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Police: Don't celebrate with gunfire

As New Year's Eve approaches, local officers remind residents that shooting into the air is illegal.

December 30, 2006|By Michael Alexander

With New Year's Eve approaching, Costa Mesa police are warning residents not to ring in 2007 with gunfire.

It is illegal to discharge a weapon within city limits, and police do catch people who break the law, Lt. Marty Carver said.

"We do respond to a number of calls that night," he said. "We have in the past taken weapons off of people actively firing or even those in possession of a weapon."

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Carver also warned people not to think celebratory gunshots are harmless.

Although he couldn't recall any people hit recently by New Year's Eve gunfire in Costa Mesa, he said property damage has been quite common.

"There have been vehicle damage reports most years," he said. "It could just as easily have been a human standing there."

Police attempt each year to reach out to the community to educate people about the dangers and about their legal rights, Carver said. In addition, they call Spanish-language TV and radio stations like Telemundo to get the word out.

Carver said people born in rural areas don't always realize the danger.

"Living out in a desert someplace, it's not as much of a problem," he said. "But in a densely populated urban area, that bullet's going to come down on someone or something."

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