaimed or awarded by the court.

5.  "Property value" means the reasonable value of the property in its present condition.

6.  "Safekeeping" means storage of an asset or item of value by a public agency that is not classified as evidence and that belongs to a known individual. END_STATUTE

Sec. 2.  Section 12-941, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

START_STATUTE12-941.  Disposal of certain unclaimed property in the custody of a state, county, city or town agency

A.  A state, county, city or town agency shall dispose of all property that was used as evidence and that remains unclaimed in the hands of the agency, after final disposition of the cause in which so used, or that was seized by a peace officer as being used unlawfully or for an unlawful purpose and that was held unclaimed from the date of seizure, or that came into the hands of the agency as unclaimed or contraband.  A law enforcement agency may retain and use those items that have a useful value to that law enforcement agency.

B.  Found property turned over to a state, county, city or town agency may be returned to the person who found and turned it over if all of the following conditions apply:

1.  The property is not contraband or a firearm.

2.  The property remains unclaimed for thirty days after reasonable efforts have been made to locate and notify the owner.

3.  The person who found and turned over the property is not a public officer or employee of the federal, a state or a local government who found the property in the course of performing the duties of the office or employment.

C.  If United States currency is delivered to the proper agency pursuant to subsection A of this section, it shall be deposited in the general fund of the state, county, city or town, as the case may be.

D.  A record of all transactions shall be maintained for at least twenty‑four months. END_STATUTE

Sec. 3.  Section 12-945, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

START_STATUTE12-945.  Sale of property

A.  If after thirty days' notice has been given the owner or person entitled to the property has not taken it away, the property may be sold.  The proceeds shall be paid to the general fund of the jurisdiction from which the unclaimed property was received.

B.  Notwithstanding subsection A of this section, if the property is a firearm, the court shall order the firearm to be sold agency shall sell the firearm to any business that is authorized to receive and dispose of the firearm under federal and state law and that shall sell the firearm to the public according to federal and state law, unless the firearm is otherwise prohibited from being sold under federal and state law.  A law enforcement agency may trade a firearm that it has retained to a federal firearms licensed business for ammunition, weapons, equipment or other materials to be exclusively used for law enforcement purposes. END_STATUTE