Deputies warn against celebratory gunfire on New Year's Eve

Deputies warn against celebratory gunfire on New Year's Eve
(Source: KOLD News 13)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - As the holiday weekend approaches, authorities are warning against firing guns in the air at the stroke of midnight to ring in the new year.

Celebratory gunfire is a problem most common on holidays like New Year's Eve and the Fourth of July. Here in Arizona, Shannon's Law makes the crime a felony.

The law is named after 14-year-old Shannon Smith, a Phoenix girl killed by a stray bullet in 1999.

Deputies in Pima County said they are going to be on high-alert.

Dep. Ryan Inglett with the Pima County Sheriff's Department said they investigate each incident on a case-by-case basis.

He said celebratory gunfire can lead to property damage or even injury and death.

"So you may not be affecting somebody that's your next-door neighbor or you may not be affecting somebody that's within your group, you could be affecting somebody and changing an entire new year for somebody in some cases that's maybe a mile away," he said.

He asks the community to come forward if they hear gunshots in their neighborhood.

"We use our firearms for protection, we use our firearms for sporting, we use our firearms for hunting, to celebratory shoot in the air is unacceptable, especially in a metropolitan area like we have," Inglett said.

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