Birmingham Police warns of dangers from celebratory gunfire

Birmingham Police are urging people not to fire weapons into the air to celebrate the new year. (AP)

For years now, many people in Birmingham have fired their guns aimlessly into the air to ring in the new year, not realizing the dangers associated with the celebratory act.

The Birmingham Police Department will be cracking down on celebratory gunfire this holiday season and are holding a news conference to present their plan to combat the problem, as well as warn the public of the dangers from firing bullets into the air.

Sgt. Johnny Williams said in a statement that a bullet fired into the air can climb up to two miles before falling back to Earth at speeds as fast as 700 feet per second. A bullet can penetrate a human skull at a speed of only 200 feet per second.

Williams also said that property can be seriously damaged from stray bullets falling out of the sky, and police are urging citizens to refrain from firing weapons during this year's celebrations. He warns that those caught in the act will be arrested and could face possible felony charges. Officers will be in high visibility throughout the city this year to enforce violations.