HAMPTON-How will you ring in the new year? Go to a party? Pop a bottle of bubbly? Watch the Times Square ball drop from the comfort of your own home?
Police across Hampton Roads want you to celebrate but not with "a bang."
The Hampton Police Department's New Year theme is "Ring in the New Year With a Bell, Not a Bang."
Officers say bullets fired in the air will come down and could hurt or kill someone. That's what happened on the 4th of July in Richmond, a seven-year-old boy was killed after someone celebrated by firing a shot into the air. The gunman was never caught.
Shooting a firearm in city limits could land you a hefty fine or jail time or both.
The effort is supported by the Hampton Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, The Urban League of Hampton Roads and members of the First Baptist Church.
Norfolk police officer Chris Amos says people caught firing guns into the air will face consequences.
“You could get your gun taken away, and be charged with a class one misdemeanor. Not too many good things will come out of that. It’s far more dangerous,” he said.
In Virginia Beach, officers are also taking the careless celebration threat seriously.
“If we find someone shooting their gun in the air, we will aggressively go after the person because of the danger involved. No one is supposed to be out discharging a firearm in the city limits,” MPO James Cason Jr said.