South Bend Police Chief warns of $2,500 fine for celebratory gunfire

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By: Jon Zimney jzimney@953mnc.com

(Photo supplied/South Bend Police)

South Bend law enforcement officials are reminding residents there are steep fines in effect for illegally firing a gun within city limits. The South Bend Common Council amended an ordinance earlier this month setting the fine for shooting a gun irresponsibly at $2,500.

“The fine is intended to prevent celebratory gunfire,” South Bend Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski said. “We want residents to stop and think how their celebration can turn into another family’s tragedy.”

The higher fine, which went into effect on Dec. 25, is designed to target those who shoot guns into the air to celebrate holidays such as New Year’s Eve.

The South Bend Fire Department is advising residents to use fireworks safely and legally this New Year’s Eve, warning that violators could face steep fines.

Offenders can be fined up to $500 for possession of illegal fireworks and endangering life and property. If fireworks injure someone or start a fire, the firework owner can be charged with arson.