State Rep. Pushing for Law Against Celebratory Gunfire

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WESLACO – State representative Armando Martinez started last year’s New Year from a hospital bed.

Just after midnight, Martinez was struck by a stray bullet that resulted from someone firing a gun into the air. 

"You never think it's going to happen to you or anybody in your family,” he told CHANNEL 5 NEWS.

Because of the incident, he began advocating for a change in the law.

Martinez said new legislation would criminalize celebratory gunfire. Before the bill was introduced, there was a big gray zone when dealing with the problem.

"There has not been a law that addresses celebratory gunfire in that fashion,” he said.

Martinez explained similar gun laws only touched upon the city or county regulating the firing of guns in a reckless manner.

In Texas, this only results in a misdemeanor.

The law Martinez is advocating for would increase repercussions for those caught in the act of celebratory gunfire.

Local law enforcement said they're stepping up their game as well.

Officer Eric Hernandez with the Weslaco Police Department said they're gathering statistics from last year and the year before to establish "hot zones" 

"We'll try to determine hot zone areas where we receive the most calls in reference to gunfire,” he said.

The police department will also send out more units this weekend to patrol those zones.

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