LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Lansing Police gave 6 News an exclusive look inside its gun vault. So far in 2023, Lansing police have seized more than 400 guns.
“I came back to Lansing ’cause I wanted to help the greater good. And come to find out I get a job where I get to see the worst of the city,” LPD evidence technician Zig Olds told 6 News. “It’s very depressing. Um, but we feel as though we’re doing something as we are taking them here as opposed to finding them out on the street. Once they’re in our possession, they’re not a harm to anybody.”
Lansing Police Chief Ellery Sosebee said his department is seeing a consistent – and concerning – rise in guns being found and for various reasons confiscated by officers. Sosebee said the guns range from modified fully automatic weapons to 3D printed guns.
“Our milestone was 100 guns in one year. And now we’re taking three, four, 500 guns a year off the streets,” Sosebee told 6 News. “Those are illegal guns. You can see that the trend is very alarming. Not only are our officers encountering these guns, but we’re taking more reports of stolen guns.”
Sosebee also said legal gun owners are not as cautious with storage as they should be. He said his officers see people leaving guns in unlocked vehicles, at work, not storing them properly, which includes using a gun lock at home.
“What we want to do is make sure that when you have those weapons, that they’re secure and put in a safe place so they don’t fall in the wrong hands,” Sosebee said. “There’s a hundred and almost twenty guns in the city of Lansing right now that are in the wrong hands because they weren’t locked up and stored appropriately.”
Lansing Police Department has gotten creative with gun storage because it said it is running out of space. The department actually uses more than one gun vault now.
During his time with the Lansing Police Department, Olds has pretty much seen it all when it comes to firearms. “The feeling I get is that the guns are meant to impress,” Olds said. “To have an aggressive look, maybe a tactical or military look, something that you may not have to shoot to intimidate somebody, to show off.”
LPD said it is seeing a trend of more young people with guns.
LPD recommends all legal gun owners have a gun lock and a gun safe, as well as make sure they know where their gun is at all times.
Chief Sosebee added that posting on social media that you have a gun or putting stickers on your home or car about having a gun might be a “welcome mat” for thieves.