Birmingham Police Department warns of celebratory gunshots for 4th of July

Local News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The Birmingham Police Department is warning residents about the dangers of celebratory gunfire as we near the Fourth of July holiday.

Shooting a gun in the air is illegal, and America’s birthday is no exception. BPD says that although incidents have gone down in recent years, it’s still a serious concern. The consequences of shooting a gun in the air can be serious.

“So you can be charged with murder or down to assault or reckless endangerment or damaging property.”

Sgt. Johnny Williams; Birmingham Police Department

John Wilson is the president of the Grasselli Heights neighborhood. He says he’s seen the dangers of celebratory gunshots in his own yard.

“Someone was shooting, and they shot my truck. Yeah, sure did.”

John Wilson; President of Grasselli Heights

According to the CDC, in 2017 Alabama ranked second in most firearm-related deaths in America.

Sgt. Williams says the shot spotter system will help his officers respond more efficiently when shots ring out.

“The shot spotter will help pinpoint the location that the shots are coming from. In the past, we relied on citizens’ complaints which we still encourage them to call in what they see or witness,” said Sgt. Williams.

Neighborhood associations, like the one John Wilson is on, hope you listen to how dangerous shooting a gun in the air can be.

“Tradition, they’ve been doing it all of their lives and they just continue to do what they’ve always been doing,” said Wilson.

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