KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Police Department is warning against so-called celebratory gunfire as we approach New Year’s Eve.
The shots into the air have caused property damage in the past but it’s also caused injuries and even death.
At the first news conference held by new KCPD Chief Stacey Graves, she recalled from more than 10 years ago the death of an 11-year-old from this sort of gunfire.
Michele Shanahan DeMoss, mother of Blair Shanahan Lane, said the bullet that hit her daughter was a senseless act.
“It has been 11 years, five months, and 24 days since I had to let my girl go,” DeMoss said.
“It’s not a game. There are so many fun things to do. Encourage people to do those. But if one person had called 911 the night of July 4, 2011 Blair may have still been here and there were enough people around who could have made that phone call,” DeMoss said.
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“As a mother,” Graves said, “I can’t imagine the pain that that has caused. Celebratory gunfire took a young life. That will always be a memory of mine. And just the fact that we have a lot of gun violence here in Kansas City but also celebratory gunfire, there are consequences for that.”
The consequence in city limits for firing a weapon indiscriminately is a misdemeanor, up to a $1,000 fine and/or a year in jail. Some state lawmakers are pushing to make the action a felony under a proposal that is being called “Blair’s Law.”