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Shooting guns in the air in celebration is almost obligatory for old westerns, but it has no place in modern society.

A bill sponsored by Rep. Nick Schroer, R-O'Fallon, would make the practice illegal, and it's gaining bipartisan support, according to Fox 4 TV in Kansas City.

This Fourth of July marks the 10th anniversary since a bullet fell from the sky, killing 11-year-old Blair Shanahan DeMoss, the station reported.

Four men were later arrested and charged with shooting a pistol recklessly. One of the men, Aaron Sullivan, 50, served a short prison stay after being charged with manslaughter, Fox 4 reported.

Since then, DeMoss has been working with various political figures to make celebratory gunfire a more serious offense.

Schroer's bill, also known as "Blair's Law," specifies someone commits a crime of unlawful use of a weapon if, with criminal negligence, the person discharges a firearm within or into the limits of any municipality.

The bill has 10 exemptions, including for self-defense, law enforcement and legal hunting.

Unfortunately, celebratory gunfire still occurs on the Fourth of July, New Year's Eve and other times. The offenders likely don't mean any harm, and do it out of ignorance to the possible danger of firing a gun into the air.

The bill passed out of committee unanimously on March 11, but hasn't seen any movement since.

We urge the House, and then the Senate, to approve this common-sense legislation that will help to prevent anyone else from being killed by a stray bullet.

News Tribune

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