ST. LOUIS – We’re just days away from ringing in the new year. There are lots of ways to celebrate, but police say there’s at least one act of celebration that’s illegal in St. Louis.
The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department shared a tweet Friday reminding people that celebratory gunfire is illegal in the City of St. Louis because “it is illegal to discharge firearms in the city.”
The St. Louis Code of Ordinances states, “No person shall discharge any kind of firearm in this City without permission of the Mayor” unless they are a member of the police force, on duty under orders of a commanding officer or a manufacturer of weapons under approved testing standards.
SLMPD tells FOX 2 that people linked to celebratory gunfire in the City of St. Louis could be arrested or cited for violations such as discharging a firearm, property damage or possibly assault if a person is struck by the gunfire.
“Help us ensure a safe and enjoyable New Year’s celebration without celebratory gunfire,” said SLMPD via Twitter.
The department encourages anyone who might witness someone firing weapons over the New Year’s holiday weekend to contact 911 with a detailed description of the person.
Meanwhile, the Ferguson Police Department also weighed in on the topic of celebratory gunfire on Thursday via Facebook and its effects on public safety.
“Let’s take a moment to think deeper about this,” said Ferguson Police Chief Troy Doyle. “Every bullet discharged into the sky in celebration carries with it an unseen, potential consequence. It could irreversibly change a life – a neighbor, a friend, a family member. This isn’t just a possibility; it’s a harsh reality that we, as a community, can prevent.”
A study from the National Library of Medicine states that at least 118 patients nationwide have been treated for injuries due to celebratory gunfire since 1985.
In Missouri, laws on celebratory gunfire are ultimately at the discretion of counties and municipalities. Gov. Mike Parson vetoed a bill known as “Blair’s Law” earlier this year that aimed to criminalize celebratory gunfire.