CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Gun violence has taken a heavy toll on Charlotte. CMPD Chief Rodney Monroe says the answer is sensible gun control.
"I believe that background checks should be for everyone and I believe that high capacity magazines and assault weapons should not be on our city streets," said Monroe.
He spoke before the Business Leaders of Charlotte as a part of their Tuesday Topics monthly program.
"I'm not one to say we shouldn't have guns. I believe responsible people should have the opportunity to protect themselves in their homes, but let’s do it in a systematic, orderly way," said the chief.
Monroe told business leaders that a gun is used in most of Charlotte's murders and that his officers have gone to crime scene where 20 or 30 rounds have been fired.
He said the previous assault weapons ban back in the 90s was effective.
"When they were able to check over 90 percent of the backgrounds of the individuals looking to purchase a gun, over 2 million guns were prevented from falling into the hands of the wrong people."
Monroe also said that legal gun owners contribute to gun violence by not properly securing their firearms. Over the past five years more than 1,300 guns have been stolen from cars alone, and 144 firearms have been recovered at schools.
Some students took the guns from home to school.
"It scares you because it's another opportunity for a gun to be in the hands of someone that's not quite responsible," said Monroe. “Anytime that happens you run the risk of some innocent person possibly losing their life."
The chief says that many gun thefts are not promptly reported or reported at all. He would like to the law to be changed to require reporting with a penalty for those who fail.
Monroe acknowledges the gun lobby is not listening, but he hopes enough people will join the effort for what he calls sensible gun control to make city streets less violent.
"We may not be strong as a single voice, but collectively we could hopefully bring about a change and make a difference," he said.