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Cops: New Year's Eve's Not An Excuse to Randomly Fire Bullets at the Sky

Saturday is New Year's Eve, and for a lot of Valley residents, that's apparently an invitation to randomly fire bullets into the sky.

If you didn't already know, the Phoenix Police Department wants to remind city residents that not only is blasting away at the sky an incredibly stupid thing to do (bullets, believe or not, are subject to the same rules of gravity as everything else), it's also a felony.

New Year's Eve marks the 12th anniversary of the death of Shannon Smith, a 14-year-old honor student killed in 1999 by a stray bullet fired randomly into the air while she was standing in her backyard talking on the phone.

Shocked that randomly firing a gun in an urban environment was only a misdemeanor, Smith's parents campaigned to pass "Shannon's Law" in 2000, which makes doing so a felony.

Since then, the Phoenix Police Department says, random gunfire on New Year's Eve has been reduced by more than 80 percent in the city of Phoenix.

This morning, officers from the Estrella Mountain Precinct, and representatives from the City of Phoenix Prosecutor's Office and Neighborhood Services Department, started passing out flyers to remind residents how dumb it is to fire bullets into the air, and the possible consequences of doing so.

There are plenty of ways to ring in the new year -- randomly firing bullets into the air might be the dumbest, so don't do it.

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James King
Contact: James King