KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- If you plan to ring in the new year with a bang, beware. Every year police say all over the metro people fire off celebratory shots. Now they’re urging people not to do it or they could face legal trouble.
Police say every year people have been injured by guns discharged negligently. In July of 2011, 11-year-old Blair Shanahan Lane was killed when a Kansas City man fired a gun into the air and the bullet hit Lane in the neck. Lane’s mother, Michele Shanahan Demoss, hopes people will ring in the new year without celebratory gunfire.
She is working with lawmakers to get stiffer penalties in place to deter people from the reckless practice.
“Blair's Law would make the crime of celebratory gunfire, which is currently a misdemeanor, a felony. It took somebody's life, it should be a felony, it should not be a misdemeanor,” Demoss said.
In Missouri if you're caught firing a weapon you can face up to 180 days in jail. That’s not a strong enough deterrent according to Demoss.