Monday, December 29, 2008

Fireworks, don't fire guns

North Las Vegas Police want to stop "celebratory" gunfire, especially on New Year's Eve. Here's the release they sent us today:

INCIDENT: Stepped-up Enforcement Intended to Reduce Celebratory Gunfire New Years Eve

NORTH LAS VEGAS, NV – Each year parts of North Las Vegas experience a high volume of celebratory gunfire during the holidays. Over the past four years the WHAT GOES UP MUST COME DOWN campaign has aimed at reducing celebratory gunfire through community education via public service announcements, posters, flyers, news stories, and officer intervention. This year, in addition to the public prevention drive the department will significantly increase enforcement of state and local gun and shooting laws during the holidays.

There have been several shooting injuries in the past in North Las Vegas resulting from celebratory gunfire, primarily on New Years Eve. Fortunately, no one has been killed or gravely injured by this behavior. On New Year’s Eve 2008, NLVPD will vigorously enforce weapons statutes. “We intend to curtail this behavior as much as possible before someone gets seriously injured or killed in our city”, said Police Chief Joe Forti, who has added additional police officers to patrol on New Years Eve; some specifically assigned to respond to celebratory shooting calls.

The following laws and municipal codes apply:

- North Las Vegas Municipal Code (NLVMC) 9.32.110, Firing a weapon within city limits.

- NLVMC 9.36.120, Unlawful possession of pistol by user of narcotics, convicted felon, fugitive, drunkard, or non-naturalized citizen.

- Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) 202.290, Aiming a firearm at human being; discharging a weapon where person might be endangered.

- NRS 202.257, Possession of firearm when under influence of alcohol, controlled substance or other intoxicating substance.

The following tips should be followed by all holiday revelers;
- Do not allow firearms at celebrations;
- Do not shoot firearms during celebrations;
- Call 911 if you witness someone firing a gun in the City limits;
- Call 311 for non-emergencies.
- Never mix alcohol and firearms.

Due to the high volume of called received each year at the peak hours when celebratory gunfire occurs, we are urging citizens to call 911 when they see someone firing a rifle or handgun and can help pinpoint the location so officers may safely respond and hopefully arrest the shooter. Callers should refrain from using 911 to report “possible gunfire” since many times it is simply fireworks that they hear. We need 911 lines open for actual shooting calls.
We are interested in participating in pro-active news stories over the next three days that will help raise awareness of this problem. On New Year’s Eve, we can support interviews (live or taped) for any newscast and we invite reporters / photographers to meet or ride with a PIO to view enforcement activity. For more information contact the Public Communications Office at 633-1824.

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