MIAMI (CBSMiami) – City of Miami officials want the public to know that it’s great to ring in the New Year with a celebration as long as it doesn’t involve gunfire.READ MORE: Psychologist shares how to talk to your child about Texas school shooting
On Tuesday, Miami Police Chief Rodolfo Llanes joined forces with representatives from several other city police departments, community leaders and the Rickia Issac Foundation for the 17th annual “No More Stray Bullets” campaign which urges residents and visitors alike to abandon the tradition of firing bullets into the air to celebrate at midnight on New Year’s Eve.
“There is no place for shooting a fun to celebrate. Guns are used for hunting and other purposes for protection, not to celebrate,” said LLanes.
“Bullets don’t have eyes. They go up, they have to come down and often times it is deadly and dangerous,” said state Rep. Cynthia Stafford.
Isaac, 3, was shot and killed by a stray bullet in 1997 while walking home from a Martin Luther King Day parade.
Since Issac’s death her uncle, Rev. Jerome Starling, has been on a mission educate and stop people from firing guns.
“We need each and every last one of us to take responsibility and ask that we don’t shoot guns because it’s senseless,” said Miami Gardens Vice Mayor Felicia Robertson. “It’s not celebratory. What are we celebrating when we shoot a gun?”READ MORE: New FBI report finds active shooter attacks on the rise
“We’ve had a number of our youth killed, shot over the last couple of weeks. We need this to stop,” said Miami-Dade Schools Police Chief Ian Moffet.
Nearly every year, there are people who ignore the warnings and fire away and cause tragedies.
Just after midnight on January 1st, 2013, a man was injured when someone fired into the air in Miami.
Just after midnight on January 1st, 2010, a 6-year-old Italian tourist was struck in the chest by a falling bullet as he dined with his parents at a restaurant in Midtown.
An 11-year-old boy playing hide-and-seek behind a couch on December 31st, 2007, was struck and killed by five bullets after a man fired celebratory shots into the furniture.
Tragedy also struck in 2007 when one man was killed and four people were wounded, including a 10-year-old girl, as a result of New Year’s Eve gunfire.
If anyone hears gunfire or sees anything suspicious police want you to call them immediately.MORE NEWS: MDPD: Miami Beach Senior High Teacher Arrested For Engaging In Child Pornography
Firing a weapon into the air is not only dangerous but illegal. It is a first degree misdemeanor. But it can also mean a variety of charges, depending upon what the arresting officer decides at the time and what happens, according to the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office.