Arizona Police mean serious business when it comes to celebrating New Year’s Eve firing a gun into the air. Phoenix Police Assistant Chief Harry Markley, among those reminding people, doing so is a felony in the state. Not only is it illegal, “it is stupid, dangerous and very irresponsible,” says Markley.

“Just consider for a moment how you’d feel if that bullet you fired came down and injured or killed somebody.” Phoenix officials are issuing the warning because, although fewer people are engaging in random gunfire before the state made it a felony, too many still do it anyway.

Ex Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon was a councilman in 1999 when he heard the shocking news his teenage neighbor, Shannon Smith, was struck by a flying bullet in the backyard of her own home in the summer of that year. Police said that stray bullet could’ve come as far as 2 miles from where it fell. The culprit is still unknown, and Gordon says, that person could well not even be aware what their reckless actions did.

Gordon’s efforts contributed to the State Legislature signing Shannon’s Law in 2000, and from 2001 to 2013, random gunfire calls in the City of Phoenix have dropped 38 percent.

If you hear gunfire near by but don’t see it, you’re urged to report it to your local police non emergency number, and in Phoenix, the number is 602-262-6151. But call 9-1-1 if you see someone in the act of shooting a firearm.

–Barbara Villa