TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — Tuscaloosa Police have a warning for those that are planning to fire a gun in the air to celebrate New Year’s Eve.

Chief Brent Blankley says that kind of celebration is dangerous.

“It can be incredibly dangerous when you shoot your gun up in the air to celebrate the new year because that bullet has to come down somewhere. And if it comes down and hits somebody or kills someone or does damage to a car or an apartment or a house, and we can prove that, we are going to get charges on you,” he said.

Last year in 2020 on New Year’s, Tuscaloosa officers responded to nearly 50 weapons discharge calls. In one case, police say a man was shooting his shotgun into the air.

Officers also responded to a woman’s apartment where she found five gun shell casings in her bedroom and holes in the walls. The Chief says this will not be tolerated and officers will be cracking down.

“We don’t understand why people take their guns out to shoot for New Years and the 4th of July to shoot their guns in the air,” Blankley said. “No other time of the year people do that, and I don’t think people realize when those bullets go up, they have to come down, and if they hit someone, you are going to be responsible for that. So please, this holiday season, don’t shoot your guns in the air.”

Celebratory gunfire is a misdemeanor, but police say if someone is shot, hurt or killed as a result, the charges can be upgraded to assault, manslaughter or murder.