The semi-annual event took place Thursday
South Florida officials are pleading with the public to put their guns away for New Year’s Eve, according to WFOR-TV.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and Miami-Dade Commissioner Audrey Edmonson are asking the public to keep their guns at bay for the upcoming holiday.
The event is held twice a year — typically before the Fourth of July holiday — and picked up steam after an errant bullet came down on a party “years ago” in Miami neighborhood Overtown, according to the station.
According to the event’s website, “The aim of the event is to urge the public to refrain from celebrating New Year’s Eve with gunfire and, more importantly, to refrain from senseless gun violence resulting in the loss of life of our children.”
“We do not need to celebrate by shooting guns in the air,” Edmonson said during the event. “Because when a bullet goes up, it must come down.”
Suarez added, “We want to let people know that we have a gunfire detection system now that covers 80 percent of the city. If you do do it, we will catch you, and we’re going to hold you responsible because we believe the risk to life is too great.”
Samantha Quarterman, who attended the event, said, “If you shoot a gun, it just don’t hurt one person. Even if they’re not the intended target — it hurts a whole family. It hurts a community.”
The station reports that discharging a firearm into the air within county limits is a first-degree misdemeanor with penalties such as fines and jail time.