Tue. Jun 25th, 2024

(a) As used in this Code section, the term firearm shall have the same meaning as set forth in division (a)(6) (A)(iii) of Code Section 16-8-12.

(b) A person commits the offense of criminal use of an article with an altered identification mark when he or she buys, sells, receives, disposes of, conceals, or has in his or her possession a radio, piano, phonograph, sewing machine, washing machine, typewriter, adding machine, comptometer, bicycle, firearm, safe, vacuum cleaner, dictaphone, watch, watch movement, watch case, or any other mechanical or electrical device, appliance, contrivance, material, vessel as defined in Code Section 52-7-3, or other piece of apparatus or equipment, other than a motor vehicle as defined in Code Section 40-1-1, from which he or she knows the manufacturer’s name plate, serial number, or any other distinguishing number or identification mark has been removed for the purpose of concealing or destroying the identity of such article.

(c)(1) A person convicted of the offense of criminal use of an article, other than a firearm, with an altered identification mark shall be guilty of a felony and upon conviction shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than five years. (2) A person convicted of the offense of criminal use of a firearm with an altered identification mark shall be guilty of a felony and upon conviction shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than ten years; provided, however, that upon a second or subsequent conviction, by imprisonment for not less than five nor more than ten years.

(d) This Code section shall not apply to those cases or instances when any of the changes or alterations enumerated in subsection (b) of this Code section have been customarily made or done as an established practice in the ordinary and regular conduct of business by the original manufacturer or by its duly appointed direct representative or under specific authorization from the original manufacturer.