Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca and other law enforcement officials reminded gun owners Thursday not to fire their weapons into the night sky as part of their New Year's Eve celebrations.
At a news conference Thursday morning at the Los Angeles Police Department's downtown headquarters, newly-elected Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said someone doesn't have to be struck by a falling bullet in order for a shooter to be prosecuted for firing a gun into the air.
"Merely shooting a gun in a reckless manner that could result in a person being struck is a crime in and of itself," she said.
Discharging a firearm into the air is a felony punishable by a year in prison.
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said one person in the city of Los Angeles was injured by a falling bullet on last New Year's Eve, and he urged people to celebrate responsibly.
"Spend New Year's Eve with your families, spend New Year's Eve with friends," Beck said. "Don't spend it in my jail or Lee Baca's jail.
"If you fire into the air, that's my promise to you, you will get to spend the new year in the big house."
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is the primary law-enforcement agency for the unincorporated area of Glendora