New Year's celebrants who shoot off guns to ring in 2011 could face felony charges, Riverside County sheriff's officials warned Friday.
The sheriff's department said it will be enforcing a "zero tolerance" on celebratory gunfire countywide Friday and through the holiday weekend.
"The intent of this ... policy is to reduce the number of injuries and deaths caused by stray bullets," said sheriff's Lt. Susan A. Trevino. "Per section 246.3 of the California Penal Code, it is a felony to discharge a firearm in a negligent manner, a crime punishable by time in the state prison."
Trevino said deputies will not hesitate to arrest anyone who opens fire for fun.
"The public should be aware of the dangers involved with shooting a firearm into the air," she said. "A descending bullet can kill or injure anyone in its path."