Anyone thinking of firing off a gun to celebrate America’s independence this Fourth of July should think again, Sacramento police said Sunday.
They may be listening. The department plans to use data gathered from ShotSpotter to aggressively combat celebratory gunfire, officials said in a press release. More officers will be sent to areas that recorded the highest concentrations of gunfire and illegal fireworks on New Year’s Eve and last year’s Fourth of July.
Even when a gun is pointed at the sky, the bullet has to land somewhere, the release said, and could seriously injure or kill someone.
Sacramento police Sgt. Bryce Heinlein said celebratory gunfire is considered negligent discharge of a firearm and is an offense that could land someone in jail. He said any time holiday celebrations involve explosions or some sort of countdown, police see an increase in calls about gunfire.
The ShotSpotter system catches the sound of gunfire through a network of microphones calibrated to recognize a gun discharging and it alerts the cops. In many cases, officers use it to respond to shots fired that don’t get reported by residents.
It’s currently deployed in areas of North Sacramento and south Sacramento. Heinlein said the city is looking to expand the system into Oak Park.