KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Police are warning people to avoid celebrating the Fourth of July by shooting off guns.

Mayor Quinton Lucas joined police Friday to talk about the penalties for the crime.

Blair Shanahan Lane, 11, was killed by celebratory gunfire on Independence Day of 2011.

Police say despite the girl’s death, they know lots of people are still celebrating holidays by firing gunshots into the air.

“Even the sounds of gunshots are something we don’t want to go to sleep to,” Lucas said. “I remember growing up in Kansas City and there were two nights a year when I would end up sleeping on the floor at my mother’s and sister’s. It was the Fourth of July and New Year’s eve. Let’s try to make a difference in Kansas City so they don’t have to have that same worry.”

Police say the department’s shot spotter system recorded more than 1,100 gunshots fired as people celebrated New Year’s Eve in December.

Police say you should never shoot a gun into the air. If you hear someone talking about celebrating like this, try to talk them out of it. You may just save a life.

Police say those caught discharging firearms will be charged with a misdemeanor crime. Punishments range from up to a year in jail and a $500 fine.

Those charges can be upgraded if people or property are hit by the shots.

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