LOS ANGELES, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- Los Angeles officials have warned people against firing guns into the air when celebrating the New Year -- anyone caught doing so could face a $10,000 fine.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said firearm misuse is on everyone's minds going into the holiday, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.
"Firing into the air weapons in celebration puts innocent lives at risk," Villaraigosa said last week. "Nothing ruins the holiday season like an errant bullet coming down and killing an innocent."
Villaraigosa said authorities will pursue criminal charges for anyone caught in possession of a weapon in public. Anyone found guilty faces a fine of up to $10,000 and a possible three-year jail sentence.
"Please celebrate New Year's with your family, not in [Sheriff] Lee Baca's jail or my jail," said Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck, pledging to capture anyone firing a weapon. "Firing a gun in the air isn't only dangerous and a crime but socially unacceptable."