Celebratory Gunfire is Dangerous, and it’s Illegal

The Newport News Police Department (NNPD) wishes you and your family a very happy and safe Independence Day. To ensure everyone celebrates safely, we’re reminding residents that celebratory gunfire is dangerous, and it’s illegal.

Bullets shot upward simply do not vanish into space. They most definitely come back down to Earth and fall on something — the ground, a car, a building, or a person. Unfortunately, many innocent people have been wounded or killed in the U.S. due to celebratory shooting.

For those hit by falling bullets, the chance of the wound being fatal is far higher than a typical shooting. The hospital put deaths from regular shootings between 2% and 6%, while for those struck by falling bullets the death rate was close to one third. The reason is simple — those unlucky enough to be hit by falling shells were more likely to be struck on the head, and while the bullets were travelling slower after being shot into the sky, they were still capable of smashing skulls.

The NNPD is committed to a policy of zero tolerance of illegal gun use and to combating gun violence in the city. Our mission is to protect the quality of life for all residents by creating an environment of enhanced safety and security. Discharging a firearm in the City of Newport News is a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to a $2,500 fine and one year in jail. However, if an injury occurs, it could be a felony.

Please do your part — keep our community safe.

If you would like to report celebratory gunfire in your neighborhood, call the Newport News Police Department at (757) 247–2500. If you would like to make an anonymous report, you can call the Newport News Crime Line at 1–888-LOCK-U-UP.




The mission of the Newport News Police Department is to reduce crime and the fear of crime to enhance public safety and quality of life and to take a leading role in making Newport News a place where people want to live, work and play.

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