Gun owners in Baltimore whose firearms are stolen would be required to report the theft to police under legislation approved yesterday by the City Council despite questions about whether the proposal is legal, the Baltimore Sun reports. Supporters, including Mayor Sheila Dixon, say the bill will help police track stolen weapons used in crimes. City attorneys questioned whether Baltimore can legislate gun control, typically a state issue.
The mayor has made illegal guns a principal focus of her effort to reduce the number of homicides in Baltimore, roughly 80 percent of which involve a gun. Last year, the City Council and Dixon administration created the nation’s second local registry of people convicted of a gun crime. The state legislature considered a similar bill this past session, but it did not advance out of committee. Los Angeles, Oakland, and Philadelphia have enacted similar measures.