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Police warn against celebratory gunfire to ring in the new year

The South Bend Police Department is reminding residents there are steep fines in effect for illegally firing a gun within city limits.

The Common Council amended an ordinance in December of 2015, setting the fine for shooting a gun irresponsibly at $2,500. Police have issued 34 citations so far in 2017.

The higher fine is designed and intended to target those who shoot guns into the air to celebrate holidays such as New Year’s Eve, or recklessly discharge a firearm for any reason, at any time.

Additionally, the South Bend Police and Fire Departments encourage residents to use fireworks safely and legally this New Year’s Eve, warning that fireworks violators could face steep fines as well.Residents can legally use fireworks within city limits from 10 a.m. on Dec. 31 to 1 a.m. on Jan. 1.

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

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