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KCPD Urges Against Celebratory Gunfire July 4th Holiday

Publish Date 06/29/2023


The Kansas City Missouri Police Department is urging residents to not shoot their weapons into the air to “celebrate” the 4th of July holiday, making a plea at a news conference on June 29th.

This crime has been an issue for many years. In 2011, Blair Shanahan Lane, 11, was killed by celebratory gunfire. The shooter served time in prison, but the problem has continued.

This past New Year’s Eve holiday, ShotSpotter recorded more than 2,500 rounds of gunfire in Kansas City. Each of those bullets struck something, if not the ground.

“Do not shoot your gun randomly into the air to celebrate,” Graves said. “At some point, someone is going to get hurt or killed again. If you see someone’s about to shoot into the air, tell them to stop.”

On Monday, July 3rd, members of KCPD’s Community Engagement Division will canvass areas where a gunshot-detection system has recorded gunfire on previous holidays. The goal is to convince people not to be a part of this dangerous act.

The aftermath of this crime has led to people and animals injured, holes in roofs, and multitudes of property damage.

The act is currently a misdemeanor crime with punishments of a year in jail and a $1,000 fine possible. However, after several years of trying, Blair’s Law will likely become effective this August escalating this crime to a state offense with harsher penalties than a city ordinance violation.