Mother of slain girl pushes to make celebratory gunfire a felony


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As the holiday weekend approaches, police are warning of the dangers of firing guns to celebrate Independence Day.

It has been ten years since a bullet fired in celebration for the Fourth of July struck 11-year-old Blair Shanahan Lane in the neck and killed her. Police determined that a group of men nearby had been firing shots into the air.

Firing a gun within the Kansas City limits is illegal, and if you see or hear gunfire, police say you should report it immediately.

A proposal called “Blair’s Law” has been introduced into the Missouri legislature almost every year since.
It would make firing a gun into the air in celebration or with extreme negligence a felony state crime.

“Ten years ago this happened, and it still is happening,” Michele Shanahan DeMoss, Blair’s mother, said. “I don’t want another mother, a father, a family to be standing where I am standing. Blair would be 21. She would remind me that she’s 21-and-a-half because she wanted that half celebration.”

Just last year, a Kansas City public radio reporter was shot and killed in her apartment, after an indiscriminate gunshot came through her window.

It could happen to anyone, and community leaders say we need to take more pride in our neighborhoods.
Police continue to use gunshot detectors in areas where they know there has been gunfire to try to quickly identify shooters.

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