New Year's Eve is a holiday that is celebrated everywhere. Unfortunately, some people celebrate the arrival of the New Year by firing guns into the air when the clock strikes midnight. This can turn a joyous event into a tragedy.

The Riverside County Sheriff's Department would like to ensure a safe holiday for everyone in our community this New Year's Eve. It is important for the public to know that stray bullets have been known to penetrate walls, roofs, and cars, injuring and killing innocent people.

To make our neighborhoods safer, the Riverside County Sheriff's Department will be enforcing a Zero-Tolerance Policy regarding the negligent discharge of a firearm on New Year's Eve.

Deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff's Department will arrest all individuals found discharging firearms. If convicted under California Penal Code section 246.3, these individuals could face felony charges, punishable by incarceration in the state prison.


  • Shooting a gun into the air is a felony.
  • If you’re arrested for shooting a gun into the air, you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
  • If a stray bullet from your gun should kill someone, you will be arrested and charged with murder.
  • People involved in celebrating the holidays by shooting their guns do not realize the danger posed by their actions.
  • A bullet fired into the air can climb up to two miles. When it falls back to earth, it can reach a speed of 300 to 700 feet per second traveling at a fatal velocity.
  • Celebrate the holidays safely and responsibly. Don’t fire guns into the air.

Any person, who observes someone preparing to, or discharging a firearm, is asked to immediately call 9-1-1 to report the incident.