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KCPD asks people to put down the guns on the Fourth of July

Posted at 8:05 AM, Jul 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-04 18:42:40-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department is asking for people to celebrate in a safe way this Fourth of July.

They worry about people doing celebratory gunfire, which is when people take a gun and shoot it in the air. It is illegal and also can be deadly.

41 Action News spoke with a family this week that knows all too well what celebratory gunfire can do to hurt people.

The parents of Blair Shanahan Lane joined KCPD officers this weekend to make their plea to put down guns.

On July 4, 2011 Lane was killed by a stray bullet at the age of 11.

"I am still in disbelief she died of the result of something that didn't need to happen, shouldn't have happened, completely preventable and senseless," Michelle Shanahan-Demoss, Blair Shanahan Lane's Mom said.

A KCPD spokesperson said last year, they had 200 calls of people saying they heard gunfire on the Forth of July.

"As that bullet returns to the earth, it is going at about the same velocity it leaves the gun at," Sgt. Jake Becchina, with KCPD said. "That can be tremendously dangerous to people, animals, property, vehicles, anything outside that's uncovered."

You can face up to a year in jail and a thousand dollar fine because gunfire is illegal. The punishment could be worse if the bullet hits property or another person.

"I just plea with our community, our communities people that are watching this, the people that know our story to helping me educate how stupid firing a gun in celebration of anything," Demoss said.