LOS ANGELES (CBS) — With less than 48 hours left in 2011, city and county officials are urging gun owners in the Southland to hold their fire on New Year’s Eve.
KNX 1070’s Pete Demetriou reports city and county officials are warning shooting guns into the air to celebrate can have severe legal — and lethal — consequences.
Sheriff Lee Baca and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said at a joint news conference on Thursday that while there has been a dramatic reduction in celebratory gunfire on New Year’s Eve, the violators and the risks still pose a threat to the public at large.
“We will prosecute any individuals who fire their guns in the air to the fullest extent of the law, which can include time in state prison,” said Villaraigosa.
In addition to the recent “Don’t Shoot” campaign on fliers and billboards across the city and count, Baca said that gunfire location technology now in effect in the Century and Compton station area has played a major role in stopping shooters of all kinds.
“The Shotspotter system has reduced gunfire incidents 64 percent since it was implemented,” Baca said.
The GPS technology — which can triangulate and locate gunfire within seconds after the bullets leave the gun — gives law enforcement agencies the ability to move in and arrest shooters more quickly than in the past.
No fatalities have been attributed to celebratory gunfire in Los Angeles in nearly 12 years, and chief deputy district attorney Jackie Lacey urged the public to carefully consider their actions come Saturday night.
“This is a crime that could result in incarceration and fines,” she said.