Police departments: Stop firing bullets into the sky at midnight on New Year's Eve

Posted at 7:22 PM, Dec 31, 2018

What goes up must come down.

That is the message police departments all across the United States are reminding citizens on New Year’s Eve, hoping to eliminate the tradition of people shooting their guns into the sky.

Dozens of police departments across the United States created Facebook posts, YouTube videos and public service announcements to get the message across. Departments warn that when bullets come down, they can be deadly.

“The bullet goes down as fast as it goes out of the gun upwards in the air. It's a very dangerous situation. When it comes down, it can easily damage property, vehicles and can injure or even kill people," Sgt. Jake Becchina with the Kansas City Police Department said.

Police in Cleveland had a similar message.

“In any area, but especially in a densely populated urban area like Cleveland, the consequences of celebrating New Year’s Eve or any other occasion with a gun can be devastating,” the Cleveland Police Department said in a statement. “The intention may be a celebratory shot toward the sky, but the consequences of that moment can be disastrous for a neighbor or someone blocks away, causing injury or death.”

One notable example came two years ago when a Texas lawmaker was injured by a stray bullet just moments after giving his wife a kiss at midnight. State Rep. Armando "Mando" Martinez, D-Texas, needed surgery to remove the bullet from his head.

Another example in 2017 was a 13-year-old Indiana boy who was struck by a bullet and killed while playing basketball.