LANSING, Mich. — Earlier this week, Lansing Mayor Andy Schor proposed a new ordinance that would require gun owners to report stolen weapons to the police, but at least one review of the research on similar laws says there isn't yet enough evidence to say they work.
Schor said he suggested the ordinance because of the spike in gun violence in the city . Last year, Lansing Police reported 24 homicides and so far this year 4 people have been shot and killed in the city.
“We want to put their guns in a place where they’re not going to get stolen,“ Schor said . “You know don’t leave it in your car at night and don’t leave it where someone can take it.”
The ordinance aligns with a state law that's already on the books but that might not have had much impact.
A research review done by the Rand Corporation, a global policy think tank, found that laws requiring people to report lost or stolen guns could theoretically reduce the use of guns in crimes by encouraging gun owners to store their weapons more securely, discouraging so called straw purchasers who buy guns for people prohibited from owning them and helping police trace stolen weapons.
It also found that there are no studies to date that adequately show that such policies reduce gun violence.
Despite those findings, Schor believes his ordinance will help keep people safe in Lansing. And if the ordinance is passed, Schor hopes it would motivate other cities to do the same.
“My hope is if we do this other mayors will follow,” Schor said.
Last year, Lansing police retrieved over 550 illegal weapons off the streets.