Police warn residents of gunfire fines during New Year's celebrations

South Bend Police are reminding residents about the steep fines in effect for illegally firing guns within city limits during weekend celebrations.

In 2015, the Common Council amended an ordinance setting the fine for shooting a gun irresponsibly at $2,500. Several citations have been issued in 2016.

The fine is intended to prevent reckless, celebratory gunfire. Police say they want neighbors to stop and think about how their celebration can turn into another family’s tragedy, or cause significant property damage at minimum.

The higher fine is intended to target those who shoot guns into the air to celebrate holidays such as the new year, or recklessly discharge a firearm for any reason.

Also, the South Bend Police and Fire Departments encourage residents to use fireworks safely and legally this New Year’s Eve, since fireworks violators could face steep fines as well.

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 offender(s) can be charged with arson, which is a felony offense.

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