Don’t Shoot! Celebrate New Year’s Eve Safely!

December 23, 2002

Mayor James Hahn, Los Angeles City Council Members, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo, Los Angeles Police Department Chief of Police William J. Bratton, Southern California Chiefs of Police and Sheriffs
Press Conference Regarding Gunfire Suppression During Period of New Year’s Eve
Monday, December 30, 2002 at 10:00 a.m.
Los Angeles Police Academy Gymnasium, 1880 North Academy Drive, Los Angeles

Los Angeles: Each year, as part of the New Year celebration, many individuals ritually discharge their firearms into the air, not realizing the potential consequences of their actions. In an effort to educate and warn the public of the problem, the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, the Los Angeles Unified School District and other school districts from throughout Los Angeles County have embarked upon an awareness campaign. This campaign is designed to help reduce incidents of indiscriminate gunfire that have become a deadly tradition in our City.
Research indicates that a bullet fired into the sky can climb and remain in flight for 30 seconds or longer. As the bullet falls, it can hit a ground level velocity of approximately 140 miles per hour; a velocity which can penetrate the human skull. The Gunfire Reduction Campaign aims to advise the community that celebrating the New Year with gunfire will not be tolerated in the City of Los Angeles. California Penal Code Section 246.3 prohibits negligent discharging of firearms. Any person who violates Section 246.3 will have their firearms confiscated and will be arrested for the felony crime. Shooters can and will be prosecuted for every negligent discharge of a firearm that results in a homicide. "Some people think that shooting their guns into the air is a nice way to celebrate holidays like New Year’s Eve, but we too often hear about innocent victims of a stray or falling bullet," said Mayor Hahn. "Our message to those people who intend to illegally shoot off their weapons to ring in the New Year is that you will be arrested and you will be prosecuted."
The Media is invited to attend this important event. Among the guests will be student winners in the countywide Gunfire Reduction Campaign poster Contest.
The event promises to be an excellent photo opportunity involving school administrators, students, teachers, and law enforcement personnel all working together for a safer community.
For additional information regarding the 2002-2003 Gunfire Reduction Campaign and press conference, contact Officer Jack Richter, LAPD Media Relations Section at 213-485-3586.
This Media Advisory was prepared by Public Information Officer Jack Richter, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.