Sample Block

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

For Immediate Release

December 28, 2012

Contact: Helen Dunkel, Special Agent, PIO

Office: (925) 557-2815

Cell: (925) 202-8135

ATF is Asking the Public to Refrain from Senseless Celebratory Gun Fire

SAN FRANCISCO — Joseph M. Riehl, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) San Francisco Field Division, is ringing in the New Year by asking the public not to engage in celebratory gun fire but to look for responsible ways to celebrate safely.

We have seen too many senseless and tragic deaths this year and in the recent past, said Riehl. Let us all make a concerted effort to refrain from shooting guns on New Years and save the lives of our children, parents, spouse and friends. Too often we hear about it in the news the next day that someone close to us was tragically killed by someone who irresponsibly and illegally chose to shoot a gun into the air.

It is a violation of the California Penal Code and Nevada Revised Statute to recklessly and unlawfully discharge a firearm, and if the person is prohibited from possessing a firearm, it is also a federal violation. The maximum sentence for the federal crime is 10 years in prison. ATF is the agency charged with the jurisdiction to remove guns from those individuals who possess them illegally.

ATF will continue to provide our expertise to our state and local partners by tracing any firearm that was used illegally during New Year’s celebrations.

ATF is urging the public to contact local law enforcement immediately if you observe anyone shooting a gun into the air, or to call ATF at 1–800–ATF–GUNS (1–800–283–4867) if you know of someone who possesses a firearm illegally.

More information about ATF and its programs is available at