MIAMI (CBS4) – There are lots of ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve, but firing a gun into the air shouldn’t be one of them.
Tuesday morning Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado was joined by police Chief Manuel Orosa and county commission Audrey Edmonson to ask residents not to end the year with a bang.
“We are asking residents again lay your weapons down and celebrate tonight our New Year without the gunfire,” said Edmonson.
“If you want to hear a ‘bang’ go to Bayfront Park and hear the fireworks and see the Big Orange come up,” said Regalado.
It’s an unfortunate tradition which has sadly ended in tragedy far too often. In 2007, a stray bullet hit a child as it passed through a couch. Two years ago, a six year old boy, who was visiting from Italy, was struck by a stray bullet as he ate with his family at a Miami restaurant.
“Party all night long if you’d like. Use sparklers if you like to, anything, but do not, do not shoot bullets into the air,” pleaded Edmonson.
Law enforcement officials are hoping a public campaign with rapper Pitbull will deter gun owners from firing off a few rounds at the stroke of midnight. Still, Miami police are planning on being at full staff Tuesday night in an effort to keep history from repeating itself.
“We will have enough police officers out tonight that if you do see someone shooting a gun into the air call quickly because you may be saving a life,” said Orosa.