The following is a news release issued by Sgt. Lisa McConnell of the Riverside County Sheriff's Department:
New Year's Eve is a holiday that is celebrated everywhere. Unfortunately, some people celebrate the arrival of the New Year by firing guns into the air when the clock strikes midnight. This can turn a joyous event into a tragedy.
The Riverside County Sheriff's Department would like to ensure a safe holiday for everyone in our community this New Year's Eve. It is important for the public to know that stray bullets have been known to penetrate walls, roofs, and cars, injuring and killing innocent people.
To make our neighborhoods safer, the Riverside County Sheriff's Department will be enforcing a Zero-Tolerance Policy regarding the negligent discharge of a firearm on New Year's Eve.
Deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff's Department will arrest all individuals found discharging firearms. If convicted under California Penal Code section 246.3, these individuals could face felony charges, punishable by incarceration in the state prison.
Any person, who observes someone preparing to, or discharging a firearm, is asked to immediately call 9-1-1 to report the incident.