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Some residents, as part of celebrating the new year, engage in dangerous behavior, which includes discharging firearms into the air. However, people must realize the dangers posed by their actions and the possible repercussions. According to researchers, a bullet can climb two miles into the air and remain in flight for more than a minute. As it falls, the bullet can reach a velocity of 300 to 700 feet per second. A velocity of only 200 feet per second is sufficient to penetrate the human skull.
"Some may consider this a tradition, however, I consider it reckless behavior and a violation of the law. There are many ways to celebrate the New Year, but this shouldn't be one of them," Long Beach Police Chief Anthony Batts said.
In California, discharging a firearm into the air is a felony, and punishable by up to three years in state prison. If a stray bullet strikes someone, more serious consequences exist, including the possibility of the shooter being charged with murder.
Long Beach Police will be out in force on New Year's Eve, and will take aggressive enforcement action against firearm violators. We are committed to protecting the lives and property of our community.
Residents are encouraged to report gunfire occurring in their neighborhood by calling 9-1-1.
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