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Posted: 12/30/2006 6:58:20 AM EDT
Police cracking down on New Year gunfire
Saturday, December 30, 2006
Staff Reporter
Police commanders in all Mobile precincts have instructed officers "to arrest and charge anyone indiscriminately shooting a firearm into the air" to herald the new year, police spokeswoman Nancy Johnson said.

"Guns are lethal weapons and have no safe place in celebration, particularly when they are discharged in public and have great potential for harming or killing innocent bystanders," Police Chief Phillip Garrett said.

Celebratory gunfire on New Year's Eve has caused alarm in Mobile and a number of other cities nationally. Bullets fired into the air fall with enough force to cause injury and death; several close calls have been reported locally in recent years.

Last New Year's Eve into New Year's Day, 11 Mobile men spent the first few hours of 2006 in Mobile County Metro Jail after being arrested for discharging a firearm within the city limits.

Law enforcement officials around Baldwin County typically hear complaints about fireworks, but not gunfire, to mark the new year, according to sheriff's spokesman Lt. John Murphy. Still, the sheriff's office there plans to have additional patrols on duty Sunday night, he said.

Johnson said the Mobile Police Department receives

numerous calls about gunfire on New Year's Eve. Last year, the shooting started early in the evening. In Mobile's Midtown neighborhoods, for example, shots could be heard soon after sunset. But reports also came from as far west as Wyncliff Drive near Sollie and Schillinger roads, where police responded to a call that a man was walking around with a rifle slung over his shoulder.

Mobile police fielded 142 gunshot calls from 6 p.m. last New Year's Eve to 6 a.m. on New Year's Day, Johnson said. Police reported 112 such calls New Year's Eve 2004 into New Year's Day 2005, and 87 calls on New Year's Eve 2003 and into New Year's Day 2004.

Police are asking the public, when making a gunfire complaint, to provide the location and full description of the person shooting the gun, Johnson said. In past years, callers often did not give enough information for police to make arrests.

"Gunfire occurs every year, but we want the practice to stop and we expect that continuing vigilance will at least minimize the number of incidents," Garrett said. "When we find out that people are engaging in dangerous, potentially deadly, actions, we will hold them accountable."

Discharging a firearm within city limits is a violation of city law and also could result in state charges, such as reckless endangerment, Johnson said.

If a stray bullet injured someone, Johnson said, the shooter could face an array of charges ranging from assault to manslaughter.

On New Year's Eve 2003, a .45-caliber slug sliced through a woman's home in the Hillsdale area west of the University of South Alabama and struck her dining room table, about 4 yards from where she was talking on the telephone.

In 2001, random New Year's Eve gunfire damaged a home south of Ladd-Peebles Stadium, according to Press-Register articles.


Dumbasses, shooting guns in the air.

Link Posted: 12/30/2006 7:02:31 AM EDT
My friends and I always have a New Years Day shoot. On New Years Day. We shoot televisions and pumpkins from Halloween and soda bottles and targets and dirt and whatnot. But it's all on the ground.

Link Posted: 12/30/2006 7:08:41 AM EDT
i hate that shit. in this neighborhood i used to live in one year i was driving down the street from work right as midnight hit.  i swear the whole place ran outside into the street and started shooting in the air.  i saw kids, adults, seniors, everybody, wich a variety of weapons.  pistols, shotguns, saw a mac90, a bolt gun, and a couple cobrays in there as well.

needless to say i hauled ass home.  heard about some guy killed by raining gunfire the next day and could only wonder.
Link Posted: 12/30/2006 7:10:21 AM EDT
What goes UP... must come DOWN
Link Posted: 12/30/2006 7:18:03 AM EDT
Articles like that are pure lip service.

It is pure luck if they catch anybody.

Link Posted: 12/30/2006 7:26:51 AM EDT
people who shoot into the air are fucking idiots. shooting into the ground is far safer, however I would imagine by midnight most celebratory shooters are drunk and should not be handling guns anyway.
Link Posted: 12/30/2006 7:40:30 AM EDT

What goes UP... must come DOWN
Unfortunately, we don't have anything yet that can send a bullet into escape velocity.
Link Posted: 12/30/2006 9:29:53 AM EDT

people who shoot into the air are fucking idiots. shooting into the ground is far safer, however I would imagine by midnight most celebratory shooters are drunk and should not be handling guns anyway.

Careful. There are some around here who think it's perfectly ok to shoot guns into the air because some show said it couldn't hurt anybody.
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