Police warn against holiday gunfire

JONESBORO — What goes up, must come down.

Clayton County police are urging residents to not fire weapons into the air as they celebrate Independence Day Friday. Officers responded to 55 gun-related incidents during last year’s holiday, including calls about “shots fired.”

“Celebratory gunfire is extremely dangerous, especially on July 4,” according to a statement released by the department ahead of the holiday. “Too many times, innocent people including children have been struck by bullets as a result of celebratory gunfire.”

Police officers are emphasizing that when bullets are fired from guns, they travel toward a target — even if it’s into the sky, the bullet has to land somewhere.

“Firing a gun into the sky in residential or business districts significantly increases the chances of a person being injured or killed by a stray bullet,” the release stated. “The Clayton Police Department is committed to preventing this from occurring in our community. We want you to have fun when celebrating the holidays but we need you to be safe and secure as you celebrate wherever you are.”

Police said there will be extra officers on patrol during the holiday weekend.

“If you’re caught participating in celebratory gunfire, the fine could be up to $1,000 and one year in prison,” according to the statement. “If you see someone participating in celebratory gunfire, call 911.”