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Officials remind public not to fire guns for New Year

December 27, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
The day after Los Angeles' gun buyback program, police and city officials held a press conference to remind the public not to fire guns into the air during New Year's Eve celebrations.

The annual gun buyback program was an overwhelming success this year. More than 2,000 firearms were voluntarily turned in by residents in exchange for Ralphs gift cards - $200 for assault rifles and $100 for all other firearms.

"We ran out of money, that's the truth," said L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

On Thursday, officials took time to get out another gun safety message.

"What goes up must come down," said L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.

Officials reminded people that firing a gun into the air to ring in the New Year is a felony.

"Nothing could ruin the holiday season like an errant bullet coming down and hurting or killing an innocent person," Villaraigosa said.

The ShotSpotter, which helps law enforcement track where shots were fired, will be in use this New Year's Eve and cover a larger area.

"Don't cause your celebration to cause someone to lose his or her life and cause families to be subjected to misery and grief," Ridley-Thomas said. "We have had more than enough of that."

Last year, a man in South Los Angeles was injured by a stray bullet from a gun that was shot into the air on New Year's Eve.