LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is warning residents about the dangers of celebratory gunfire and illegal fireworks during the Fourth of July holiday.
The LVMPD says it has received increased complaints of illegal gunfire throughout Clark County leading up to the holiday and reminds everyone about the dangers of shooting in the air for Independence Day celebrations.
“It’s the old rule, what goes up must come down, and bullets have a trajectory that can cause a lot of damage and even inadvertently kill someone,” said Deputy Chief James Seebock, head of LVMPD Patrol Operations.
Discharging a firearm and endangering the public is a crime and punishable by up to one year in jail, according to authorities. It often leads to damaged roofs, cars, and other property. The worst-case scenario is when gunfire leads to accidental deaths.
Calls of illegal shootings to emergency operators have increased by 20 percent, and gunshots detected by ShotSpotter have spiked by four times the amount in July, compared to June.
Las Vegas authorities also say if illegal gunfire calls continue to rise during the Fourth of July weekend, it could overwhelm emergency service personnel dealing with other incidents such as drinking, domestic disturbances, and crime.
Local police are asking for the help of residents to comply with laws governing illegal shooting and fireworks so they can concentrate on areas of the greatest need.
When it comes to illegal fireworks, authorities say any fireworks that leave the ground are illegal in Las Vegas. Officials are asking to report them here, instead of calling emergency operators.