New Year's gunfire could lead to prison time

Posted at 4:54 PM, Dec 30, 2015
and last updated 2020-01-01 19:36:12-05

If you shoot a gun to ring in 2016, you could end up in prison.

According to the Arizona Department of Corrections, nearly 600 people have served prison time for Shannon's Law convictions since the law took effect 15 years ago.

On Wednesday, police canvassed west Phoenix neighborhoods, distributing leaflets in advance of New Year's Eve celebrations.

Officers want families to know about the dangers of random gunfire and the criminal consequences if you are caught shooting into the air. 

Phoenix police say they average 150 arrests per year for Shannon's Law violations. They ask citizens to stay alert and call 911 if they hear gunfire and can identify its origin. 

"It does happen throughout the year, more so at the beginning of the year," said Phoenix Officer Brandy Carter. "It's a way of celebrating for some people out here."   

Shannon's Law is named after a 14-year-old girl who was killed when a bullet fell from the sky. Violations are a Class 6 Felonies, and sentences can range from probation to several years in prison.