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Don't Celebrate New Year's Eve With Gunfire, Columbus Police Warn

Always Shooting

Police in Columbus and around the country are once again urging residents not to shoot off guns to celebrate the New Year and are warning of criminal charges against those who do and are caught.

Columbus Police deputy chief Richard Bash celebratory gunfire is a problem every New Year’s Eve at midnight, but it’s a dangerous practice. He says police will charge anyone caught firing a gun New Year's Eve.

“These projectiles must eventually land, causing damage to anything in their path,” Bash said in a press conference Friday. “Discharging a firearm within the city limits is a crime. If we establish probable cause, we will file charges.”

Columbus Police aren’t the only department cracking down. In Kansas City, Mo., police are telling neighbors to call 911 if they see someone shooting in celebration and are encouraging residents to talk friends and family out of the idea.

In Florida, Miami-Dade Police Department Assistant Director Freddy Ramirez says it's unacceptable to teach children to be safe and have adults shooting in the air.

Bash says the shooting is dangerous and ties up officers who must investigate hundreds of gunfire reports. Discharging a firearm is considered a misdemeanor, but Bash says those charges increase if those shots injure anybody.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Gabe Rosenberg joined WOSU in October 2016. As digital news editor, Gabe reports breaking news and edits all content for the WOSU website, as well as manages the station's social media accounts.