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Celebratory Gunfire On New Year's Eve Could Hurt Someone

Fireworks explode over Boston Common during New Year's Eve celebrations in Boston, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013.
Michael Dwyer
Associated Press

Some families like to ring in the New Year by shooting bullets in the air. But the Durham Police Department is asking people to hold their celebratory gunfire.

Wil Glenn, the department's Public Affairs Manager, says it is a dangerous tradition that could get someone hurt. 

"New Year's Eve is a great holiday and it's a festive time of year, but you don't want to put yourself in harm's way, or others in harm's way, by pointing guns into the sky and firing shots," Glenn said. 

Anyone caught firing a gun into the air could be charged with a Class 3 misdemeanor and a fine of up to $500. He suggests finding a community event or celebrating inside instead. 

"When you shoot a bullet in the air, it has to land somewhere and there are normally people outside on New Year's Eve," Glenn said.

According to a 2004 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the most commonly injured parts of the body include the head, feet, and shoulders.  

The Durham Police Department consistently sees a few cases of celebratory gunfire each year.

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