The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department wants all to know shooting into the air is not only irresponsible but a felony-level crime.
Willfully discharging a firearm in a grossly negligent manner which could result in injury or death to a person is a violation of section 246.3(a) of the California Penal Code.
Each return of New Year’s Eve brings the opportunity to symbolically say goodbye to old or unhealthy habits and begin a new chapter in one’s life with fresh ideas and a brighter outlook.
Unfortunately and all too often, the outgoing celebration of 2018 and the welcoming in of the new year is disrupted by indiscriminate gunfire into the air.
The adage of “what goes up, must come down” rings especially true in this case, and with the acceleration of gravity, physics determine free-falling objects speed up as they return to earth.
The danger of injuring someone with firing even a single round into the air is a lethal prospect. Each year, tragic reports nationwide tell of unsuspecting victims being struck and tragically injured by falling bullets caused by celebratory gunfire.
Recently in Norwalk, a man fired a gun in the air and seriously injured a 12-year-old girl after she was struck in the head. After a lengthy investigation by a team of dedicated deputies, the suspect was located and later sentenced to several years in prison.
Despite public warnings and common sense, many people across Los Angeles disregard advisements and basic firearm safety and discharge firearms into the air to celebrate the arrival of the new year.
Last year, as we all rang in 2018, deputies responded to hundreds of “Illegal shooting” calls for service throughout Los Angeles County, neighboring contract cities and unincorporated communities.
These calls tax our resources, which could be more effectively utilized responding to other public safety and life-threatening emergencies.
If you see someone discharge a firearm in public or into the air, take immediate shelter and call 9-1-1. Do not attempt to confront the shooter.
So, enjoy all the fun of New Year’s Eve offerings safely, but allow others the same opportunity to celebrate, as well: Don’t shoot.