OPELOUSAS, La. (KLFY) — Police are warning about a dangerous new years tradition: firing guns to ring in the new year.
They say once the bullet goes up in the air, you don’t know where it will land.
“Some traditions must be broken. This is one. when I was a kid, five, six, or seven years old, I remember my grandmother at midnight stepped outside of the door and would fire five or six shots of her 38 Special into the air, and we thought it was something spectacular. Today we’ve learned people are losing their lives, homes are damaged, property is damaged,” Opelousas Police Chief Martin McLendon said.
He says people have to think about where those bullets will end up.
“If it goes up, it’s got to come down. We don’t know where it’s going to come down, and it could very well come down in your own home,” he added.
Though it’s a tradition for many on New Year’s, Chief McLendon says it’s a practice they’re discouraging.
“That’s not the way to celebrate to celebrate a new year by discharging a firearm. In fact, it’s illegal,” he told News Ten.
He says it’s against the law to discharge a firearm in the city limits, and that person could be charged with that alone. If you hit a home, property, or in the worst scenario, a person, you could be charged with a lot more.
“The mere fact that they would come outside and fire off a round in the air is just totally unsafe. We’re getting too many calls around that time of the year that a bullet went through the roof of a home or even a business. It’s just not fair,” Chief McLendon said.
He says you can face up to two years in jail for firing a gun on New Years Eve inside the city limits.