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IMPD: Don’t shoot guns into the air on New Year’s Eve

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Of the many to ring in 2023 on New Year’s Eve, shooting a gun into the air shouldn’t be one of them, police say.

Every year, dispatchers get calls about people firing weapons into the air on New Year’s Eve, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said in a statement. IMPD says firing the guns isn’t just illegal, it’s also dangerous.

The Rev. Charles Harrison, the board president of the crime-fighting group Indianapolis Ten Point Coalition, told News 8, “You start hearing people firing off shots that early and it continues through 10, 11, 12, 1 in the morning, so it can go on that long.”

The organization’s volunteers patrol neighborhoods almost every night to help diffuse violent incidents, but they won’t be out long on New Year’s Eve. “We pull them in early because it’s dangerous out there.”

“A bullet fired into the air can ascend a mile or more in the air. Smaller caliber ammunition can fall at a rate of 300 feet per second and larger caliber ammunition can fall at a rate of 500 feet per second,” IMPD said in its statement. “A rate of 150 to 170 feet per second can penetrate the human skin, while a velocity of 200 feet per second is sufficient to penetrate the human skull.”

A person arrested for shooting a gun into the air could face a charge of felony criminal recklessness punishable and spend up to 2½ years in jail if convicted. There is also a possible fine of up to $10,000.

IMPD encouraged anyone who sees someone firing a weapon to call 911.

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