JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Fireworks will ring in the start of the New Year, but firing guns in the air should not. Celebratory gunfire in Florida is illegal and police advise leaving firearms out of New Year’s festivities.
Firing celebratory shots into the air might seem harmless, but it can have serious consequences.
Earlier this year, News4JAX told you about a close call for a family living on Jacksonville’s Northside.
On New Year’s Day, stray bullets came flying into their home, nearly hitting their then-1-year-old boy. His parents were petrified.
“A bullet has no name on it and it’s scary to think about it and it could have hit any of us in this home and that would have been the end of it,” the boy’s father said.
While no one was hurt in that scenario, former Jacksonville Sheriff’s Officer James Brown said that is not always the case.
“It’s just luck to call it by any other means. The more that that is done increases the likelihood that someone could be struck,” said Brown.
According to Shotspotter.com, people hit by falling bullets have a higher chance of receiving fatal injuries than those involved in a typical shooting.
Also, research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found bullets falling from the sky to the ground can reach speeds faster than 200 feet per second, which is fast enough to penetrate a skull.
“Anything is possible in this day and age,” said Brown.
The trajectory of a single celebratory shot has the power to impact the entire trajectory of a person’s life.