WEST virginia legislature
2016 regular session
House Bill 4279
By Delegates Hamilton, A. Evans, Romine, Wagner, Ambler, Eldridge, Pethtel, Sponaugle and Guthrie
[Originating in the Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §20-7-8 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to maintenance and disposition of impounded and seized firearms by the Division of Natural Resources.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §20-7-8 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 7. LAW ENFORCEMENT, MOTORBOATING, LITTER.
§20-7-8. Seizure and disposition of property used for illegal purpose.
(a) Any officer, when he or she arrests or
otherwise takes a person into custody for violating any provision or provisions
of this chapter,
is hereby also authorized and empowered to may
take and impound any property found in the possession of the accused and
susceptible of use in committing the offense of which the person is accused. Such
The property shall include includes firearms, fishing
equipment, traps, boats, or any other device, appliance or conveyance, but shall
does not include dogs. Reasonable care shall be provided in order to
protect the condition of the item or items impounded.
(b) If the accused is acquitted the property seized shall
be returned. If the accused is convicted and pays the fine, costs and other
penalties, the property shall be returned, but if the accused fails to pay the
fine and costs, the property shall be sold at public auction in
manner as the director may prescribe prescribes. The
proceeds of the sale shall be applied toward the payment of the fine and costs.
The remainder, if any, shall be paid to the owner of the seized property.
(c) Whenever a person is convicted of a violation of this chapter a second time, the property seized at the time of arrest shall in any case be declared forfeited to the state and shall be sold in the manner provided by this section.
(d) Property seized, the use of which is forbidden by this chapter, or which is unfit or unsafe for further use, shall be declared forfeited to the state and shall be disposed of by the director.
(e) Notwithstanding any provision of this section to the contrary, disposition of firearms not returned pursuant to subsection (b) above shall be solely in accordance with the provisions of article eight-a, chapter thirty-six of this code.