Officials in Phoenix, scene of a tragic accidental shooting in 1999, are warning citizens against firing guns in the air to mark the arrival of 2006. “Some people call it celebratory gunfire, we just call it gunfire,” said Mayor Phil Gordon. Randomly firing a gun into the air became a felony with the passage of Shannon’s Law in 2000. The law was named in honor of Shannon Smith, who was killed in her Phoenix back yard in June 1999. She was struck by a bullet fired from perhaps as far as 2 miles away.
This year there will be a door-to-door campaign in the Maryvale and Garfield neighborhoods to educate people about the danger. The mayor said those Phoenix neighborhoods were chosen randomly. On New Year’s Eve, 150 to 200 Phoenix officers will be assigned exclusively to gunfire calls.