Celebratory Gunfire Will Not be Tolerated

The Houston Police Department will be out on the streets to ensure citizens enjoy their Christmas and New Year's holiday. Chief Harold Hurt says those who have other ideas will be dealt with. Pat Hernandez has more.

The department has seen a decline in the number of incidents regarding the shooting of weapons to ring in the New Year, but Chief Hurtt says that doesn’t mean his officers will let up. He says they do need specific information from people who call and report an incident.

“There’s very little we can do other than come out and patrol the area and leave. So, if people have information, give us a location of where the shots are fired, who’s shooting the weapon, and also the location of the individual that’s doing the shooting, then we can really take some enforcement action.”

Hurtt says the consequences can be severe.

“If a person is caught firing a weapon into the air, that is a Class-A misdemeanor and the fine can be up to four thousand dollars. And if they are aiming the weapon toward another individual, they could be charged with deadly conduct — and that’s punishable from two to ten years and a fine up to ten thousand dollars.”

The number of incidents involving celebratory gunfire has declined the last five years. Chief Hurtt says it is against the law to shoot fireworks as well. He adds cops will also be on the lookout for drunk drivers and speeders to ensure a safe holiday.

Pat Hernandez, KUHF…Houston Public Radio News.