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Gunfire, illegal fireworks New Year’s problems in Las Vegas

Shooting a gun into the air at midnight to celebrate the new year may sound like fun, but what goes up must come down.

And in some unfortunate situations, those bullets could hurt or kill an innocent bystander.

“Just don’t do it is basically the message here,” said Metropolitan Police Department spokeswoman Laura Meltzer, adding that celebratory gunfire on New Year’s Eve is an issue in the Las Vegas Valley.

On Friday, days ahead of the valleywide celebration, Meltzer recalled several past cases in which 911 was called for bullets flying into people’s homes while they were celebrating or sleeping.

“As the bullet falls, it does gain velocity,” Meltzer said.

Illegal fireworks have been another popular problem once the clock strikes midnight, and they could lead to a fine of up to $1,000 and disposal fees in the hundreds of dollars, according to Clark County officials.

County Fire Chief Greg Cassell has characterized illegal fireworks as anything that “leaves the ground” and “makes loud popping noises.”

Meltzer’s advice for a safe celebration: “Just go and enjoy the shows that are being put on at multiple places through the valley.”

Contact Rio Lacanlale at rlacanlale@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0381. Follow @riolacanlale on Twitter.

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