Louisiana, You Could Face Two Years in Jail for Celebratory Gun Fire on New Year’s Eve
There are many great New Year's Eve celebratory traditions, but firing guns into the sky is definitely not one of them.
Firing Guns Into The Air On New Years Eve
On just about every New Year's Day, we hear about property damage and injuries caused by celebratory gunfire in Acadiana. Not only can bullets shot into the air damage property and cause injuries, but tragically in some cases, the results can be fatal.
According to Wikipedia "a study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 80% of celebratory gunfire-related injuries are to the head, feet, and shoulders."
Obviously, what goes up must come down, and no matter how safe you think others may be from you firing a gun into the air, once the bullet gets up into the sky, there's no way to know where it's actually going land.
Opelousas Police Chief Martin McLendon tells KLFY that firing guns into the air on NYE is "not the way to celebrate a new year by discharging a firearm. In fact, it’s illegal."
Is Firing A Gun Into The Air Illegal?
If you celebrate ringing in 2022 by shooting guns into the air within the city limits around Acadiana, you can be slapped with numerous charges.
You can be charged for recklessly discharging a firearm within the city limits, and depending on where your bullet lands, numerous types of property damage charges.
By just firing your gun into the sky on New Year's Eve, you could be facing two years in jail.
But, if the bullet happens to hit a person, you'll be facing serious charges, the most tragic of which could be Manslaughter.
McLendon tells KLFY -
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
Wikipedia has a list of notable injuries and deaths caused each year due to people firing guns into the sky on New Year's Eve in the U.S. -
- January 1, 2023: Two people, a 40-year-old man and 35-year-old man, died after celebratory gunfire was discharged at a party in Lawrence Township, Michigan. A 62-year-old man was arrested at the scene.
- January 1, 2020: A patron who was eating dinner at The Big Catch restaurant in St. Petersburg, Florida, on New Year’s Day was struck by a celebratory bullet.
- December 31, 2019: Texas nurse, 61-years-old Philippa Ashford was shot to death on New Year's Eve, likely by celebratory gunfire, police say.
- January 1, 2017: Armando Martinez, a Texas State Representative, was wounded in the head by a stray bullet during a New Year's celebration.
- January 1, 2015: A 43-year-old man, Javier Suarez Rivera, was struck in his head and killed while watching fireworks with his family in Houston.
That's just a small handful of NYE gunfire events. You can see much more over on the Wikipedia page.