Grace Kertz
Editorial Assistant

Mayor Quinton Lucas and Kansas City Police Chief Stacey Graves admonished celebratory gunfire during a press conference on June 29 on the steps of Kansas City Police Department (KCPD) headquarters.

“I know that we can celebrate safely,” Graves assured Kansas Citians.

Press conferences regarding celebratory gunfire are held by the KCPD prior to each Independence Day and New Years Eve holiday, detailing penalties under law that result from the behavior and urging against it.

KCPD receives hundreds of calls on these holidays relating to gunfire. Graves reminded residents that, “celebratory gunfire is a threat to all of us.” She asserted that because the behavior is illegal, “If there is someone that we find that is shooting a gun inside the Kansas City limits indiscriminately or otherwise, yes, there will be an arrest.”

Graves reminded residents that the discharge of fireworks is also illegal in city limits.

KCPD has been taking steps to reduce illegal gunfire, including residence checks. These checks are done in and around neighborhoods where there has been previous gunfire.

ShotSpotter data assists in driving where residence checks are conducted, as the data pinpoints information including where the shots are coming from and the caliber of gun. Beyond precautions, Mayor Lucas encouraged calls to the KCPD, and asserted that law enforcement officers will monitor from some parking garages on the holiday, “so they’re not exposed out on the streets.”

Beyond the measures KCPD is taking, Lucas said that, “You all have a way to make a difference.”

He encouraged speaking up against celebratory gunfire, and for individuals, urged, “If you’re going to a club, a party, or anything of that sort, don’t bring your gun.”

Lucas detailed that celebratory gunfire leads to injury and loss of life, and businesses and residences “have sustained damage from gunfire.” As an alternative, he encourages visiting the City website to find professional firework shows and family friendly events.

“We just want people to stay safe,” Lucas said.