From the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Los Angeles:
ATF wants you to know that celebratory gunfire is not only unsafe, it is against the law. Discharging a firearm into the air is a crime and can lead to felony charges under California state law or federal charges if that person is prohibited from possessing a firearm. ATF will continue to assist state and local law enforcement agencies by tracing bullets and shell casings recovered during New Year’s Eve. ATF will also aggressively pursue any Federal charges applicable to help deter this senseless act.
“ATF wants you to know that you can enjoy the festivities without placing the public in danger. New Year’s Eve should be spent celebrating the passing of the old year and the beginning of the new one. We don’t want to see the New Year ruined by a senseless tragedy just because someone thought it would be ‘fun’ to shoot a gun in the air,” said Torres.
ATF established the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) as a tool to help law enforcement combat violent firearms related crime. Through the use of this program, ATF administers automated ballistic imaging technology for NIBIN Partners: Federal, State and local law enforcement, forensic science, and attorney agencies in the United States. Partners use this technology to acquire digital images of the markings made on spent ammunition recovered from a crime scene or a crime gun test fire and then compare those images (in a matter of hours) against earlier NIBIN entries.
If residents observe anyone shooting a gun in the air or otherwise criminally misusing a firearm, they are urged to contact their local police department immediately, or call ATF at 1-800-ATF-GUNS (800 283-4867).
More information about ATF and its programs is available at www.atf.gov.