LOS ANGELES – Celebrating the New Year by discharging firearms into the air is a dangerous practice that will not be tolerated in city or county areas, public safety officials warn.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the Los Angeles Police Department held a news conference Wednesday to publicize concerns about holiday-related celebratory gunfire and to discuss the Gunfire Reduction Campaign.
The Gunfire Reduction Campaign aims to advise the community that ringing in the New Year with gunfire will not be tolerated and violators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
California Penal Code Section 246.3 prohibits negligent discharging of firearms. Any person who violates Section 246.3 will have their firearm confiscated and will be arrested for a felony crime, officials warned.
At Wednesday’s press conference, officials spoke about an incident that happened in Los Angeles during the early morning hours of Jan. 1, 2014. A man was outside in the 6800 block of Figueroa Street when he was struck in the face by a bullet, which fell from the sky.
The man was transported to a hospital in stable condition, officials said, and the incident is a reminder of the dangers of a stray bullet.
“The public is also reminded that toy replica guns that resemble real weapons are also a concern for law enforcement officers and that playing with replica guns is strongly discouraged,” states an advisory from the Sheriff’s Information Bureau.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is asking the public to “stop the senseless act of firing weapons into the air and celebrate safely,” according to the community advisory.
Anyone who witnesses this type of criminal activity in the Antelope Valley should contact the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station at 661-948-8466 or the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station at 661-272-2400. For emergencies, call 9-1-1.
[Information via community advisory from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.]